Seven Disciplines of Jesus

You realize that every sermon I preach to the Clear Lake Church I must first preach to myself.  Often while I’m standing up front preaching I’m still preaching to myself.  How can I teach anyone anything unless I myself am a student.  When it comes to examining the seven disciplines of Jesus we talked about this morning, I find myself in the disciple who said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” 
The most profound statement I made to myself in this week’s sermon was an insight I think I got from Dallas Willard’s book, The Spirit of the DisciplinesIt was the idea that we often try to obey Jesus’ teachings while living like the rest of the world, instead of following the disciplines of Jesus’ life.  I read that statement and thought to myself, “Of course!”  How can anyone possibly obey Jesus unless they live like Jesus?  It was then that I knew I needed to preach on the disciplines of Jesus’ life.  The discipline comes first, obedience follows.  
Spiritual training in God’s gym follows this order: Exercises, Discipline, Habit, Lifestyle. How often we want to follow the lifestyle of Jesus without learning the disciplines of his life.   This morning in class we learned one small exercise to develop the discipline of prayer in our lives.  What would happen in your attitudes this week if you simply said the “Jesus prayer” as you drove to work each morning?”  What would happen if you said the prayer as you fell asleep each night this week? 
We will be learning several such exercises to help us focus on the Lord and grow in our obedience to all of his commands.  And as John reminds us, “his commands are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).  Jesus’ commands are designed to set us free, to allow us to really live!  But first, we’ve got to get our mind’s right.  We’ve got to allow the Master to train us in God’s gym.
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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.


2 Responses to “Seven Disciplines of Jesus”

  1. avatar Claudia says:

    I recently told my son to remember that following Jesus always begins with prayer. Because if we forget to pray first, we end up running ahead of Jesus, and just expecting Him to come along for the ride. I believe that Jesus stays with us, but we aren't allowing ourselves to understand the fullness of what could be our spiritual life

  2. avatar tommytwotoez says:

    I thought your sermon was great Byron! The disciplines of Jesus seem like such an obvious place to learn how we should begin to practice spiritual disciplines, but it’s a clue that we sometimes always overlook. I thought your sermon was a real eye opener and healthy reminder of the traditions and aspects of Jesus’ life. Scripture memorization has never been a strong suit of mine but I’m not sure if recalling verse by verse verbatim is as significant as keeping to the spirit of scripture.

    Electronic fasting for our generation would be the most troubling for some, including myself! I think we’re just so plugged in now-a-days that we don’t even realize it until someone points it out. I feel like my heart yearns to leave my cell phone at home, grab my bible and head out into the woods. After living in Houston for a few years now, the number one thing I miss is nature. I miss the natural world, the ability to go walking up into the mountains alone and being with God. With only the noise of my panted breath and the chirping of birds to keep me company. Just solitude and quite.

    Anyways, I’m getting a little of topic! Thanks again for starting up this series. I’m sure it will be enlightening as well as challenging

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