SHEPHERD TO SHEEP
(1 Cor 9:25, 27) And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things…27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection…
Well, here we are on top of another new year. We’ve indulged during the holidays in lots of food and fun and are now feeling bloated and broke. We’ve set some goals and are motivated to take on some challenges. But what will we do when we start losing that inspiration down the line? We’re going to need some personal discipline to keep on with the task and accomplish what God has set before us.
If there is one thing that sets apart a winner from a loser it is personal discipline. Paul references the Olympic games when it comes to being self-controlled in one’s desires and how a person needs to reign in the body appetites to win the prize. Are you ready to be one of those winners in life when others give up and give in?
Brothers and sisters, it’s time we say NO to ourselves and our desires so we can reach the goal that is set before us. God has great plans for our lives this year but we need to do our part in making the right choices. We can’t have our way and God’s way at the same time. Once we turn our will over to the Lord then we will get that stimulus we need to forge on despite the obstacles before us.
A lot of us were spoiled and coddled growing up. Our parents did so much for us that the instinct to fight was never really bred into the fabric of our life. Others of us are just so laid back that we need a push in the right direction. Some of us are so indecisive and are afraid of taking any risks because it’s all about being safe. When we give into these fears and apprehensions we think we are in a safe house but we are really in a prison of procrastination, losing ground to the territory God has for us. (Josh 13:1) Now Joshua was old, advanced in years. And the Lord said to him: “You are old, advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed.
Are you ready to say no to laziness and taking the easy way in life? Disciples of Christ must have discipline so they will accomplish the Father’s will and not their own. (Mat 16:24) Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. Cry out to the Lord and ask Him for the incentive you need to really do something for the kingdom of God this year. (Phil 2:13) for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Tell yourself that even if you don’t feel like it you will read your Bible, exercise, make that phone call, take that class, etc. And you know what it will cost you in less TV, computer, entertainment, sleep, etc. But by this time next year your goals will have been met and your joy level full. Personal discipline will lead to praise the Lord!