For the past three weeks, Pastor Bart has been leading us through the sermon series “My Three” which has been a very quick look at Colossians. Living a Christian life, we are called to use our heads, hearts, and hands. To have a full and abundant life in Christ, God has provided us with many disciplines, commonly called the spiritual disciplines, our pastors called them life disciplines. The sermon series presented 15 disciplines, five for each of the “My Three.”
The five disciplines for the head are: guidance, meditation, study, reflection and solitude. God doesn’t ask us to switch off our minds. Rather, He desires that we engage our minds that we come to know him better. Guidance helps us from straying from God’s truth. It is the act of finding someone who can be a guide, or as Flatland has called them, Life Coach. No matter where we are in our Christian walk, another can help us. Mediation… well, I don’t think I should just repeat everything our pastors said, you will have to listen to the three sermons. Go to http://www.flatlandchurch.com/ and follow the links to the sermons.
But, let me mention the other 10 disciplines real quick. The five for our hearts are: confession, rest, worship, fasting, prayer. The five for our hands are: surrender, sacrifice, lifestyle (how do people see you?), tithing, and attendance. By practicing the 5 disciplines for our hearts, we will be changed emotionally and spiritually. By practicing the 5 disciplines ofr our hands, we will be changed as we go and live our lives as Christians before others. Pastor Bart said something that was rather profound, if we fail to use our hands to the glory of God, we have lived a failed life.
Col 3:17 was used in the sermon to emphasize the aspect of using our hands for the Lord but I saw it more as a summary of the entire series. I like the way the New Living Translation reads, “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” When we remember we are representatives of the Lord, we will work hard at all the disciplines, to prepare our minds, to prepare our hearts that our hands may do that which the Lord would call us to do. And it ends with what I think of as one more spiritual discipline, thanksgiving. When we thank God for all He has done as well as what He will do, we engage our minds, our hearts, as a response to the great things God has done through our hands.
And so our call is to get active in the spiritual disciplines. A couple books that may be handy for you to check out to help on this journey of discipline are Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster
and Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney. One other book by Richard J. Foster, Life with God: Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation looks rather interesting and I plan on picking up. I haven’t read the book by Whitney but it does come highly recommended. The book by Foster was required reading in seminary and is an excellent book (well, maybe not “required” but in the late 70’s through mid 80’s it was “the book” to read on spiritual disciplines). I plan on reading it again, as soon as I can find it (or buy the audio version of it from Amazon).
More importantly, it is time to get active and practice these disciplines. Will you join me?
- Year in Review