In concluding this series on spiritual disciplines, it is our hope that this study series was helpful in your discussions and that it revealed and renewed your understanding. Hopefully, it helped lead us to a closer walk with Jesus Christ. To us, it has been a bit like exploring the attic of an old house and coming across a huge trunk, loaded with priceless treasures making present life more meaningful. We realize that studying and practicing spiritual discipline is a life-long commitment, and we all need to recommit ourselves to it on a regular basis.
So much can be gained by living a life of discipline. It gives us liberation from fear and self-interest and shows us the way into real joy. Also, it guides the way to mature Christian spirituality, having Jesus as the eternal focus in our lives. We need to realize that we live in grace and by grace, and not by works. God gets all the glory, for he is the one who motivates us to do anything good.
Here is a summary of the disciplines we covered:
- Introduction to Spiritual Disciplines – Behavior that facilitates spiritual growth
- Grace and Discipline – Christians live in grace and by grace, not works
- Prayer – God meets us where we are
- Silence and Solitude – A way to keep us alert to the presence of God
- Study – Engaging ourselves with the written and spoken Word of God
- Fasting – Spiritual intensity and intercession by seeking his will
- Meditation – Listening, sensing and heeding the life and light of Jesus Christ
- Submission – The ultimate act of submission – Jesus’ death on the cross
- Service – The spirit of service reveals, in part, the individual’s heart and life
- Guidance – Hearing God’s voice and obeying him
- Confession – Acknowledging our sins and depending on God for his mercy
- Worship – Our lives as living sacrifices – worship is a life style
- Celebration – Enjoying and celebrating the true joy that comes from God
- Whole Life Stewardship – A life-long process as stewards of his possessions
- Conclusion – Reflection on how spiritual disciplines have, and will, change our lives
In the last few months, how have you been able to incorporate spiritual disciplines in your life in a more intentional way? Have you made any new discoveries about yourself and your relationship with God?
In John 14:15-16, Jesus said that if we love him, we are to obey him. When you read over the list of the above disciplines, please share with the group examples of how Jesus demonstrated them in his life. How can we follow in his footsteps in a continued, conscious way? What have you found to be the biggest challenge with living in greater discipline? Take time to pray for one another in this regard, petitioning God for his help and guidance. Also, spend some time in thanksgiving for his love and guidance for us.
In Galatians 2:20 we read Paul’s words, “I have been crucified with Christ; and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loves me and gave himself for me” (The Living Bible). Please share your thoughts about this passage. How has Jesus living in you changed you? If you like, please share in what areas of your life you pray that Jesus continues to change you. Are there ways the group can help you and encourage you? Take time to pray for one another.
How do you think God expects us to share this spiritually disciplined life with others?
The spiritual disciplines are best exercised and lived out in the midst of our ordinary, busy lives, filled with job, family, relationship and church responsibilities. May the disciplines of the spiritual life move us all further and further away from surface living into the true depths of God’s heart!
God bless you always!
“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).
Author: S. Albrecht