Biblical Disciplines

Time for some blog catch-up!

__________

On December 3, our meeting topic was on developing biblical disciplines in our lives.

IMG_0391

How do we get to know the Lord?  How do we grow in our relationship with Him and learn to walk closely with Him?  How do we seek after the treasure of God and His Word?  If we desire to seek a close relationship with the Lord, it is essential to spend time with Him!  Practicing spiritual disciplines is a practical way to spend meaningful time with Him.  Jesus Christ is the Word (John 1:14).  Reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on Scripture helps keep our eyes on our Savior and deepen our relationship with Him.

When we talk about spiritual disciplines, we are not talking about punishments.  They are habits or routines that we maintain. Disciplines are not things that others force on us, but things that we insist on doing ourselves.
It is important to develop patterns of biblical disciplines in our lives now, while we are young.

IMG_0394
Object lesson about priorities

If we want to grow spiritually, we need to be feeding ourselves.  While we are still young, we should develop patterns of biblical disciplines in our lives.  It’s not so much about the disciplines themselves as it is about seeking the Lord.  Spending time with Him means that we develop a deeper relationship with Him.  Ask the Lord to give you a desire to cultivate a deeper relationship with Him and a hunger for His Word.  With His help, establish a pattern of quiet time with Him each day.

Consistency is important. Start small (maybe just reading 5 minutes a day).  It’s not so important the amount of time we spend reading the Bible, praying, memorizing, etc—its more important that we do it every day.  Consistency is difficult, even for adults.  There are times we will be busy or we might just nor feel like it.  The key is that it must be a priority—this means doing it first.  If you fail, don’t be discouraged or give up.  Just keep working at it!  As it becomes a pattern in your life, it will be easier to maintain and continue to strengthen your disciplines.

“It is a common temptation of Satan to make us give up the reading of the Word and prayer when our enjoyment is gone; as if it were of no use to read the Scriptures when we do not enjoy them, and as if it were no use to pray when we have no spirit of prayer. The truth is that in order to enjoy the Word, we ought to continue to read it, and the way to obtain the spirit of prayer is to continue praying. The less we read the Word of God, the less we desire to read it, and the less we pray, the less we desire to pray.”

—George Muller

Nothing in life is more important than our relationship with the Lord.  He is the one thing that is really worth seeking after.  We may have to give up some of the less important, earthly things, but nothing is more worth our time and investment!  Spending time with the Lord—our most important meeting of the day—takes time.  You always have time for what you do first!  Don’t try to fit God’s Word into your day. Rather, build your life around God’s Word! Is there anything more important?

Practical Assignment: Accountability partners–check up on each other until our next BL meeting regarding daily Bible reading.  Consider picking a Scripture to memorize together.

Four our activity, we have Biblical discipline stations where an older girl would give tips and ideas for certain disciplines.  We had one on Scripture memory, on on Bible study, one on prayer, and one on waking up and staying alert! :)  The girls got 5 minutes at each station before rotating to the next one.

IMG_0402IMG_0404_1IMG_0408IMG_0406_1

Summer Pursuit 2012

Loving the Lord Ministries (Amy Vest) is hosting a challenge called “Summer Pursuit”. They are challenging young ladies to pursue the Lord this summer through consistent daily devotions. I would like to encourage each of you to consider taking the challenge.

Summer Pursuit, starting June 1st and ending August 31st, involves spending at least 15 minutes a day in devotions and memorizing 1 verse a week. The challenge involves choosing an accountability partner whom you will contact every 2 weeks. Loving the Lord Ministries is offering a special prize package to each young lady who completes the challenge, but the greatest reward, of course, is growing closer to Jesus.

To watch a video about the challenge, visit www.lovingthelord.org. For more details and to print out a chart for the challenge, visit www.lovingthelordministries.org (go to “LTLM Events” tab and find “Summer Pursuit 2012”).

Developing a Disciplined Walk With God

This past Bright Lights meeting (March 1) was on developing a disciplined walk with God. As usual, we started out our meeting with singing. Although there were only 13 girls at this meeting, the singing was loud and joyful.

