In this mornings thought we will cover what is meant by a self- disciplined life. Christian living, calls for a self-disciplined life.
What is self-discipline? Self-discipline is that of training and control of oneself and one’s conduct, usually for personal improvement.
The discipline of a Disciple of Christ does not come from another person. It calls for self-discipline under Christ.
In other words, disciplining yourself under Christ.
Paul said to Timothy, “Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness”
(1 Tim. 4:7-8). Here Paul was encouraging Timothy not only to spiritual discipline but to self-discipline.
Again in (Acts 24:16) Paul committed his discipleship to the Way of Jesus, “I discipline myself to always maintain a blameless conscience before both God and men”.
In ancient times, the walls of a city was its main defense; without them the city was easy prey to its enemies. So is a man without self-discipline an easy victim when attacked by his desires and impulses.
- David says in Proverbs 25:28 (NLT) A person without self-control (self-discipline is like a city with broken-down walls.
We all desire to have a strong testimony, to live a victorious Christian life. We would like to spend time each day in the Word of God and prayer. We would like to be involved in the fundamental disciplines of the Christian life, but we don’t feel like doing the work at the moment, so we put it off, and all too many days, it doesn’t get done.
Without self-discipline we as believers will not have effective results in our lives.
- Proverbs 13:4 (NLT) “Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.”
This scripture can relate to anything in life. But in regards to Bible reading and Prayer, many Christians would say, “I just don’t have the time to read my Bible and pray as I would like to.”
But the truth is, we all have time. If we have time to do other things like; read the newspaper, magazines, internet or watch television, we have time.
Society today is into relaxation and recreation. What we lack is self-discipline.
Most people don’t know how to control themselves. They do whatever they feel like without the concern for consequences.
Now, for the believer, we can define self-discipline as the ability to regulate your conduct by the principles of the Word of God.
It means bringing my desires and emotions under the control of the Spirit of God so that I can live a life of obedience to the principles of God’s Word. Our character from within will show outward conduct.
God’s Word speaks of 3 important points to be considered on this topic of self-discipline:
1. Self-examination. “Examine yourselves to test that you are in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5). In other words… are you obediently following Godly ways… His Word.
2. Self-applying. “Give diligence to present yourself approved before God”
(2 Tim.2:15) Work hard reading/studying the Bible and steadfast in His Word.
3. Self-accountability – (Romans 14:7) – “So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God” .
Personal relationship, daily fellowship with the Lord is the key. Every Christian should practice self-discipline in this way. If they would, there would be no need for any other form of discipline.
Notice what Jesus says “it is enough” “to become as his teacher” (Matthew 10:24-25). Christ wants his disciples to be as he is, and to follow his discipline. Since “it is enough for a disciple to be as his teacher”, it is enough to conform to Christ’s rules. Avoid subjecting yourself to man- made rules. (Matt.11:29) Take no other yoke or burden than Jesus has laid upon you.
Don’t get me wrong, it is a very good thing to follow the fine example of other Christians and let their example encourage you. For Paul said to the Philippians, “join in following my example” (Phil 3:16-17, 4:9).
However, this was only because he himself was imitating the example of Christ. “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ” (1 Cor.4:15-16, 11:1).
As always, love in Christ Jesus,