"Out of heaven he let you hear his voice, that he might discipline you. And on earth he let you see his great fire, and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire." (Deuteronomy 4:36)
What an interesting concept of discipline: Because God revealed himself and his people heard HIS voice, they should be willing to be disciplined. Don’t we usually associate discipline with having done something bad or wrong? In this case it almost implies being willing to be disciplined. Or should we say being willing to be trained in a discipline? In this situation it actually helps us to understand one important concept of discipline. Discipline can be both:
And, while we are at it, be willing to see discipline from God or from a brother as a means to train us in a discipline.
Are you willing to be disciplined?
"How can I bear by myself the weight and burden of you and your strife? Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads." (Dtn 1:12-13)
READ Deuteronomy 1:12-18
Leadership in the church, especially in a larger church, can be challenging. Organizing a large number of people, no doubt about it, is challenging. In times like these, it is good to follow the advice of this trusted, old man Moses knows well. He listens to the advice of Jethro, his father-in-law, and applies it to leading the nation of Israel. Overwhelmed with the amount of work he had, Moses first organizes the nation into a hierarchical structure, and then he charges the leaders with the actual task of leading. How does Moses go about it? And how much of that applies to ministry? I am convinced that any larger ministry or church leader can follow these few principles:
“Assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me....Assuming that you have heard about Jesus and have been taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus.” (Eph 3:2 & 4:21 - ESV)
Can we assume that people have heard about Christ? I guess Paul has people in mind he doesn’t know personally but who are part of the church. I guess that he can write something like this because he is a traveling pastor, not directly in charge of every believer. BUT we may never, ever get to the point of assuming. If we are a constant part of the church (i.e. staff), we may ...
Eli answered: “Go in peace and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to HIM.” …and Hannah went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad. (1 Sam 1:17-18)
As anxious as Hannah was, all she could do was pour out her heart to God. To the bystander, Eli, it looked as if she were drunk. To God, it was an honest cry for mercy. As soon as Eli knew the seriousness of the situation, he didn’t argue but simply spoke a blessing into Hannah’s life. As a pastor and servant of God, we are to speak blessings into people’s lives. We may not know the outcome. We may not know of past pain. But we do know that God’s presence can make all the difference. What is a blessing, then? It is speaking God’s presence into a person’s life situation. Hannah walked away with peace in her heart.
Might this be the cure for an anxious heart? Simply speaking God’s presence into a person's heart? Might this be all it takes to change society’s largest crisis? I resolve to speak more blessings into people's lives. It might just change the world.
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)
Every Pastor and Bible teacher has read this verse. Many Christians know it. What always struck me as odd was the phrase "training in righteousness." Until one day, I made the connection to Matthew 6:33, where it says, "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness." When it comes down to it, every Bible text, every biblical truth is connected to the Kingdom of God.
If I love my wife like Christ loved the church (Eph 5:25), I display the same love that Christ displayed towards the world. Christ the King, willing to die for his people. If I forgive someone who has hurt me (Mat 6:12), I display the grace God has towards me. Grace is a staple of the Kingdom of God. If I live out scripture with this understanding, if I train myself to do so, I ultimately display what God values. This is what I call "being trained in Kingdom Values."
Let us read scripture as a training book, a training book on Kingdom Values.
'Snippets of Wisdom' are a few insights here and there God has revealed as I read HIS Word. It is my hope that you walk away from these 'snippets' encouraged and challenged.
Feel free to comment and share your own 'lesson learned'.