DISCIPLINE AND DEDICATION
But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, 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.
1 Timothy 4:7-8
I am so impressed with my wife, Debbie. She has in excess what I struggle to obtain in inches—discipline. She is disciplined in her quiet time, her exercise program, her diet, and her “to do lists.” She always works first so she can play later. She gets more done by 10:00 a.m. than most people accomplish in a day. Discipline and dedication to the task at hand is her key to success.
Maybe you are like Debbie regarding discipline. Maybe being disciplined comes easy to you. What a special gift from God! For the rest of us, discipline is hard work. But it is extremely necessary. God blesses a disciplined life. Disciplined people get things done and see God work in their lives. Undisciplined people live with the haunting words, if only.
John Williams was a power forward in the NBA in the middle 80s and early 90s. He was a first round draft pick (12th pick) by the Washington Bullets in 1986. Many basketball pundits thought he would be a star in the league. But John Williams had a discipline problem, and he could not control his weight. He was 6’ 8” and hovered around 300 pounds. His penchant for food earned him a few unflattering nicknames: John “Meals on Wheels” Williams, John “I’ll Take Seconds” Williams, and John “Hot Plate” Williams. Charles Barkley once told him, “John, you could have been a great player if you had learned two words, ‘I’m full.’” Sadly, his NBA career was far less than it could have been due to his lack of discipline.
I think the same can be said of many Christians. Our lack of spiritual discipline—in prayer, Bible Study, Scripture memorization, witnessing, and serving others—often leaves us missing out on all that Jesus has for us. If we do not “discipline yourself [ourselves] for the purpose of godliness,” we will never make the impact we could have made at home, at work, at church, and in the community.
Let me encourage you to carve out time each day to spend with the Lord. Whether it is ten minutes or two hours, be faithful to read the Word and pray. Read for depth of understanding and not just to check the “reading plan” box. (It is better to read one verse that truly impacts your life than it is to read ten chapters and remember little to nothing of what you read.) Ask God to help you grow and become the person He wants you to be. Pray to Him in all honesty and sincerity. Don’t tell Him what you think He wants to hear; tell Him what is really going on inside of you. Share the real you with Him.
Discipline and dedication make all the difference in our relationship with the Lord—along with heart! Jeremiah 29:13 tells us, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” May we do just that, and do it consistently!
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
"Vanity of vanities ... all is vanity," says Solomon, the writer of Ecclesiastes. How strange for a book of the Bible to say this. Is life really empty and meaningless? It is "under the sun." When you leave God out and heaven out, you can never find satisfaction. But when you seek the Lord beyond the sun, you find fulfillment in full. Join Pastor Jeff Schreve as he journeys through the often misunderstood and puzzling book of Ecclesiastes.