Archives For Discipline

In Philippians 4:8, Paul instructed the church to think beautiful thoughts. He encouraged them to think about whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, of moral excellence, and worthy of praise. How often are our thoughts centered on things like these? I confess my own mind is not naturally inclined to go to such places. I will also tell you when I do think of such things, my mood improves dramatically.

beautiful thoughts,hope,beauty,evil,atrocitities,terrorism,mass shootings,bombings,commitment,discipleship,purpose,mission,Philippians 4:8,whatever is beautiful,whatever is lovely,think on these things

image © carloscastilla via Fotolia

Such thoughts are a natural tonic and trigger the endorphin rush we all crave. When we dwell on dreadful things, our mood sours and our hearts darken. The question we must then ask is, why do we not spend our days thinking beautiful thoughts?

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

Satan knows his time is short (Revelation 12:12). He gets more desperate each passing day. It’s one reason this world continues to fall ever deeper into evil and depravity. In the midst of the chaos, it’s easy to become discouraged. We wonder if things will ever get better. Some even question where God is in the midst of all this.

time is short,Revelation 12:12,purpose,mission,priorities,time management,discipline,focus

image © robert via Fotolia

Followers of Jesus should, while fighting against the dark forces prevalent in our world today, also be encouraged. If Satan knows his time is short, it means ours is too. The difference is our time ends in victory, while the devil’s dissolves into defeat. If Satan’s time is short, then Christ’s return is near.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

As I continue to seek ways to simplify my life, I’m amazed at how complex it continues to grow. There seems to be a never-ending flow of demands on my time, opportunities to pursue, and responsibilities with which to engage. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess your experience is similar. We are a busy generation of humans. As I often tell my team at work, being busy is not synonymous with being productive.

simplify,simplicity,minimalism,clutter,time,resources,Kingdom work,building God's Kingdom,2 Thessalonians 3:10,If anyone isn’t willing to work, he should not eat,1 Timothy 5:8,if anyone does not provide for his own

image © WavebreakmediaMicro via Fotolia

I fear many of us have allowed our lives to become so busy we cannot be productive for the Kingdom. We’re so consumed with the fleeting things of this world we are missing out on the great eternal work left to be done.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

Spiritual warfare is a real and ever-present occurrence in the life of a disciple of Jesus. We spend most of our days fighting off Satan. Whether it’s in the subtlety of the decisions we make each day or getting smacked in the face with a major challenge to our faith, for as long as we are seeking to follow Christ we’ll be fighting off Satan. On our own, we’ll lose every time. Our sinful, physical beings are no match for the dark spiritual forces swirling about us.

fighting off satan,spiritual warfare,we wrestle not against flesh and blood,Ephesians 6:14-17,armor of God,breastplate of righteousness,commitment,discipline,focus,faith

image © snaptitude via Fotolia

But Jesus not only can defeat Satan, He already has. Satan is no longer any match for those who are allowing Christ to live through them. Knowing this, why do we so often succumb to the temptations of the devil? Why are we not finding more success standing against him?

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

We should all want to be fierce followers of Christ. As a people, it seems Christians have lost a lot of the aggressiveness of those who came before us. For whatever reason, it has become fashionable for Christ followers to cower into passivity, doing whatever necessary to keep from offending anyone. This isn’t the life we saw modeled by Jesus. He wasn’t afraid to step on some toes when necessary. While he was the most gentle, caring, and loving person to ever walk this planet, He also possessed a sharp tongue and an intense passion for the truth.

fierce followers of Christ,fierce,living fiercely,commitment,courage,purpose,Kingdom of God,mission,faith,James 4:14,life is but a vapor,John 10:10,abundant life

image © Richard via Fotolia

He didn’t let those who were perverting the truth slide by unnoticed; He called them out. Jesus pointed out what was wrong with the world and rebuked demonic influences in it. He was as quick to chastise those teaching false standards of living as He was to gently heal a person trapped in a life they did not want to live.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

Proverbs 10:19 says, “When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but the one who controls his lips is wise.” As someone who writes thousands of words each week, this is especially relevant and convicting to me. However, you don’t have to be a writer to need to learn this lesson. If we don’t measure our words, odds are we’re going to say things dishonoring to God, hurtful to others, and regretful to ourselves. Usually, it will be all the above.

measure your words,kingdom of God,God's Kingdom,glorify God,words,tame the tongue,encourage others,James 3:5-9,no one can tame the tongue,Ephesians 4:29-32,only what is good for building up others,Proverbs 10:19,let your words be few,James 3:2,words cause you to stumble,James 1:19,be slow to speak

image © tugolukof via Fotolia

Jesus’s brother James warned our tongues could not be tamed and could start great, destructive fires (James 3:5-9). Paul instructed us to only speak words of encouragement, never saying derogatory or inflammatory things (Ephesians 4:29-32). In a world enamored with social media, it has never been more important to measure your words.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

My personality is such I try to become better every day. It’s the way I’m wired. What this means for me is, each day I look to improve my relationship with God and the way I live for Him. I look for ways to be better in my job, and to hone my writing craft. I am always on the lookout for processes and methodologies to make me more efficient and effective in everything I do. Truth be told, I’m probably a bit (or a lot) obsessive about these things.

better every day,personal development,effective,efficient,improvement,self help,commitment,discipleship,discipline,gifts,mission,purpose

image © berc via Fotolia

I am of the conviction God has given me gifts and talents to be used for His glory, and I have an extraordinary appreciation for the shortness of time. I want to maximize whatever He has entrusted to me so I might bring God immense glory and leave His mark on this world before I depart.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

In the last post (see “In the Presence of God”), we talked about the importance of establishing a daily time in prayer with God. Getting to know and understand Him will be the linchpin in learning to live the life you were created to live. The other side of the prayer coin is studying His Word. Reading the Bible is another way He speaks to us. I know this will be basic to those who have been following Christ for any length of time, but how many are actually taking time to engage with God’s Word daily?

Bible study,discipline,commitment,God's Word,discipleship,knowing God,Psalm 40:8,I delight in you

image © pamela_d_mcadams via Fotolia

I’m not talking about a checkbox reading either. We need to move beyond having a reading plan and working simply to tick off the box for that day. Rather, we need to immerse ourselves in His Word every day.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

There is no more awesome feeling than being in the presence of God. If you’ve spent time there, you know this for yourself. Its true God is always near, but in our busyness, we tend not to notice Him. Once you’ve tasted being in the presence of God, you crave more time there. Knowing this, why is it we spend so little of our precious time pursuing the greatest love of our life?

in the presence of God,mission,Kingdom of God,God's Kingdom,discipline,prayer,commitment,God's presence

image © kieferpix via Fotolia

Is it, perhaps, we don’t consider Christ to be our greatest love? Or maybe we think we’ll get back to God once our lives slow down and we’ve accomplished certain goals? For those who have pledged our lives to Jesus, there is no excuse for not spending time in His presence.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

I don’t know if it’s the fact I’m approaching 50, or a matter of what I’ve been learning, but I keep getting smacked in the face with the importance of being aware of how we spend our time. Nothing is so valuable as time, because we cannot ever get back what we spend, we can’t borrow more when we need it, and we can never acquire more once it’s gone.

maximize your time,time management,mission,purpose,commitment,Kingdom of God,God's Kingdom,Ephesians 2:10,created for work,Ephesians 5:15-16,redeeming the time,Psalm 39,life is but a breath

image © sezer66 via Fotolia

Yet it appears time is the resource with which we are least responsible. We count our pennies, mind our career, and nurture relationships, but time is an afterthought. We’ve gotten this backwards. Nothing is more important to steward than the time God has given us on earth.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…