Stephen and I have been reading through Disciplines of a Godly Man over the past few months. The key statement on discipline is I Timothy 4:7-8 which says, “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”

Here are three things I learned while studying this book.

1. Sunday worship doesn’t just happen.

It takes much preparation. Yes, by those leading the service, playing instruments, singing songs and preparing sermons, but also by those in attendance. Worship is about giving worth to God. We are to “Worship in spirit and truth” as John 4:24 says. It must come from the heart and from what we know and believe about God. Even before we arrive for a service, there are things we should do to prepare. Prayer for the upcoming Lord’s Day, confession of sin and sufficient rest the night before are a few things. Worship isn’t about what we can receive, but what we are giving to God. If we leave a service criticizing the music or the sermon, our focus is in the wrong place. Rather we should check ourselves and ask if God received true worship from us.

2. Prayer demands work.

God has provided this exceptional tool of communication, yet everyday I neglect to use it as I should. I want prayer to be my first resort, not somewhere else on my list or even last. In Philippians 4:6-7 we read,”Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” What an incredible promise! Why do I neglect prayer? A lack of discipline. Prayer takes time and concentrated thought. It is so easy to get distracted and oftentimes it is overwhelming because there is so much to pray about, but as we pray “the Spirit helps us in our weakness” which is yet another marvelous promise.

3. Fear is the primary hindrance to growth in leadership. 

I’m afraid of what people will think if I share a new idea or a big dream. I’m afraid that if I mention something I’ll be put in charge of it even if it was a mere suggestion. I’m afraid I’ll offend someone because of how I communicate vision for a particular idea. It all hinges on fear. It requires stepping out of my cozy box and trusting God to use me in the position He has provided.

I would highly recommend this book. It is filled with practical ways to implement the discipline necessary for spiritual growth into everyday life. To finish, here is one more passage that states just how important discipline is. Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God”.

You can purchase this book easily from either Westminster Bookstore or CBD.  CBD currently has it priced a little cheaper.

Have a great Friday!



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