Introduction to Spiritual Disciplines

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We’re launching into our new series on Uplink Online. I want to really talk to you about Spiritual disciplines and the importance of them and how they can apply to our lives.

If you look at the English words gymnasium and gymnastics, the Greek word for that is ‘gimnasia’. It means to exercise or to discipline.

So I want us to look at today 1st Timothy 4:7. “Have nothing to do with irreverent silly myths rather train yourself for godliness.”

So when we think about training ourselves, we have to make sure we are training ourselves as well as pouring ourselves out into our teenagers or into our staffs. It is important and vital in our own lives that we are training ourselves for godliness.

If you look at discipline, sometimes it can be a negative or it can be a checklist. I truly believe that discipline without direction is drudgery. If we look at discipline and we look at it as drudgery, then normally we don’t have the direction.

I want to give us direction today. I want us to think about Christ likeness or holiness. So many times it’s easy for us to just think we’re doing good things or we’re in the right places or we’re talking to the right people. We aren’t merely to wait in the right places or the right time for holiness. We are to pursue it.

Godliness, being the goal of disciplines, if we look at that we will pursue holiness not with drudgery but with the light. When you look at pursuing holiness you can go back again to the scripture 1st Timothy 4:7, ‘Have nothing to do with irreverent silly myths rather train yourself for godliness.’ In order to pursue holiness, we are to not focus on training yourself as much as having nothing to do with ‘irreverent silly myths.’

Godly people are disciplined people and I believe that we have missed it somehow in our churches or in our ministries because teenagers can wear us out. But the truth is when we are disciplined people, we are godly people. I believe we are delightful people because I believe the joy of Christ is within us.

So I want to look at, real briefly, youth ministers across the state and three catalysts to changing us to be like Christ.

1. People. People are a great asset to us in ministry, but also we can’t just look for leaders for our teenagers, we have to look for people in our lives.

Iron sharpens iron. There’s one man that sharpeners another in Proverbs 27:17.

We need to find people who are going to speak truth into our lives as ministers of the gospel and I think that is very important in our ministry because if we are not being challenged, if no one is asking us ‘hey how are you doing in your spiritual walk’ when we’re doing nothing but pouring out, it’s hard for us to get filled.

2. Circumstances. Romans 8:28 says, ‘and we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good. For those who are called according to His purpose.’

That is not an always easy scripture to live by because sometimes they just get so tough that we have a tough time with that. When we love God we have to trust in Him, not that it’s always easy, but that he’s got us in his hands.

3. Spiritual Disciplines. I want us at the first of every month to unpack twelve spiritual disciplines. There are some inward disciplines, internal, personal controlled things that we can do, meditation, prayer, fasting and study. And then there’s some outward disciplines still personal, but outward disciplines: simplicity, solitude, submission and service. Then there are cooperate disciplines, external group controls such as confession, worship, guidance and the much needed celebration.

I hope that you will join us throughout this journey for the next year in really diving into the spiritual disciplines and hopefully we can enrich your lives as we pour into you here at YM Link. Thank you so much for what you do and for being obedient to God’s calling in preaching and ministering for the gospel. Thanks.

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