Wow, yesterday was another great Sunday at New Song Fellowship Church. Pastor Jamie gave the vision for the church for the next year and beyond. It was impressive and motivating. I left excited to be apart of a church that wants to disciple, train, and send workers to save the Lost, and wants to be a beacon of hope and encouragement in this city. But, that wasn't all, I personally felt encouraged and motivated to move forward with change and plans for progress.
As the New year rolled in I made my resolution, like always. I like making a new years resolution and working at it. I like a time for goal setting and plans for improvement. So, I set out to make a goal for the year 2012. Like always I began praying about it a few weeks before the new year. But, this year was different. Instead of a simple goal like, lose weight, exercise daily, eat better, watch less TV, red the Bible daily, etc. etc. this year the goal seemed a little vague. I resolved to let God discipline me in the year 2012. Yes, that is what I said, I resolved to let God take the rod out and train me.
I will be honest I wasn't really sure what this decision meant or how it would look. But, taking my cue from the movie, "Courageous." I started looking at God's Word for what it meant to be disciplined, I started praying that God would change me, and before I knew it he started showing me His plans. The windows of awareness started opening. The window of poor health habits swung open, then the breeze was felt from the window of poor spiritual habits, next I see the light coming through the window of selfish motives. As each window opens, I wonde,r is it really possible to be disciplined, orderly, and righteous. Surely, God is not calling me to ALL this.
Thankfully, as he opened each window, he also gave me a glimpse of how he planned to change these habits.
I started searching for answers and he showed me diet changes, sleep habits that needed changed, attitudes that need correcting, routines that had to be change, and people and things that had to move onto or off of my priority list. I decided that if I was serious about this goal that I would have to do as He said. So, I started a new menu, I let go of my pop addiction (and my excuses to keep it), I started setting the alarm clock, and I made some new relationship goals. Just to mention a few of the changes that began taking place this month.
The excitement of something new kept me going, but at times it is overwhelming to be trying to make such changes. For example Saturday, I sat trying to work out my new menu, but not having enough new recipes for large families to really fill a whole week was getting frustrating. Then sitting with my husband and working on the budget "together" finding it overwhelming after years of doing it alone. (The accountability is so scary)
So, at this point of still be excited to try and make changes to become the woman God made me to be and being overwhelmed by it all, I head to Sunday morning worship. Having no idea how it would spur me on.
Here is what I learned Sunday morning:
From Titus 4:6-16
verse 6 BE DOCTRINALLY SOUND
"In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the [a]sound doctrine which you have been following."
I need to fill up on God's word constantly, I eat three meals a day, so I need to match that with spiritual food. This grow my Faith and keep me doctrinally sound (if I don't know what God says in His word, how can I live according to it?)
verses 7-9 BE DISCIPLINED
7" But [b]have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8 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. 9 It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance."
"Discipline is delaying gratification to attain something greater and better." this was a quote Pastor Jamie said.
Discipline involves tools: budgets, calenders, schedules, goal sheets, and choices in discernment, priorities and planning.
I found that encouraging because i have spent a great deal of time these past couple weeks working on plans, discerning what is best for our day to be spent doing, planning how to make changes, creating and making new schedules and charts. I wondered if it was all worth it, but this was a reminder that planning is necessary for success, change, and progress.
verses 10-11 BE DILIGENT
10 "For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. 11 Prescribed and teach these things."
Change and Progress doesn't come easy, but if I focus on Hope, then the hard work will reap a reward, and as I learn these things, I am to prescribe and teach them to others (for me my children first.).
verse 12 BE DESIRABLE
12 "Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. "
I need to be bold in Christ by speaking, acting, loving, and serving in faith and purity. I need to be a good example.
verses 13-14 BE DISCIPLED
13" Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery."
Here pastor Jamie said, we are told to use our spiritual gifts, and to make sure the Word is being shared out load in public. Wow, what a calling.
verses 15-16 BE DELIBERATE
15" Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. "
Wow, what a finish it says take pains, be absorbed, and pay close attention. Can God make it any clear to me that yes, he wants my full attention on Him and the things of Him.
"Spiritual growth never happens by accident"
So, I press on encouraged that God is in the process of changing me and making progress in my life for His purposes. If you want to hear the message first hand you can at http://newsongfellowship.net/media