Wednesday, February 13, 2013

disciplines (reading the Bible is one of them)


I don’t care for the word discipline.  It brings to mind getting in trouble and going through some difficult conversations.  But the word discipline can mean something different.  It can also depict good habits that are in a person’s life.

There are many Christian disciplines such as prayer, Bible reading, fasting, memorizing Bible verses and many more.  Really anything you do that is positive and builds strength into your life is a discipline.  I believe that the spiritual discipline of reading Scripture is a big deal.  Think about it.

“Garbage in.  Garbage out.”  That old saying is right on as is the opposite.  If you put good things in your life, good will come out.  Thus if we put God in our lives we will get more of God coming out of us in the way we act, think, talk and interact with others.  Spiritual disciplines help us to be tuned into what God wants and what God is doing.

What spiritual disciplines are present in your life?  You might mention going to church or witnessing.  Another is Bible study both by yourself or part of a group of people who are digging into the Bible together.  Find some spiritual disciplines that make your stronger and put them in your life.

Years ago I was encouraged to go to a retreat put on by an older pastor in our state.  It was a great event and opened several doors for me as it relates to spiritual disciplines.  That retreat is still happening each year and is much bigger, but I’ve not been able to attend.  Yet what God began to build into my life some 18 years ago is still working in me.

That discipline began with reading the book of Proverbs every day.  Not only does it teach me about God and the thoughts of God, but these chapters infuse the wisdom of God into my daily choices.  Make this spiritual discipline, make Bible reading part of your life. 

Get a Bible translation you can understand.  Use a tool such as the website YouVersion.com or the Bible app by the same name.  It will make a difference in your life as it has in mine and in my wife’s life.

Here are some of the verses from today’s reading:


1 To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.
4 A worthy wife is a crown for her husband, but a disgraceful woman is like cancer in his bones.
10 The godly care for their animals, but the wicked are always cruel.
14 Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards.
15 Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.
22 The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.
28 The way of the godly leads to life; that path does not lead to death.

Those verses and all of Scripture make our lives stronger.  Spiritual disciplines keep us plugged in and ready to see and hear from God as well as ready to act when God guides us to do so.  Plus I believe that God is calling us to respond to needs more than ever.  As I said earlier this week, praying for someone is a great way to respond to the needs you see.

Powerful verses, but you may wonder why I included verse 4.  On a personal note, February 12th is an important day.  It was on that day in 1992 that asked Julie to marry me.  Yep.  That was 20 years ago.  Our lives have moved on and changed but always together.  Just want to give her a shout out on this day and remind each of us of God’s grace.  Reading the Bible each day keeps us tuned in to God’s grace.

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