Today I want to be like a farmer scattering seed (Mark 4). I’ve hit the main the disciplines in previous messages but today I’ll just throw some seed out there and let you decide which ones can take root. Keep in mind that spiritual disciplines help you think about activities that will bring you closer to God and man. They increase your effectiveness in the Kingdom of God. They help you grow stronger in areas that please God but don’t come naturally to you. The disciplines are to help you work on the areas that are hard for you.
The first seed I’m throwing out is hospitality. This is serving others in a variety of ways. Yes, it can mean inviting others into your home. However, it can also be meeting for coffee, staying later to talk to others, offering a listening ear (without giving advice), or any opportunity to serve someone that God puts in your path. The disciplines are all about dying to yourself. You can be assured that when you are serious about growing in these areas you will have to step out of yourself and into someone else’s life. It can be scary but it is worth it. When I come face-to-face with Jesus I want Him to say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” Practicing the discipline of hospitality can help you toward that goal.
The next seed is frugality. It’s the practice of abstaining from all those items we purchase to give us personal comfort. Oh, I can hear the groans. This includes the incessant shopping (yes, online purchases as well), even when we can’t afford the purchase. Credit cards are so easy and such a temptation. Consider a way to practice frugality. It’s good for the soul.
Secrecy is a discipline that truly forces a dying to yourself. You do something nice for someone and don’t take any credit. It creates a place in your heart for a person who can’t repay because they don’t know who blessed them. Keeping your good deeds a secret makes it all about them and not about you.
Confession has often been left out of our times with God, whether in church or in our devotional times. It is a simple thing and yet refreshing to your soul to confess those times of sin in your life. This allows God to hear you and forgive you. He will, you know.
Lastly, celebration (as Dallas Willard titles it) is rejoicing in God when times are bad. When it’s hard to pray, hard to sing, hard to believe God. When we practice celebration we are increasing our faith in Him to hear and answer us ‘in His time’. We want God to move now and not later; isnt’ that true? This discipline reminds us of His sovereignty in our lives. Celebrate Him no matter how your outward circumstances look.
I hope some of these seeds that I’ve scattered today take root and produce a great harvest in your life!