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A Disciple’s Life

July 12th, 2017

Lack of discipline results in lack of accomplishment.

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Luke 6:46 NIV.

My thoughts and comments today are about,

“A Disciple’s Life.”

A disciple is a learner. And discipline is an essential requirement. None of us learn well or do well without discipline. Discipline is an expression of love, with the lifestyle of a disciple as its result. Solomon wrote, “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in.” Proverbs 3:11-12 NIV. The Hebrew word for discipline includes, “correction with instruction.” Our Father’s discipline is always an expression of His love and care for us. We naturally prefer the easier choices and less difficult paths, but that is never the way of a disciple. Apart from discipline, success is limited or even lacking altogether. Lack of discipline results in lack of accomplishment. For best use of your time, or being clear about priorities, or managing your activities, discipline is essential.

The similarity between the words, discipline and disciple, is no mere coincidence. Jesus spoke a great deal about discipleship and was clear and uncompromising, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24 NLT. That’s discipleship, plain and simple. Self-importance diminishes, sacrifice and service to others increase, and practical obedience to Lordship becomes your lifestyle. Obedience is the first and essential characteristic of a disciple’s life. With simple words, Jesus made any inconsistency glaring,“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Luke 6:46 NIV. There is no good answer to Jesus’ question. Anything less than absolute obedience is unacceptable.

Jesus understood the rigorous discipline that being His disciple would involve. There must be no second thoughts, no slack of effort, no lack of sacrifice. God’s blessings flow from spiritual disciplines. Mistakenly, discipline can suggest harshness, or unfairness, or punishment to those who do not properly understand the distinction. Punishment is concerned with exacting a painful price for a past mistake.

Biblical discipline is a loving act of correction and prevention.  The accent of discipline is correction for preventing future mistakes and providing a strong foundation for a better future. The concept of Biblical discipline implies relationship, and is best defined as, “The whole realm of a father’s instruction and correction of his son.” There is no growing or learning without discipline.

The Bible teaches the true heart of Godly discipline as well as your appropriate response, whether to earthly authority or God’s authority. “Have you entirely forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you, His children? He said, ‘My child, don’t ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don’t be discouraged when He corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those He loves’ . . For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always right and good for us because it means we will share in His holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening – it is painful! But afterward, there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” Read Hebrews 12:5-11 NLT. Afterward is when you will be thankful for Godly discipline. As you mature in Christ, joyfully embracing His discipline, you learn the joy and liberty in self-discipline, “For the fruit of the Spirit is self-discipline.” Galatians 5:23 NLT.

Today, I pray for you to welcome the disciplines of life and the Holy Spirit.

Christian Communications 2017-0857

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