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Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life                                                                                                         How the Spiritual Disciplines Grow Us Up, Draw Us Together, and Send Us Out

The only road to Christian maturity passes through the practice of the Spiritual Disciplines. These personal and interpersonal activities given by God in the Bible have been practiced by God’s people since biblical times. They are sufficient means Christians are to use in the Spirit-filled pursuit of godliness, that is, closeness to Christ and conformity to Christ. Jesus modeled them for us and expects us to pursue them. In doing so, we will taste the joy of a spiritually disciplined life. By means of these Bible-based practices, we consciously place ourselves before God in anticipation of enjoying His presence and receiving His transforming grace. September 10: "The Spiritual Disciplines, for the Purpose of Godliness" (Communion)                                                                         The Word: 1 Timothy 4:1-12                                                                                                                                                                       Feel: “Our is an undiscipline's age. The old disciplines are breaking down…Above all, the discipline of divine grace is derided as legalism, or is entirely unknown to a generation that is largely literate in the Scriptures.” V. Raymond Edman

Know: The only road to Christian maturity passes through the practice of the Spiritual Disciplines. These personal and interpersonal activities given by God in the Bible have been practiced by God’s people since biblical times. There is freedom in embracing the Spiritual Disciplines.

Desired Outcome: Jesus modeled them for us and expects us to pursue them. By means of these Biblebased practices, we consciously place ourselves before God in anticipation of enjoying His presence and receiving His transforming grace. What practical steps will you take to begin building more Spiritual Discipline into your life?


September17: "Biblical Intake - for the Purpose of Godliness" 

The Word: Psalm 1:1-6; 2 Timothy 3:16; Philippians 4:8-9

Feel: No spiritual discipline is more important than the intake of God’s Word. Even though we honor God’s Word with our lips, we must check if our heart—as well as our hands, ears, eyes and minds—are often far from it.

Know: We practice this Discipline not only by hearing, reading, and studying God’s Word, but also through memorizing and meditating on Scripture, and by applying what we learn to our daily lives.

Desired Outcome: When rightly practiced, these disciplines promote increased knowledge of God and closer conformity to Christ. If your growth in godliness were measured by the quality of your Bible intake, what would the result be? What is one thing you can do to improve it?

September 24: Guest Missionary Roger Scheenstra “The Two Kingdoms”                                                                                            The Word: Acts 26:12-18; Rom.10:9-15; John 8:12; Mark 16:15-18.


October 1: "Prayer - for the Purpose of Godliness" (Communion)                                                                                                      The Word: Luke 11:1-13; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Matthew 7:7-8

Feel: Have you ever felt prayer was more obligation than opportunity?

Know: There are a variety of reasons why Christian don’t pray including they haven’t learned about prayer. God has also ordained prayer for the spiritual warfare between His kingdom and the kingdom of His Enemy.

Desired Outcome: Prayerful people become godly people, for prayerfulness with God culktivates godliness in all of my life. How might you applu Col. 4:2 & 1 Thes. 5:17 in the midst of your busy schedule? This week plan to link your Bible reading to prayer through biblical meditation. Share you experiences with another person.

October 8: "Worship - for the Purpose of Godliness"

The Word: Psalm 95:1-11; Matthew 15:8-9; John 4:23-24; Hebrews 10:25

Feel: What thoughts does the word worship bring to your mind?

Know: Worship often includes words and actions, but it goes beyond them to focus of the mind and heart. Worship is the God-centered focus and response of the soul; it is being preoccupied with God.

Desired Outcome: The worship of God makes believers godlier because people become like their focus. What can you do today to use the means by which God has revealed Himself and thereby focus more fully on and enjoy God?


October 15: "Evangelism - for the Purpose of Godliness"  

The Word: GC2 Matthew 22:34-40; 28:18-20 Acts 1:8; Colossians 4:5-6

Feel: Evangelism is a natural overflow of the Christian life, but it is also a discipline. What images does the word evangelism bring to mind?

