And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5)
I hope you have completed or are completing your preparation by reading the background information on the 40 Days of Discipline (www.40daysofdiscipline.com). As a reminder, we are using these first few days to lay the foundation for our journey. Remember also that our theme is Love.
If you have trusted Jesus for your salvation, God’s flame of love has already been lit in your heart (see Romans 5:5 above). Practicing the Disciplines is about fanning the flames not starting it. Please pause and thank God for pouring his love into your heart through the Holy Spirit.
The Disciplines are means to an end, not the end. As with any tool, misapplication can result in undesirable outcomes. Today, think about how the Disciplines can be misused.
Question for comments:
- How do you believe the Disciplines can be misused?
- What potential pitfalls do you personally want to avoid as you study the Disciplines?
Please share your thoughts so others can benefit. Thank you very much to those who have been sharing. Yesterday, almost all commentators believed that we both practice the Disciplines because we love Jesus, and increase our love for Jesus by practicing the Disciplines. Please take the time to read the comments.
February 20, 2015 at 5:12 am
It can become about WHAT we are doing instead of WHY we are doing it. Let’s keep the ‘why’ front and centre. We act in response to His love for us, which sometimes requires ‘discipline’ when we have to rely on knowing it instead of feeling it. We don’t always feel it because we tend to go astray. And therein lies the beauty and the power of the ‘discipline’, which brings us back to Him. We do because we love Him. We love Him because He first loved us.
February 20, 2015 at 3:57 pm
Beliefs affect your thoughts, thoughts affect your feelings, feelings affect behaviour. Knowing the truth and believing the truth are two separate things. On this journey, the first thing one has to do is truly and sincerely believe the infinite love God has poured out over us and has for each one of us personally. The disciplines will then become more and more a natural part of our life as a disciple of Christ. The disciplines will not make you believe the truth to answer the first question and I would like to avoid trying to make people think well of me by practicing the disciplines to answer the second.
February 20, 2015 at 8:37 pm
Disciplines can be misused if our aim is not purely to please God but to please others. We also have to be ‘balanced’ in carrying out our actions like for example in attending Bible Study and, Fellowship group or accepting some work/duty (like teaching at Sunday School or being a deacon, or mission work) to serve God through church. Make sure you involved your self in this activity but not neglecting your other responsibilities or stressing out yourself too much , to the point of getting so exhausted. Of course we all know that if we love Jesus, we have to sacrifice our time and effort but everything that is too much is not good as well. I believe as long as you stay with the Word and talk to God in prayer in all situations, He will be there to guide you. As long as your priority and your heart is right with the Lord , everything will be in its proper accordance., and you can feel the joy and the beauty of life. I feel that every morning when I wake up. 🙂
Have a blessed weekend everyone!
February 20, 2015 at 9:56 pm
Our actions in following the disciplines might be another thing we do. Something else to check off the list. For me, being very task driven can become a downfall. Through this journey I have to think of the relationship. Recognizing that to fully grow I need to be intentional about the deeper desire of increasing my love for Christ and understanding more His love for. To accomplish that goal requires full engagement and not just going through the motions.
February 21, 2015 at 10:43 pm
Reading through the answers Lester, Lee, Aurora and Bridget provided to the question “How do you believe the Disciplines can be misused?”, I couldn’t help but think about the confrontations Jesus would have with religious establishment of his day. I hear all four responders saying that it would be a mistake to adopt a legalistic approach to the Disciplines like the religious leaders did, or seek to get bragging rights from practicing the Disciplines, or act without being motivated by love. No one practiced the Disciplines better than Jesus but he clearly opposed legalism and He is love personified. Thanks to all four of you for your wise words of caution.