Faithlife
Faithlife

Daily Dozen Duties for 27April 2008

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The need for Daily Disciplines

See Dee Duke, Jefferson Baptist Church.

v     Willow Creek Church (Bill Hybels) conducted a survey on personal Christian growth. They found that initially growth was related to how much you were involved in Church (Sunday School, Life Church etc) but a point came where this seemed to have no effect ……you needed to be a self feeder.

v     If we do exercises every day we will improve. We should not wait until the need arises before we start the exercise routine.

v     Many of us will have watched the London Marathon the other week. Perhaps we thought “I’ll do that next year”…whether you will was probably decided the next day on the time you got up!

v     The Christian Life is a daily journey and there are things that scripture says we should be doing daily. If we are not doing them then our growth will be stunted and the blessings that God wants to give us will not flow to and through us.

o       I clean my teeth everyday because I want them to be healthy and not rot

o       I wash every day because I get dirty every day

o       I eat every day so that I may have energy to do the things that need to be done

o       What do I do everyday to ensure that I grow to be more like Jesus and will hear Him say well done Good and Faithful servant

v     A seed has been sown in our lives and we should ensure that it is cared for.

Some Caveats

v     A husband does not tick a box thinking that doing outward things proves his love for his wife and that his marriage is good.

v     Information does not mean transformation

v     The aim of this is that the Life of Christ in us will grow. If there is no life in us then nothing will be achieved. Jesus said “You must be born again”

1.   Read the Bible

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. (Psa 1:1-3 ESV)

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.  (Act 17:11 ESV)

"And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.(Deu 17:18-20 ESV)

           

If we understood what happens when we use the Word of God, we would use it oftener.—Oswald Chambers*

•     I have found that my spiritual growth is directly proportionate to the amount of time and effort I put into the study of Scripture.—John MacArthur*

a)      Why read the bible

a.       Because God commands us to!

b.      Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psa 119:105 ESV)

                                                              i.      The other week Derek preached on “seek first the Kingdom of God” how will we know if we are doing that unless we have a lamp!

c.       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 competent, equipped for every good work. (2Ti 3:16-17 ESV)

                                                              i.      Scripture tells us that have been created for good works (Eph 2:10), scripture trains us so that we can be equipped for these good works, so that we can fulfil our destiny.

b)     How to read the bible

a.      Read, Listen, Meditate, Speak, Memorise, pray

c)      The need for application and obedience

a.       Reading does not automatically bring relationship.

b.      We don’t read to gain knowledge that puffs up (1 Cor 8:1). So that we can win arguments!

c.       The teaching He gives is for the life he puts in

- Me in the pity party! Phil 4:6

2.   Slaves to Jesus (take up your cross)

We should start the day recognising that God is God and I am his subject. Putting things in their correct place. God: Me: The world

And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luk 9:23 ESV)

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom 12:1-2 ESV)

“Today Lord Jesus I will follow you, today I am your slave, I will obey you I will do what ever you call me to do no matter how hard“

 

“Today Lord I want to present myself as a living sacrifice, I am your slave, Help me to live for you”

Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.

(Rom 6:13-18 ESV)

3.   Confess your sin

Every day we should examine our lives and confess our sins. We should keep short accounts with God.  Just like plaque on teeth builds up and hardens if we don’t brush so sin hardens our hearts.

This is not a time for morbid introspection but of washing, of coming into the light.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (1Jn 1:9 ESV)

and every day you shall offer a bull as a sin offering for atonement. Also you shall purify the altar, when you make atonement for it, and shall anoint it to consecrate it.  (Exo 29:36 ESV)

Sin creeps up on us to harden our hearts and destroy our relationships.

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.  (Heb 3:12-13 ESV)

4.   Protection from Satan

Father protect me from the Devil today, make me aware of his schemes.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. (1Pe 5:8-9 ESV)

But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? (Act 5:3 ESV)

How did it happen that Ananias was filled with Satan?

            Satan said that God had put a hedge around Job to protect him. It reminds us that God is our shield and protector.

5.   Ask for Strength

We need to remind ourselves from where our strength comes and from whom we rely for all that we receive. If we realise this then we will not be anxious but learn to trust.

Give us this day our daily bread, (Mat 6:11 ESV)

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. (Exo 16:4 ESV)

 Give praise to the Lord. Give praise to God our Savior. He carries our heavy loads day after day. Selah  (Psalms 68:19 New International Reader’s Version)

6.   Ask for Wisdom

When we ask for wisdom again we are showing our dependence on God.

Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors. For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD, but he who fails to find me injures himself; all who hate me love death."(Pro 8:33-36 ESV)

We have almost come full circle Solomon asked for Wisdom (1Kings 3), but we only hear that he asked once…and he disobeyed a clear command of scripture.

And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold. (Deu 17:17 ESV)

The aim is that we would abide in Christ that His life would flow through us.

Summary

This is just a sample. Our aim is to “abide in Christ” so that we would produce much fruit (John 15:4).

The test of a man’s religious life and character is not what he does in the exceptional moments of life, but what he does in the ordinary times, when there is nothing tremendous or exciting on. The worth of a man is revealed in his attitude to ordinary things when he is not before the footlights.[1]

The only way to be obedient to the heavenly vision is to give our utmost for God’s highest, and this can only be done by continually and resolutely recalling the vision. The test is the sixty seconds of every minute, and the sixty minutes of every hour, not our times of prayer and devotional meetings.[2]

Appendix 1 – The others

  1. “I Love you” to God

I love you, O LORD, my strength.

(Psa 18:1 ESV)

  1. Anticipate heaven
  2. Pray for the lost
  3. Trust in the Lord
  4. Declare your faith
  5. Review Commitments

Appendix 2 – Blessings of reading Scripture

  1. Read your Bible Every day
  2. Tell God you love Him every day
  3. Set your mind on heaven every day
  4. Pick up your cross every day
  5. Examine your life for sin and confess it to God every day
  6. Pray for a list of lost people every day
  7. Ask God to meet your needs every day
  8. Ask God to protect you from the devil every day
  9. Ask God for strength every day
  10. Ask God for wisdom every day
  11. Positively declare your faith statements every day
  12. Read your personal commitments that you have made to God every day


----

* Oswald Chambers, Disciples Indeed (London: Marshall, Morgan, & Scott, Ltd., 1955), 6.

* John F. MacArthur, Jr., Why Believe the Bible (Glendale, CA: Regal Books, 1980), 95.

[1]Chambers, O. (1993, c1935). My utmost for his highest : Selections for the year (October 12). Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.

[2]Chambers, O. (1993, c1935). My utmost for his highest : Selections for the year (March 11). Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.

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