Daily Discipline #11
by Colleen Donahue
"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."
Several years after giving my heart to Jesus and knowing Him as my personal Saviour I became intensely dissatisfied. I was supposed to be a Christian but my actions were not matching up to the exemplary pattern that Jesus had set for us. My outward behavior that my friends and family saw was not too bad (at least in the world's eyes!). I never got involved with drugs, drinking, lying, cheating, or stealing. On the contrary, I was a hard worker, conscientious, and very giving with my time and efforts.
As time went by, I could see clearly that what was inside did not match the outside. I was critical and judgemental of others. I often became irritated, impatient, and inwardly angry with those people or situations not matching up to my expectations. The junk and the dirt that I saw inside myself often would send me to my knees to cry out what St. Paul cried in his time..."For that which I am doing I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. For the good, that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish." (Romans 7:15,19).
I knew and believed without a doubt that Jesus had died on the cross for me and forgiven me of all my sins, but I didn't know what to think of all the inconsistent, inside attitudes that were worse than any "visible sin." I felt there had to be more to salvation than what I knew or had experienced. God does not call us to be miserable, two-faced creatures--but rather to be the "light of the world". My desperation was the start of an adventure with God that was to lead me to .......
Day 1- The Bible speaks of three kinds of men. What characterizes the first type-- the Natural man?
1 Corinthians 2:14
Day 2-The Carnal Christian is the second kind. What characterizes them?
1 Corinthians 3:1-4
Day 3-What is the Carnal Christian concerned with?
Mark 1:4 / I John 1:7-9
Day 4-What is the problem with a Carnal Christian?
Day 5-What are the symptoms of a Carnal Christian's life?
Day 6-How do these desires manifest themselves?
Day 7- According to God's Word, there is a two-fold Christian experience that together makes up His full plan of salvation for us. These can come at the same time or years apart but BOTH are His plan for a full life and reflect what is truly the Spiritual Man. What is the first experience?
John 3:15-16 / Romans 10:9-10
Day 8-What is the second experience?
Matthew 3:11 / Acts 2:38
Day 9- Together these life-changing experiences affect the quality of our lives.
Day 10- Is it true that many who believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins are unaware that God has more planned for us?
Day 11-Here is an example of a people who didn't fully have all that God wanted for them due to ignorance.
Day 12- Are you ignorant? Then ...
I Corinthians 15:34.
Day 13-Even though the disciples were Christians, when did the real change occur in their lives?
Day 14-For example, how did Peter respond to pressure before receiving the Holy Spirit?
John 18:15-18 / 25-27
Day 15-How did Peter act later, after the Holy Spirit came to dwell in him?
Day 16- Where do all our defeats and personal failures come from?
Reread: Mark 7:21-23
Day 17-Here Paul clearly states our dilemma as believers.
Day 18-What is the solution?
Here's the point to really see: God not only saves us from the sins we commit and the guilt we feel but He goes one step further and delivers us from the sin nature within us that makes us keep sinning. So He frees us from the penalty of our sins AND the power of our sinful nature.
Day 19-If our "old self" (i.e. the sinful nature within us) is dead, then what replaces it?
Day 20-When we enter fully into the relationship God has planned for us in Jesus He will do three things. Once again.....
Day 21-WHO does God promise to give us?
Mark 1:8 / John 14:14-18, 26/ Acts 15:8
Day 22-After God keeps His promise, then what does He do?
Day 23-What will our inner attitude and outward life be like when the Holy Spirit comes to abide permanently in our "clean hearts"?
Day 24-In brief, how will your life be different from before?
2 Corinthians 5:17
Day 25- What will be your new attitude to temptation and sin when it comes your way?
Day 26-Now, "since you are set free from having to sin" and are a "slave to righteousness" (Romans 6:18) what is a new fact for you?
Day 27-What is the main benefit in a life that has all our sins forgiven and the power of "having to" sin broken?
Day 28- Is there anything WE need to do to enter into all the benefits of full salvation? (i.e. forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit abiding within us)
Acts 3:37-38 / Acts 10:43-44 / Acts 16:31
Day 29- The Apostle John puts it succinctly:
Whoever believes in Jesus and then receives the Spirit of Jesus (i.e. the Holy Spirit) goes on to become like Jesus.
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