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Seven Disciplines of Jesus
Posted on Mar. 13, 2011 2 Comments
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 Disciplines. It 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.