Bill Stockham | PentecostalTheology.com
[Discipline is a dull word for many in our, selfish society. Nevertheless, for a Christian, DISCIPLINE IS A DEVOTED ASPECT OF WHO WE ARE. In fact, the entire word “Christian” is simply another word for “disciple”] “And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” (Acts 11:26) [Disciple is simply a form of the source word “discipline”. So discipline and being a disciple (or Christian) go hand in hand. TO BE A CHRISTIAN, YOU MUST BE DISCIPLINED. But the question is how, and in what ways? There are a lot of different disciplines practiced in the world, many of these disciplines are good, but they are not all equal in value and importance. WITHOUT THE PROPER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, EVERYTHING ELSE THAT WE HAVE OR DO IS IN ESSENCE MEANINGLESS. So in ordering how to discipline our lives to make us more effective for God, we have to start with the spiritual substance. That’s just “keeping it real”. In the 6th chapter of Matthew, Jesus mentions three different things that we can do to deepen our relationship with God. These three things are PRAYING (SPEAKING/SEEKING TO LISTEN TO GOD ALONE)] “And when you pray…” (Matt. 6:5) [Jesus repeats this in verse 6 and 7. FASTING (DEDICATING OUR MEALS TO GOD)] “When you fast…” (Matt. 6:16) [Jesus repeats this in verse 17. GIVING TITHES, OFFERINGS, GIVING TO THE POOR (or acts of charity – (and remember that all three of these acts are supposed to be done secretly). We as Christians need to discipline ourselves to CONTINUALLY do these things, if we are to stay in favour with God. A few good questions to ask ourselves from time to time include ones such as: How many meals have I missed in the past week? How much time did I spend in private prayer with God? How much money, or in what way, did I give to help the poor? Of course, these are just basic questions; but the important thing is to try to keep account (which is the root word for “accountability”). These are the beginning steps to spiritual growth.] “Through Jesus, therefore, let us CONTINUALLY OFFER TO GOD a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for WITH SUCH SACRIFICES GOD IS PLEASED.” (Hebrews 13:15-16)
Be blessed as you praise The Lord, knowing that we should CONTINUALLY BE SEEKING THE LORD SO WE ALWAYS DO WHAT PLEASES HIM!