Monday, November 26, 2012

Spiritual Discipline


Imagine looking in the mirror one year from now and seeing someone familiar -- yet different. Someone wiser, more mature, more peaceful.

Picture someone who loves God more and loves sin less. Who is more patient, kind, and caring. Who weeps for the lost and is bold to share the gospel. That someone could be you.

How do we grow in godliness and become more like Jesus Christ? The Bible offers a spiritual workout routine, but it will not be easy. For the path to holiness involves discipline.

"Train yourself," Paul said, "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 fro the life to come" (1 Tim. 4:7-8).

The most valuable things in life usually come at great personal sacrifice. This is true of raising a family, earning a degree, building a home, or pursuing a career. And spiritual growth is no exception. No pain, no gain.

As Philip Yancy wrote, "Human beings grow by striving, working, stretching; and in a sense, human nature needs problems more than solutions" (Disappointment with God, p. 207). 

Last summer, we spent some time studying the Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life. Using Donald Whitney's book as a springboard, we looked through several core disciplines God uses to consume our dross and purify our hearts, conforming us more into the image of Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:29). This was the second module in our Wednesday night series Growing in Christ.

Here's the complete set of lessons:

"Spiritual Disciplines"
Growing in Christ, Course 2

Lesson 1: Intro to Spiritual Discipline (handout | audio)
Lesson 2: Bible Intake
     Hearing the Word (handout | audio)
     Reading the Word (handout)
     Bible Study & Teaching Worksheet (handout | audio)
     Memorizing & Meditating (handout | audio)
Lesson 3: Prayer (handout | audio)
Lesson 4: Fasting (handout)
Lesson 5: Worship (not available)
Lesson 6: Stewardship (handout)
Lesson 7: Learning (handout)
Lesson 8: Simplicity (handout)
Lesson 9: Evangelism (handout | audio)
Lesson 10: Journaling (handout | audio)
Lesson 11: Suffering (handout | audio)
Lesson 12: Fellowship (handout)

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