Pastor Steve Williams : Discipline and Growing in Godliness

Getting Out of Your Own Way · 40:19 · Recorded February 17, 2019

Discipline & Growing In Godliness

1 Timothy 4:7-9 (NAS) Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance.

1. We’re a product of yesterday’s habits.

Proverbs 5:22-23 (ESV) The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.

Bad news: We’re creatures of habit.

Good news: We’re creatures of habit!

Ephesians 4:22-24 (CEV) You must give up your old way of life with all its bad habits. Let the Spirit change your way of thinking and make you into a new person. You were created to be like God, and so you must please him and be truly holy.

Matthew 16:24 (MSG) Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Any-one who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how.”

2. We can give up or start up habits at any time.

Titus 2:11-12 (NAS) For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.

Proverbs 12:24 (CSB) The diligent hand will rule, but laziness will lead to forced labor.

2 Chronicles 12:14 (NIV) He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the LORD.

We must do something different to gain something different.

Romans 6:17-19 (TLB) Though you once chose to be slaves of sin, now you have obeyed with all your heart the teaching to which God has committed you…and you have become slaves to your new master, righteousness… Just as you used to be slaves to all kinds of sin, so now you must let yourselves be slaves to all that is right and holy.

Choose new & better ways to replace old, unwanted ones.

Matthew 6:24 (NLT) “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

1 Thessalonians 1:9 (MSG) You deserted the dead idols of your old life so you could embrace and serve God, the true God.

2 Timothy 2:22 (CSB) Flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

3. Habits become disciplines best through gradual “shaping.”

Zechariah 4:10 (NCV) “The people should not think that small beginnings are unimportant.”

Exodus 23:29-30 (CEV) “But I won’t do all this in the first year… Instead, I will force out your enemies little by little and give your nation time to grow strong enough to take over the land.”

Proverbs 13:11 (NIV) He who gathers money little by little makes it grow.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (CEB) We are being transformed into that same image from one degree of glory to the next degree of glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

4. Habits strengthen into disciplines with repetition over time.

James 1:21-25 (Phi) …Humbly accept the message that God has sown in your hearts, and which can save your souls. Don’t I beg you, only hear the message, but put it into practice…The man who looks into the perfect mirror of God’s law…and makes a habit of so doing…He puts that law into practice and he wins true happiness.

2 Thessalonians 3:13 (NIV) Never tire of doing what is right.

5. Any habit’s power is in the starting.

John 13:17 (TLB) “You know these things—now do them! That is the path of blessing.”

  • What’s a bad habit that got you in trouble as a child? How did you finally get “cured” of it?

  • What feelings or words come to mind when you hear the words “discipline,” or “Discipleship?” Why do you think you make those associations with those words?

  • What spiritual habit has turned into a really valuable discipline for you? What were some key “set points” for you in its development? What habits or disciplines as a disciple of Jesus would you like to see develop?

  • When thinking about breaking/starting habits with “shaping” (incremental changes in the right direction) – what if someone told you they were going to start stealing less and less from their workplace each week, or begin cutting back slowly on their drinking problem – what would your response be? What’s the difference in this from what Pastor Steve was teaching? What’s the principle that makes it different?

  • Read 2 Peter 1:5-10 and Romans 6:19-22. Considering the ideas in these two passages, how do we “add” virtues and qualities into our lives? What are the benefits promised when we’re diligent to do this?

  • What do you think you need to differently in your life to get a new outcome in your life? How can you use prayer from others to support you in this?

  • Elementary Parents, your children continued to learn about prayer today by looking at the example given by Jesus to his disciples. Ask your kids, “What are the four ways to pray that you talked about from the Lord’s Prayer?” Ask to see their prayer cubes for the answers! (Tell God He’s great, Say Thank You, Ask God, and Say You’re Sorry!) Our bottom line is: Pray every day!

  • Found In You

  • In The River

  • God of The Promise

  • Tremble

  • Ever Be

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