Galatians 5:23 informs us that part of the fruit of The Holy Spirit is "temperance", which has been rendered in some versions as self-control. This is misleading unless one understands it to mean control of the self by The Holy Spirit. With that in mind, let’s consider ways for discipline to be developed. First of all, we need to understand how necessary it is for us to be disciplined and what pleasure and purpose it can bring to our lives. The next step is to ask God to enable us to become disciplined. We then determine that we want to experience this type of life because we love Him and want to be efficient in serving Him. Our involvement in prayer and Bible study is the key to further development of discipline, (i.e. talking to God and listening to Him). I found a simple way to begin. I suggest that you determine to read at least a couple of chapters of the Bible each day and the daily reading in Our Daily Bread and in Days of Praise. (These can be obtained, free of charge, from RBC ministries and Institute in Creation Research respectively ). Once you have done this for eight to ten weeks faithfully, then add a little more for the next ten weeks or so, and so on. You will be amazed how well this works. Note: Some people can go much further, much faster. Find out what works for you and begin. Selah! Think how indispensible your being in The Presence of God is and get going! Ron Tomorrow: A conducive environment for your audience with the King.
Sorry to be so late today, therefore I will try to be brief. Discipline is the underlying concept of discipleship. A disciple is one under discipline. But is this a self developed discipline? Spiritual discipline is produced by The Holy Spirit using the Word of God, the Bible. However, our part is to expose ourselves to His Word and, motivated by love for Jesus, begin to implement His instructions, all the time asking of Him ( prayer) the enabling. We don’t experience instant discipline. We grow in this, becoming, sometimes too gradually, more and more disciplined. Practical application of this will be illustrated in the days ahead as God enables. Meanwhile, look up Matthew 28:19 -20 and Titus 2:11-12 and in both passages substitute "discipline" for "teach" and "teaching" respectively. Tomorrow we plan to give you practical tips on the development of discipline. Selah! ( Think about it and remember, he who aims at nothing will hit it with deadly accuracy )! Ron
When we admit to ourselves and to God that we are sinful and that we have sinned; when we realize that Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sin and sins; when we then surrender our lives to Him and invite him into our lives to reign as Lord, then we experience the greatest miracle that a human being can experience! We become "born again," John 3:3. How can we be sure this has truly become our new birth?
Here are some evidences:
We love our Lord and Savior more and more as we become more acquainted with Him.
We start to love and enjoy the Bible which is where we become more acquainted with Him.
We enjoy more and more talking with Him ( Prayer ).
We want other people to have what we have.
We want to interact with people who know and love Him.
We come to loathe sin and long for holiness in our lives.
We want our lives to honor Him.
II Corinthians 5:17a says, "Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature" ( creation ).
The above evidences are indications that we are a new creature ( a new creation ).
Selah! Think about what God wants to do in you and for you and through you and how empty your life will be if you don’t come to know Him. Ron
Jesus said, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul"? Matthew 16:26a
I am convinced that we have too much defective evangelism today. Does subscribing mentally to formulas such as "The Four Spiritual Laws" and "The Romans Road" produce spiritual conversions or psychological conversions? I am not criticizing these plans, only suggesting that they are often not "fleshed out" enough. The concern is compounded by a conspicuous absence of the call for repentance. Repentance is not only a change of mind! It is a change of mind, leading to a change of heart, leading to a change in behavior! The first recorded word of Jesus’ ministry was, "Repent"! Paul preached repentance and faith. Jesus IS Lord! We don’t say to Him that we will take Him as Savior but not as Lord. That concept is absurd! Could we have people today assuming they are saved, when they have only agreed to some facts. Are spurious conversions the cause of so many unscriptural things going on in the church today? II Corinthians 13:5a has Paul (under inspiration) saying, "Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith". Please also read Matthew 7:21-23. Selah! We really need to think this through! Ron
Note: We do not want to undermine anyone’s assurance who is truly converted and so tomorrow, Lord willing, we will present evidences of genuine conversion.
Note: Today is Number 4 of Absolute Essentials". We have described them this way because they are absolutely essential as foundational to true discipleship. Beginning tomorrow, God willing, we hope to start digging into the deeper aspects of discipleship. We plan to start slowly and then go deeper as time goes by, God enabling.
In Matthew 28:19 (please look it up and study carefully.) we are commanded to teach (disciple) all nations. These last words of Jesus to His disciples is a command to be obeyed, out of love for and gratitude to Him. Will we obey? Will we share the Truth of salvation with others? We can be the instruments, God uses, to bring a person to Himself. We can be a part of the miracle of someone’s eternal destiny being changed from Hell to Heaven! We can and must be a reflection of Jesus’ Light. We must be salt that creates a thirst for the Living Water! How we go about this is a subject for later discussion, as God leads. However, why not start sharing today (even if only giving someone a "prayer-backed" tract)? You never know what God might do with something as simple as that. Bernie Carbo ( a former Red Sox baseball player ) was asked by someone, "Do you know God?" This was the means God used to bring him to Jesus. Obedience is evidence of our possession of a genuine relationship with our Lord. Selah! ( Consider your responsibility and privilege and act, then trust, and then rejoice )! Ron
The Bible in Hebrews 10:25 admonishes us,"not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together." Why? Because God knows it is essential! We (Christians) need each other and we need to worship and learn more and more about God together. If we remove a coal from the fire, that coal soon burns out. Leaving coals together produces a warm and comforting fire. We encourage and comfort one another. We are a family. We come to know and love each other. We pray for each other. We share problems, failures and victories. We show the outsiders that we are much more than a club. We are the family of God!! "Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons (children) of God". God wants His family to be together. If we are in the family of God, there should be a family resemblance. This family, more than all other families, can and should let the world know what a wonderful Father we have! This family can bless the world as it shows the difference God makes in a family. Selah! (Spend some quality time thinking this through, then "be an example of the believers".) Ron
If the Bible is our spiritual food (and it is), then prayer is our spiritual rest and renewal. We are commanded to read the Word and pray. Obedience is an evidence of our enjoying a true relationship with our wonderful Lord. I heard Stephen Olford say recently, on tape, that "Partial obedience is total disobedience". Think about this: God, the creator and sustainer of all, Almighty God, listens to us! He wants us to talk with Him and He listens! He gives all of His children His undivided attention! He always answers. Sometimes He says yes, sometimes no, and sometimes wait. Whichever answer He gives, it is based on His love for us. We may not understand a no answer for a long time. This is where trust comes in. What an honor to go right into the Presence of God! What a privilege to talk with Him! How much it cost Jesus, at Calvary, to secure this honor for us! Don’t ever let this rich treasure degenerate into a mere religious exercise. Please look up the following thoughts from God’s Word: Psalm 100:4; Philippians 4:6 and 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Bask in His Presence today. Selah! (Think, do, and be thankful). Ron