... a weekly letter of encouragement.
March 21, 1994
DISCIPLINE IS THE PRICE WE PAY FOR FREEDOM:
- Exercise and diet regularly and you'll probably live better and longer.
- Focus 100 % on one task at a time, and generally you'll be less frazzled.
Paradoxically, the same holds true in the spiritual realm. For example, when we:
Take the time and effort to abide in God's word we are liberated from the tyranny of sin's bondage:
"If you continue in my word...you will know the truth and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31, 32)
Joyfully endure trials, God is then able to forge within us that inner quality of steel belted strength that results in personal freedom:
"When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don't resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends. Realize that they have come to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on and you will realize that you have become men of mature character WITH THE RIGHT KIND OF INDEPENDENCE." (James 1: 2 - 4 Phillips Translation)
Gain control over the dictates of our lower nature we are insured longevity in effective service:
"Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things...Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim...I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified. (literally: rendered ineffective)...for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved." (I Corinthians 9:25 - 27; II Peter 2:19)
Paul speaks forcefully to this issue of discipline in stating,
"Exercise daily in God - no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever." (ITimothy 4:7 - The Message Translation)
I need to ask myself whether I AM WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE OF DISCIPLINE TO ACHIEVE FREEDOM. The toll exacted upon me for the lack of discipline will, in the long run far exceed the price I now pay for freedom through discipline!
Have a great week!
© Copyright 1996 Dwight Hill. Unlimited permission to copy or use is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
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