Friday, November 30, 2012

November 30, 2012 … The “Just Do it” Discipline for Christ

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 335

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st Corinthians, Chapters 9-11 To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passages: 1st Corinthians, Chapters 9 -11 … Please take the time to use the link above and read this letter to a church who needed some direction. : [NLT] … {If you take the time to read through these chapters, as I hope you do, you’ll find that Paul is exhorting the Corinthians – and us by extension – to get with God’s way and live in discipline according to God’s will, as Jesus had admonished all His disciples in Luke 9: 23 [and I hope we have that one memorized by now as often as I’ve used it during this chronological read through the Bible]. }

Highlight Passages: 1st Corinthians 9: 24-27 : [NLT] … {Ugh! Discipline!! Somehow all Christians know it’s a good thing; but few seem to be able to put it into daily practice, as Jesus commanded in Luke 9: 23 … to … deny ourselves, take up our crosses daily, and follow [Christ].” And it’s all really a matter of faith, isn’t it. If we really believed Jesus’ command and Paul’s exhortation in this passage and the one below in Phil. 3: 12-14, we’d discipline our selves in/for Christ, wouldn’t we? So, what’s the hang up? It’s our sinful-selfish sin nature, isn’t it?}  
24 Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. 25 All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who misses his punches. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
Highlight Passages: 1st Corinthians 10: 12-13 : [NLT] … {God is faithful! The question is do we really believe Paul’s exhortation of truth in this passage?!! Because if we did, we’d KEEP ON, KEEPING ON, IN CHRST, wouldn’t we? }  
12 If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you, too, may fall into the same sin. 13 But remember that the temptations [or tests or trials, or tribulations] that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it. 
Highlight Passages: 1st Corinthians 11: 1 : [NLT] … {And this is Paul, standing the test of accountability and vulnerability, saying that those to whom he’s writing or teaching can follow his lead because Paul knows that he’s following Christ’s lead. And that to me is the essence of whether we’re able to live in obedience to God’s word and follow His will. It’s because we know that we know that we know that we’re doing what Christ said in Luke 9: 23 … to deny self and follow Jesus. Because if we were doing that faithfully, without falter, we’d know that anyone could follow us. That question is … ARE WE? }  
1 And you should follow my example, just as I follow Christ’s.

Reference Passage: Philippians 3: 12-14 : [NLT] … {Paul again in this passage, as well as in other passages, like Gal. 6: 7-10 and Eph. 6: 10-20 and 2nd Tim. 2: 1-13, exhorts us (Christians) to “fight the good fight,” wearing God’s full armor, and discipline our bodies, minds, and spirits to become more like Christ. The question is … like the Nike commercial use to charge … “Just do it!”?} … 12  I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. 13  No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.

My Journal for Today: I’ll not write much today. My commentary is mostly summarized in my entries above in bold relief. These chapters were Paul being tough and very straight with the Corinthian Christians about what it would take for them to live as they should – IN CHRIST; and he even boldly states, with confidence in his own faith and Christian discipline (in 1st Cor. 11: 1). that the Corinthians could follow him (Paul) because he knew that he was following Christ.

And for the “nth” time today, I made reference to Luke 9: 23, which is Jesus commanding His disciples to do exactly what Paul knew he was doing … and that’s to deny himself and take on the daily trek in Christ by following the Lord obediently and with DISCIPLINE.

Ugh! That word “discipline,” from the same root we get “disciple,” is such a convicting concept for us, isn’t it? … Why? … And I know you can answer that one just as easily as I can. It’s because of our selfish, sin-nature, isn’t it? We NATURALLY desire to default to self rather than The Savior. And when we do – as Christians – it’s really because we just don’t have enough faith to do what Paul was exhorting the Corinthians to do … to discipline themselves, in faith, and as the Nike commercial used to charge … ”Just do it!” The “IT” being following Christ, living as He lived, and doing life as His word spells it out for us.

Let’s face it, … if we really believed in God’s will from His word (in the Greek sense of the term “BELIEVE”), we’d live that way, wouldn’t we? We don’t because we simply don’t believe strongly enough. Paul believed; and that’s why he was able to say to the Corinthians, … ”You can imitate me, because I imitate Christ!”

Okay, let’s take the essence of what Paul was saying to Corinth here and do all we can to “JUST DO IT!”

My Prayer Today: … Lord, I get it. It hurts, but I get it; and now I need Your help to just do it! Amen

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