How many of us have had great dreams for how God was going to use us how he would mold us into what he wanted us to be and just when the going got rough, and the process became painful, we resisted, and perhaps even took a couple of steps backwards! Few of us are naturally disciplined; discipline must be learned. And yet without it, how do we suppose that we will take the gospel into all the world? Surely that is fantasy! Discipline, therefore, must be built into our Christian lives from the earliest possible moment.
1 Timothy 4:7
Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.
Train yourself to be godly. Physical training (sports) is of limited value, but spiritual training is immeasurably valuable. The Christian life is a process of training in righteousness.
We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
Don't become lazy. Laziness is a constant threat to the life of every Christian, young or old. Imitate those who are patient, faithful and disciplined. Look for good examples; learn from them. Realize laziness is a sin!
a. Proverbs 12:1
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.
b. Proverbs 24:30-34
30 NIV) I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment;
31 NIV) thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins.
32 NIV) I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw:
33 NIV) A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest--
34 NIV) and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.
c. Proverbs 26:13-16
13 NIV) The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets!"
14 NIV) As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed.
15 NIV) The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.
16 NIV) The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who answer discreetly.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
11 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you..
12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
Be constructive members of society and of the church.Hard-working people win the respect of others. Try not to be dependent on anybody (do not go into/remain in debt).
2 Thessalonians 3:3-16
3 NIV) But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.
4 NIV) We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command.
5 NIV) May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance.
6 NIV) In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.
7 NIV) For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you,
8 NIV) nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.
9 NIV) We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow.
10 NIV) For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."
11 NIV) We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies.
12 NIV) Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.
13 NIV) And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.
14 NIV) If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed.
15 NIV) Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
16 NIV) Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
Follow the example of disciplined people. Don't be a "busy-body" appearing busy but not really achieving anything.
11 NIV) No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
12 NIV) Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.
No discipline pleasant, but it yields a more satisfying life. Make your life count!
a. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
24 NIV) Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
25 NIV) Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
26 NIV) Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.
27 NIV) No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
b. 2 Timothy 2:4-6
4 NIV) No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs--he wants to please his commanding officer.
5 NIV) Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules.
6 NIV) The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.
c. Hebrews 5:14
But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
- Make a timetable of how you use your time. Get some suggestions.
- Set some goals.
- Spend time with a disciplined person and learn from him or her.
- If you are not a punctual person, make an effort to be early.
- Suggested: The Disciplined Life by Richard Taylor and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.