Express His Glory in Your Life

Posts tagged ‘discipline’

Fit Faith: Soul Training for His Glory

Eternal life is the free gift of God.  The walk of faith is demanding! The life of faith requires a solid foundation.  Fit Faith looks at the components of a healthy faith life and provides tools for disciples to utilize.  The Four Sessions of Fit Faith include the life basics of Prayer, Bible Study, Service/ministry and Fasting.

Prayer as Worshipful Conversation:  Developing a prayer life that is exciting and rich.

Bible Time as friendship w/the Living Word:  Establishing roots in His Word that bear fruit.

Serving and Fellowship:  Finding the reality of being HIS hands and feet.

Living in Wonder & Awe:  Fasting as a discipline for fulfillment.

 The workshop will be offered for the first time online in a Zoom Room!  Details are below and you can join as you are able–but registration would be a blessing for me.

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Topic: Soul Training – Spiritual Disciplines for Growth
Every week on Wed, 4 occurrences

Jan 4, 2017 6:30 PM
Jan 11, 2017 6:30 PM
Jan 18, 2017 6:30 PM
Jan 25, 2017 6:30 PM

Weekly: https://zoom.us/meeting/442863135/ics
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/442863135

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +16465588656,442863135# or +14086380968,442863135#

Or Telephone:
Dial: +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll) or +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll)

Meeting ID: 442 863 135

Why do I need to “study” the Bible?

Do I need to eat well to live?  Technically, no.  We all eat poorly at least some of the time–and we don’t drop dead because of it.  But should we care about nutrition?  I sure think so.  What we eat matters to our physical life–and to our spiritual life.  Studying the Bible is not a legalistic discipline.  It does take discipline.  And it is worth it!

The idea that we do not need discipline in a our spiritual life is totally disproved by our natural lives.  A natural life without discipline is sad.  The damage can be extensive.  The motivation for discipline cannot be to ‘save ourselves’ or ‘make ourselves holy.’  The motivation must be Jesus gave everything for me–I want to know how to live well for Him!

John Piper is one of my favorite teacher authors.  He compiled this list of Scriptures that admonish discipline in a recent article that is well worth your time!

My motivation for writing and even sharing about my book comes from my belief in studying the Word.  It is the only source of Truth.  Without investing time in Scripture, you are subject to other people’s opinions and errors.  Go to God yourself.  Dig into His Word.  He promises to help you understand it.

Here’s the opening piece of Soul Training in the Barn to give you a flavor for the book…and a glimpse of me.

“It is in our weaknesses that the strength of Christ is made complete in us.  Sometimes what appears as a strength is simply a completed weakness.  My passion for the Word springs from a desperate desire to know Truth…to know and share how to live the abundant life.  The deep need grew out of painful mistakes and mis-steps.  God used the Word to cleanse me and make me whole as the song says.  I thank God for all my many weaknesses for they drive me to Him–the One to whom I owe it all.”

Can we use an Exacto Knife on the Bible?

If I believed in the ‘exacto-knife’ approach to reading the Word of God, this verse would have been eliminated years ago.

But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it.  

Matthew 7:14

I wear the proverbial ‘rose-colored’ glasses whenever I can.  I detest arguing and can find a million things I would rather do than proclaim ‘my rightness’ or ‘your wrong-ness.’  Indeed, there are many shades of gray in my world.  And seeing ‘both sides’ is my natural bent.  I am maturing into one willing to stand on the lines of Scripture, though.

For God is not wishy-washy; nor does He have difficulty discerning lines.  His view is not blurry or variations of gray like mine.  Scripture is clear:  there is right and wrong, good and evil.  Scripture is clear:  there is a devil.  He hates believers, and it is his preferred mission to destroy those who sincerely call upon the name of Christ.

The devil loves cloudy thinking.  I thank God that my early years of faith placed me under the tutelage of solid, Bible-teaching pastors.  There is no room for exacto-knives when you study the Word of God.  All Scripture is written for learning, encouragement and chastening.

Christians must study the Word to know what is in it…God created and creates with the living Word.  There is no other source to know how to live. 

Not long after the verse about the narrow gate, there is another passage that chills my heart and shatters my rose-colored glasses.  It teaches us that on judgment day, many who thought they knew Jesus are told ‘depart from me–I never knew you.’

My heart aches to consider the multitudes who have, are and will miss life.  That sorrow presses me to know God more fully, to reveal Him with greater simplicity and clarity.  My heart cries for individuals to know the glory of God–and the privilege of living in the power of Christ.

To consider oneself a believer–a friend of God–is awe-inspiring, is it not?  To claim to be friends with one so powerful that their very words produce action, create substance and give life is quite a claim.  Are we worthy friends?

Friends don’t hang out with those who hate their friend.  Friends don’t walk all over their friend’s kindnesses.  Friends don’t change their friend’s words to be what they want the words to be.  Yet, many of us who call Jesus, ‘Friend,’ do all of those things.  Many who call Him Friend don‘t even know what He says.  Many simply go on their own thoughts and opinions, assuming what they think is what God thinks.

There can be no exacto-knives in studying Scripture.  If it isn’t all Truth, who determines what parts are Truth?

 Wouldn’t that make the person who decides their own god?

Heaven forbid!  Invest your time and mind in studying the Word of God.  Don’t go on what Granny taught you or the newspaper reports.  Read it, study it for yourself!  Your eternity depends on it!.

What is your favorite place to find quality Bible studies? Or why don’t you study the Word?

I’ll post some of my favorite links in coming days but I look forward to hearing yours too.

From Fingerpainting to Artistry

“So come on, let’s leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art.  Grow up in Christ.”
Hebrews 6, The Message
That’s the message, the Lord placed on my heart overnight and through my morning devotions.  Faith, confident hope, in Jesus alone is the inheritance we want.  Being a child of God is sweet…and He loves the fingerpaintings.  But there is more for us!
It is so tempting to settle for less…for good things that ‘fit’ our earthly design.  But not a one of the good things (ie love, 
fingerpaintinghusbands, children, fulfilling work) are enough to fill the space intended for the Spirit of God.  Longings that make our hearts ache are hard–but not bad.  Perhaps the hardest thing is watching our loved ones ache.
God knows what that is like.  He watched the Israelites wander in the desert–and miss the path.  The Message translation records God’s heart as this:  ‘They’ll never get keep their minds on God; they refuse to walk down my road…They’ll never get where they’re going; never be able to sit down and rest.”
It breaks God’s heart when we miss His path and ‘eat’ of things that do not satisfy.  And He loves us too much to encourage us to feast on what will not satisfy.  I tend to get frustrated when the results I expect do not materialize.  Worse is when I watch those I care about try so hard, do the ‘right’ things’ and still ache. I want to fix things.  I’m learning to accept though that the fix is Jesus.  It is seeking first His Kingdom.  It is delighting in Him so that my heart desires come from Him.  Then the food on my path will fulfill!
Paul, throughout Hebrews, struggles to convey faith to his hearers.  The plea from the Lord remains the same:    Today, please listen; don’t turn a deaf ear.  He says be careful that the lies of sin–the lies of those things that promise fulfillment but fall short of Jesus–do not harden your heart.  Let the hurt soften you up to receive Jesus; let the empty pursuits of your loved ones hurt them enough that they receive Jesus.
Don’t fill up the manger of your heart with empty foods…keep it always ready for Savior!
Growing up in our faith is exciting.  More tips are found in the Projects section of this website.  Growing strength through Diligence is a great place to start.

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