"11 For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness—in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God]."
In this great country we called the United States, football season has officially begun. NFL players all across the country are ready to take the field and fight for their team in hopes of one day becoming Superbowl champions. But what makes a champion? How are these teams able to compete so ferociously? How is it possible for them to be repeatedly tackled and knocked down and yet still get back up? What is it that makes them want to return to practice even after a long, grueling game which they gave their all and still lost? Well the secret is simple my friends; it's discipline. Discipline is defined as the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior to gain a specific outcome. Athletes train and become disciplined so that they can become champions. But why do we as Christians need discipline? Well perhaps you feel like you always seem to have a hard time keeping the faith through tough times. Or maybe you always wished you could make more time for God but the busyness of your schedule takes over. Or could it possibly be that you have a desire to be a better steward over your finances but when it’s time to give tithes and offering, you somehow always seem to come up short. These are just a few examples of how having discipline could benefit a Christian. As disciples we are followers of our leader who is Jesus Christ. Jesus is like unto the coach and we are His team. And an undisciplined disciple can be a dangerous thing because their lack of discipline (focus and training) can cause damage to themselves and the team. If we want a better prayer life, a stronger relationship with God, better management of our resources or more resilient faith then it is going to take discipline. You cannot proceed to the next level in life if you have not yet mastered the one in which you are currently on. In order for God to trust us with more, we have to show that we are disciplined with what we already have. But the good news is, that discipline always pays off. Once we become disciplined, we can then become champions. Your victory awaits you.
Father, we know that we have not been the most disciplined disciples that we could be. We apologize for our lack of commitment and failure to train daily as we should. And we thank you Lord for your grace that allows us room to improve. Lord, we ask you today to help us become more disciplined. Through your Holy Spirit, God empower us to go the distance in this Christian race and to persistently keep our faith in You. Lord, we know through you all things are possible. So we ask right now that you equip each of us with the necessary tools to become more disciplined individuals, that we may become a more disciplined Body of Christ. We love You and we thank You for the victory in advance.
*As you prepare to pray in your own way and as you go throughout your day, focus on areas where you feel God is calling you to become more disciplined. What are the areas in life that if you gained discipline in would allow you to become the best version of you?*