Know: Godliness requires that we discipline ourselves in the practice of evangelism. Although all Christians are not expected to use the same methods, all Christians are expected to evangelize, Jesus even commanded it. What is success in evangelism? When a person you witness to comes to Christ? That’s what we want to happen. We need to learn that sharing the gospel is successful evangelism.

Desired Outcome: The power of evangelism is the Holy Spirit. Jesus stressed this in Acts 1:8. We must discipline ourselves to get into situations where evangelism can occur. A great question to ask is how can I pray for you? Through conversation and good listening, you will discover their felt needs and hopefully explore with them their deepest need, their need for Christ.


October 22: "Serving - for the Purpose of Godliness"

The Word: Eph. 4:1-16; Heb. 9:11-15; Is. 6:6-8

Feel: To serve the Lord with gladness is every Christian’s commission. What in your mind is a servant?

Know: Every believer in Christ is gifted to serve, with the goal of being more like Jesus by means of humbly serving others. If we don’t discipline ourselves to serve for the sake of Christ and His kingdom, we’ll serve only occasionally or when it’s convenient or self-serving.

Desired Outcome: The gospel of Jesus Christ transforms sinners against God into servants of God. Look in at what you’re gifted to do. Look out at what people need. Look up to the one who has called you. Start looking for ways to do something for Christ and His church or celebrate how He is using you.


October 29: "Stewardship - for the Purpose of Godliness" (Reformation Sunday)

The Word: Matthew 25:14-30; Ecclesiastes 3:1-14; John 17:4

Feel: Think for a moment, what events produced the greatest stress in your life today? So many of our daily issues relates to either time or money.

Know: Stewardship is the recognition and faithful management of God's gifts, including time, talents, possessions, and resources, for the purpose of advancing God's kingdom and serving others.

Desired Outcome: What specific steps are you willing to take to implement needed changes in your use of time and your giving? In which areas of your life are too rushed and becoming emotionally and physically drained? Begin there.

November 5: "Fasting, Silence, and Solitude - for the Purpose of Godliness" (Communion, Time change)

The Word: Matthew 6:16-17; Mark 1:35-39; Psalm 62:1-2, 5-8

Feel: Christians in a gluttonous, denial-less, self-indulgent society who do not know much about the Discipline of fasting tend to misunderstand and fear it. Likewise, the Disciplines of silence and solitude.

Know: Christian fasting is a believer’s voluntary abstinence from food for spiritual purposes.

Desired Outcome: Are you hungry for a fresh encounter with God, for God to answer a prayer, for God to save someone, for God to work powerfully in our church, for God to guide us or protect us—more than we hunger for the food God made us to live on? Try simple times of fasting, silence, and solitude.


November 12: "Journaling and Learning - for the Purpose of Godliness "(Veterans Day weekend)

The Word: Psalm 1; Mark 12:29-30; Proverbs 9:9-12, 10:14, 18:15; Matthew 11:28-29

Feel: Is your impression of journaling positive or negative? A journal is one of the best places for charting your progress in the other Spiritual Disciplines and for holding yourself accountable to your goals.

Know: “Godliness” refers to a life that is single-mindedly oriented toward God and is expressed in one’s thoughts, feelings, desires, actions, and words. Not only does the Holy Spirit make us spiritually alive, he sustains and empowers us to become more like Christ. That is why Paul says, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal 5:25).

Desired Outcome: To walk in the Spirit means to live a life that depends on the Spirit’s power to (1) grow in godliness, (2) obey God’s commands, and (3) experience increasing intimacy with God. A good place to begin is prayer. Specifically, asking God to guide and direct our steps. A second practical suggestion for walking in the Spirit is to immerse yourself in the Word. Finally, spend time with fellow believers. While the Spirit does work in and through us as individuals, we must never forget that he also regularly works in our lives through other believers. That is one of the many reasons that we must prioritize gathering together each week with God’s people for worship.

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