8/11/19 Titus 2:11-13
In the sermon on the mount in (Matthew 5-7) we see Jesus address certain topics which had some misconceptions attached to them. The misconceptions had developed over time and were forcing the spirit of the Law to the back seat to the letter of the Law – exactly where it does not belong.
In the driver’s seat should be the most Spirit led meaning of precepts and principles. The letter of the law often calls for a strict interpretation and adherence, creating a rigid legalistic people, proud of their performance. Jesus tried to bring His listeners up to speed by saying, “You’ve heard it’s being said… but I tell you…”
So I bring you this list of fairly accepted “disciplines”, which over time may have taken on some legalistic overtones. If they have, reminiscent of Jesus’ words, I give you what may be closer to Jesus’ intent for us regarding some of these practices.
We will call what Jesus would have us do, training habits to develop (in all caps to the right of the “discipline”) for us TO BE, not to do. As we cultivate these habits we as people will be transformed in our inner beings, changed from the inside out, our minds and spirits renewed, not merely performing activities to be checked off an external checklist.
We don’t really need to try harder, we simply need to train smarter.
Pray Regularly – ABIDE / a way of life, natural, breathe prayers regularly Read & Memorize – REFLECT REMIND / study not to know, but to understand, 1 verse/day Judge – SPIRIT LED / see what God is doing, and join, wisdom from above Tithe, Give Alms – GENEROUS / enjoy giving, bless others joyfully Fast – DIE 2 SELF / don’t think less of yourself, think of yourself less often Give Thanks – BE GRATEFUL / an attitude, a mindset, a posture of grace, who we are Serve – LOVE / endless possibilities other than just serving Make Converts - / MAKE DISCIPLES / disciples are learners who continue to learn Sacrifice - OBEY / just do what’s right, don’t overthink Worship - PRAISE / encourage God and then encourage others Volunteer – EXERCISE GIFTS / steward what’s been given us by God, not our own doing Fight for Right & Against Wrong – SPIRITUAL WARFARE / reliance on God first Enforce the Law – YIELD TO CONSCIENCE / yield to a renewed mind
And by training these habits we may well cultivate a culture of discipleship in our church. I would love to see a culture of discipleship in the church trained by the grace of God. Jesus said, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me— watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28-30 from The Message Bible