There was once an eleven year old boy who was vacationing with his family in Florida. One day while he and his brother were swimming, they found an oyster bed and began collecting beautiful oyster shells… ones which still had both halves of the shell still attached. Later that morning, the boy dug up an oyster shell that was in perfect condition, except for one problem. There was a small object that rattled inside, taking away from the quality of his otherwise perfect shell. Since the shell was only opened about an eighth of an inch, the boy struggled for about five minutes before he opened it enough to remove the offending object. Taking the large, round, and smooth object, he flung it towards the end of the pier. As he watched sail toward the water, he suddenly realized what it was… a pearl! Marking the spot where it splashed, he searched for the lost treasure but to no avail. Just as this boy lost what was truly valuable in his pursuit of a worthless shell, we must not pursue the worthless things of this world and neglect the priceless treasure of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. (Matthew 6:19-21)

The Lord desires to have a close, intimate relationship with each of His children. He loves each of us so very much and wants to be our very best Friend! We were designed to have fellowship with our Creator. Our greatest fulfillment and joy in life will come by fulfilling this purpose. What a privilege to be in relationship with the Creator of the universe… the King of kings!

If we desire to seek a relationship with the Lord and be strong for Him in our youth, it is essential that we begin to develop personal, biblical disciplines in our lives. These disciplines are not punishments; they are healthy habits which we maintain… things that we insist up doing ourselves. It is important to develop patterns of biblical disciplines in our lives now, while we are young. Perhaps the most important biblical discipline is that of spending time with Him each day. In order to grow in the Lord and be strong for Him, we need to feed ourselves with the Word of God—how can be strong if we don’t have our food? (I Peter 2:2)

There are many examples throughout Scripture of people who regularly spent time with the Lord and practiced biblical disciplines. Together, we listed some examples of people in the Bible who were committed to biblical disciplines. Some of these were Daniel—prayed three times a day (Daniel 6:10); Anna—fasted and prayed night and day (Luke 2:36-37); and the Apostles—given to prayer and the ministry of the Word ((Acts 6:4).

We also looked at the example of George Muller (1805-1898), who started orphanages for England’s poor children, serving over 10,000 children in his lifetime. He was a spiritual giant and was more than likely because he was faithful each day in the biblical disciplines of reading God’s Word and meditating on it.

“Now I saw, that the most important thing I had to do [after having dressed in the morning] was to give myself to the reading of the Word of God and to meditate on it, that… my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that… [while] meditating, my heart might be brought into.. communion with the Lord.” —George Muller

We also discussed the importance of consistency. Just like any physical exercise, consistency in biblical disciplines helps you to grow and be strong in the Lord. As spending time with the Lord each day becomes a pattern in our lives, it will be easier to maintain and continue to strengthen.

Time with the Lord needs to be a priority in our lives—this means doing it first! It’s not so important the amount of time we spend reading the Bible, praying, memorizing, etc—its more important that we do it every day. Ask the Lord to give you a desire to cultivate a deeper relationship with Him. With His help establish a pattern of quiet time with Him each day. It’s very important to make a commitment to read God’s Word on your own every day.

Following our lesson, we divided up into partners to hold each other accountable in spending time with the Lord each day until our next meeting. I also suggested that the girls choose a verse or passage of Scripture to memorize together. It was special to see the girls getting to know each other better and choosing a passage to memorize together.

For our activity time, we had a treasure hunt. The girls divided into 4 teams and upon being given their first clue, began their race around the church to see who could find the treasure first. The team of Deborah, Alyssa, Maria, and Emma found the treasure… raspberry filled chocolate and a Bible with a Scripture verse to look up. Congratulations, girls!

The clue in the kitchen freezer

After they found the treasure, we again talked about the very best thing that we can search after—the most valuable thing—is a close relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one thing that is really worth seeking after. The Lord is asking us to spend time with Him each day. He desires to have a close relationship with us and and has many things to teach us. We might have to give up some of the less-important, earthly things, but remember that we are seeking after the true treasure.  We closed the lesson by reading the story, A Meeting with the King.

“I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure.” (Psalm 119:162)

Where is that elusive next clue?

We closed our time together with tea and snacks—chocolate chip cookies and scones with mock Devonshire cream, provided by Hannah and my mom.

Enjoying snacks and fellowship