2000-07-05 - Spiritual
The Spiritual Disciples Series - Introduction
Originally Published 1997-01-15
I once took my 4-year old son Bobby to a Duke Basketball game. We arrived
30 minutes early so he could see the players practicing and warming up. The
players start out basically just dribbling the ball and taking some easy
lay-up shots. Over the 30-minute period, they progress to more difficult
but fundamental skills. Bobby was very excited and enjoyed watching the practice,
but at one point he looked up and said "Dad, where is the other team?" I
told him they would be out in a few minutes and then the game would begin,
that right now the players were preparing for the battle. After the game
started, Bobby said "Dad, they sure are playing better now!"
Isn't that what we need to be doing? We need to be practicing our fundamentals,
preparing for battle, getting the basics right, and growing in our faith.
We will never get better, stronger and closer to God without the fundamentals.
So in this series, I am going to take a practical look at Spiritual Disciplines,
our workouts toward becoming more Christlike.
What are the Spiritual Disciplines? To me they are the following: Bible reading,
prayer, fasting, worship, stewardship, serving, silence, writing a journal,
and growing in knowledge. You may have others.
You might be thinking, "Gee David, this sounds great, but why bother?" Walk
with me back in time. Lets take a quick journey back to a trial that occurred
nearly 2000 years ago.
Matthew 27:16-22 At that time they had a notorious prisoner,
called Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate
asked them, "Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus
who is called Christ?" 18 For he knew it was out of envy
that they had handed Jesus over to him. 19 While Pilate was
sitting on the judge's seat, his wife sent him this message: "Don't have
anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today
in a dream because of him." 20 But the chief priests and
the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
21 "Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" asked
the governor. "Barabbas," they answered. 22 "What shall I
do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?" Pilate asked. They all answered,
Do you realize who Barabbas is? He is you and I. We belonged on that cross.
We deserved to die that horrible death. We should have been there. So it
should be out of our gratitude to Christ for dying in our place, that we
work toward being more like Him.
Ephesians 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved,
through faith,and this not from yourselves, 9 it is the gift of God, not
by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God's
workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared
in advance for us to do.
Dear Father, prepare our hearts as we walk through the
process of being more Christlike. Lord, I ask You to guide us and help us
understand where You want each of us to be in this world. Father, we thank
You and praise You for Your Son Jesus, Who died in our place, for our iniquities,
for our sins and transgressions. In HIS precious name we pray, Amen.