August 31, 2014 – Pastor Tim – “Steps For Discipline”
Luke 9: 55-62, But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”And they went to another village.57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.”58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.”But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
As we continue looking at discipline, here is a ladder for disciplined living;
- Decide what you are going to be disciplined to—your absolute. That absolute is Christ. You are going then to be a Christ-ian. To be a Christ-like person is the aim of your discipline. In Luke 12:31, Jesus said, But seek the kingdom of God, and all these thing shall be added to you.
- Discipline the center, the self, before disciplining the circumference—things around the self. Bring that self to the discipline of a complete surrender to Christ. With that center unsurrendered, all disciplining of this, that, the other is just tinkering.
- Now that the center has been disciplined by self-surrender, begin with the most difficult thing you have to discipline. I can’t agree with those who advise picking out the easiest things first and then working out to the harder things.For in doing so we seldom go on to the harder—we stay caught in the easier. In Matthew 5:29-30, Jesus said, If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
- In tackling the most difficult thing first, don’t taper off in regard to it. Don’t try to give up unnatural habits by reducing them little by little—let them go all at on time, bag and baggage. The tapering-off method seldom works.
- Since habits become power, make them work with you and not against you. Make habits the friends and stabilizers of the new life.
- Remember that certain things are soils in which new life grows. Cultivate those soils which contribute.
- Don’t admit any exceptions to your discipline. The small victories count. “By lighting small successive candles of will power, we generate a beam that becomes a light to the whole life.”
Song of Solomon 2:15b, The little foxes that spoil the vines…
Any exception you tolerate makes it easier to make the next exception and so on down to undisciplined living.
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