Hi Pete and others,
I’d like people’s ideas on how we can live discipled lives without turning into some sort of group of masochists.
I’m assuming you mean “disciplined” lives?
Do you mean the discipline of not moving from the hope held out in the gospel (Colossians 1:23)?
Just trying to clarify where the question is coming from…
Yes, I did mean to to type “disciplined lives”. So I’m wanting so peoples ideas on how we can be disciplined in reading our Bible, praying, being accountable to other Christians, memorising Scripture etc in a way that doesn’t become legalistic or mean we have to be people who enjoy making our lives painful! I’d also like some thoughts on how to do this in a way that realises that life is often messy and unpredictable, so plans often have to change. I.e. how to have flexible plans without becoming uncommitted. I’d also like some ideas to help do this in a way that can incorporate variety so routines don’t become stale. Thanks!
Great questions – thanks for the clarification!
I think I’ll let others contribute first so that I don’t run over the top of other people’s valuable contributions :).
Wow that’s a book in its self.
The reason why we do any of these things has a big influence on the out come, so this is a good place to start. Why am I reading the bible? Why do I need to pray? Why care for other Christians?
One thing I’ve learnt is that reading the bible in a year won’t happen for me and I am not quite sure if that’s good for anyone. For me working on one book at a time, reading a chapter several times dwelling on the words,listening to what God is saying, looking at my own life through what I have read. Don’t set a time limit on studying Gods word,if you miss the morning make time sometime during the day/night, read with others, share what you learned and what you need to apply to your life.
I have found a method called REAP helpful.
Open your Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to teach, correct, and train you (2 Timothy 3:16). As you’re reading, ask these questions:
What is happening in this passage? What things are emphasized, repeated, related?
What do you see about God? What is God doing in this passage?
What do you see about man?
Spend some time reflecting. Ask yourself these questions, and write down your thoughts:
How do you think the author wants his audience to respond?
What do you learn about God’s character?
What wrong beliefs about God and myself did I have?
After examining the passage, apply the text to your own life. Ask yourself these questions:
How do I need to repent? What truths do I need to believe? What false beliefs must I turn from?
What can I do – empowered by the Holy Spirit – today to apply this passage?
Pray through the passage and your application, asking God to change your heart and to change your life, based on the time you’ve spent in God’s Word.
As for stale I would be looking at the heart, we have become I believe in the church consumers looking for what I can get out of the church, if its not entertaining me it becomes boring. This way of thinking is influenced by the way we live, what the world tells us and our lack of the true understanding of what the gospel is all about.
Not quite sure if all that makes sense, need your help Pete.
Thanks for your detailed response Trev. I was listening to an audio of the Bible on my way to work after reading a (different) chapter of the Bible most mornings, but like you I think concentrating on a chapter, working through a book slowly is more helpful for me. I also think for me not having to read a chapter ea morning is helpful – sometimes I want to look at the Bible study or the upcoming passage. I think I’ll try and listen to the chapter I read in the morning on my phone on my way to work (and maybe include a chapter ea side to try and get the context) to try and get it to sink in a bit more. I’m also thinking of trying to memorise a key verse from my reading to try and get it to sink in a bit more (it’s surprising what you notice when you have to remember it instead of quickly reading or listening to it)
I found your REAP technique interesting. I think if we’re trying to understand the passage better and apply it to our lives (and talk about it with others incl our family) there is much less chance of us feeling “stale” with this stuff.
Thanks again Trev for your contribution.
I reckon Trev’s spot-on in mentioning the importance of our motives. It’s our motives that make all the difference between legalism and godliness.
So my advice would be to make good plans, depend on God to enable you to fulfil them, and pray continually for a heart that wants to do the right things for the right reasons.
The “gospel secret” is that we become what God intends us to be when we focus less on what we are to do for Him and more on what He has done for us
I do apologize at the time of writing I did not say where i got the REAP bible study guide you can find it at http://austinstone.org/resources/bible-reading-plan, this is not the only REAP method out there I have seen about another 5 different ones.
In the ninth comment that i wrote the words were something i had recently read on a book review but I did not remember who but I have since found that out the guys name is J.D Greear he is the Pastor Of Summit Church, Durham, USA his a link to his book called Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart (How to Know You are Saved) http://www.summitrdu.com/about/summit-leadership/pastor-j-d-greear/
Thanks Trev. Your comment about about the Gospel secret fits in well with James’ post above on Jerry Bridges book called ‘Holiness Day by Day’.
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