Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Spiritual Disciplines

I. Bible Intake:
Bible intake includes hearing, reading, studying, and memorizing Scripture. This is a very important aspect of our sanctification because it is through the Word of God that the Spirit of God will make a lasting change in our lives.

I Peter 1:23
James 1:18

Are you spending enough meaningful time in God’s Word?
The tendency of most Christians is to close the Bible as soon as we’ve finished reading and turn to the next thing on our to-do list. Reading alone will seldom make an impact on our lives, and provide us with spiritual nourishment. Reading is the exposure to Scripture (which is a wonderful starting point), but meditation is the absorption of Scripture. This is not meditation like some Buddhist monk would do, but rather this is deep contemplation about God’s Word and its impact on your life. This type of meaningful time in God’s Word will provide you with the spiritual nourishment that your souls needs.

Here are a few Questions to challenge you:
1. Do you spend more time with TV, video games, music, etc. than you do in God’s word?
2. When you read God’s word are you taking the time to really think about what it means?
3. Are you so excited about God’s word that it is part of your conversations with friends?

II. Prayer:
The apostle Paul tells us that we are to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17). If we are going to obey this command we must constantly be in an attitude of submission to God, and prayer must be a part of our regular routine.

1 Thess 5:17
James 4:2-3

Are you spending enough time in prayer?
Jonathan Edwards is a wonderful example of a spiritually disciplined prayer. Edwards prayed alone when he rose in the morning, and then he had family prayer before breakfast. Prayer was a part of each meal at the Edwards home, and in the evening again with his family. He prayed over his studies, and he prayed as he took his evening walk. Prayer was a part of Edwards’ spiritual discipline, and his leisure.

Here are a few questions to challenge you:
1. Are you praying multiple times a day?
2. Do you pray for the Spirits help before you read your Bible?
3. Do you pray for the right things, or do you pray for selfish things?

Private Worship:
Every Sunday we come together to worship God as a community of believers and this is wonderful. But we should also be worshiping God individually throughout the week.

Ps 147:1
1 Cor 10:31

Are you worshiping God with your life?
Our salvation is such a wonderful thing, and the more we think about how great it is the more we should be compelled to cry out praised to our God. We should be singing praises to our God as our hearts are so filled with the joy of salvation that they are overflowing. Not only should we be worshiping God with our voices but also with our actions. When we work, or play, or eat, or whatever we are doing we can worship God by living according to His Word.

Here are a few questions to challenge you:
1. Are you ever so overjoyed with your salvation that you want to worship God?
2. Do you ever sing praises to God in private?
3. Can the people around you tell that you are worshiping God by the way that you live?


Blogger Morgan said...

I'm confused, I believe you that's it's a good movie and all, but if my eyes serve me right the guy who plays Nate Saint in the film is Chad Allen... the homosexual who argued w/ Johnny Mac on Larry King about a year ago. Maybe he's a Christian now or something?? That'd be sweet!

10/1/06 11:17 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

I think that you are right about Allen. I am not sure what to think. He may very well have been converted, but he may not have been. If he is not a believer then I think that they could have done a better job casting. However, having seen the movie I can tell you that you would not know that he is a homosexual. It does not take away from the movie.

11/1/06 7:30 AM  

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