Part 1 of 12: The Spiritual Disciplines: For the Purpose of Godliness

Posted By Thomas Perez. July 19, 2011 at 6:29pm. Copyright 2011.

Discipline yourselves for the purpose of godliness I Tim 4:7

Ours is a undisciplined 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 illiterate in the Scriptures. We need the rugged strength of Christian character that can come only from discipline. Discipline without direction is drudgery.

Many would incite a proud knowledge of the Scriptures, proclaiming “we have come along way” since the dark ages. Indeed the Reformation of 1517 saw an end to ignorance. Yet some time later came the Enlightenment Era, upon which many began to forsake the Scriptures in favor of humanistic philosophies. Thus an illiterate age of Scriptural ignorance was born. USA Today reported a poll in 1991 that showed only 11 percent of Americans read the Bible every day. More than half read it less than once a month or never at all. (USA Today February 1, 1991).

Such ignorance of the Scriptures are still clearly evidenced today. In the past 31 years or so, I have spoken to many concerning the things of Christ & His Word, and during such conversations, many were ignorant of the Gospels message, the purpose of life, and many other precious truths. Many were not even familiar with John 3:16. One would expect to find such illiteracy outside the Body of Christ, but sadly, this is not always the case. Many who professed a relationship with Jesus Christ – simply did not know or could really care less about learning the Scriptures. Their intake of the Scriptures were pathetic. Yet, there is to be great pity and concern for such individuals, for they all demonstrated a lack of discipline in Scriptural intake.

No spiritual discipline is more important than the intake of God’s Word. Nothing can substitute for it. There simply is no healthy Christian life apart from a diet of milk and meat of Scripture. The reasons for this are obvious. We find in the scripture how to live in a way that is pleasing to God as well as best and fulfilling to ourselves. Therefore if we would know God and be godly, we must know the Word of God – intimately. We should ingest the Scriptures on a daily basis. It should be a daily discipline. It is also interesting to note that the word disciple mean’s not only a follower, but one who disciplines his or her life on a consistent basis. Godly disciplines should be a daily part of our intake.

Here Are Some Principles Regarding Such Disciplines. Other Disciplines Will Be Discussed In Parts 2-12.

Discipline Number1 Bible Intake:

A. Hearing God’s Word produces Faith (Lk 11:28, Rom 10:17, I Thess 2:13)

B. Study God’s Word (Ezra 7:10, Acts 17:11, II Tim 2:15)

C. God’s Word is Truth (Jn 17:17, 14:6)

D. God’s Word – the Word of His mouth cleanses us (Psa 119:11)

E. God’s Word is practical for daily living (Josh 1:8, Psa 119:105)

Memorization supplies spiritual power

F. Memorize the Word (Psa 119:11, Matt 4:1-11, Jn 14:26, 16:13, Eph 6:10-17, Heb 4:12)

Memorization strengthens your faith

G. The Word is a faith builder (Pro 22;17)

Memorization, witnessing, and counseling: Scripture memory can prepare us for unexpected witnessing or counseling opportunities that come our way.

H. The Word was mastered in Peter and Stephen (Acts 2:14-40, 6:8-7:1-60)

The Word is a means of God’s guidance

I. His Word is our Counsel (Psa 119:24, Eph 4:29)

Memorization Stimulates Meditation

J. Meditate on the Word (Psa 119:97)

Word of Encouragement:

The Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit, but the Holy Spirit cannot give you a weapon you have not stored in the armory of your mind. Imagine yourself in the midst of a debate, or a decision, and needing help or victory. The Holy Spirit rushes to your mental arsenal, flings open the door, but all He finds is John 3:16, a Genesis 1:1, and a Great Commission. Those are great swords, but they are not made for every battle. How do we go about filling our personal spiritual arsenal with a supply of swords for the Holy Spirit to use?

You can memorize Scripture. For such examples of memorization please see my study note ‘How to Memorize the Scriptures’ Parts 1 & 2.

Have a plan

Write out the verse’s

Draw picture reminders

Memorize the verse’s, Word Perfectly

Find a method of accountability

Review and meditate everyday

Suggestion: Note; use a KJV Bible to memorize. I say this because of its poetic rendering of the old English – it makes it easier to memorize. But if you have difficulty in pronouncing such old English phases; no harm done, use a another version – something you are comfortable with. However, I would advise that you stay away from paraphrase Bible’s – you tend to lose the original meaning.

Final Thought to Consider:

If your growth in godliness were measured by the quality of your Bible intake, what would be the result?

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