Summary: 6th in a series on shepherding/mentoring in the church

Sermon for 2/18/2001


Titus 1:8


At 86, Jack La Lanne has dipped, chinned, pushed, pulled, and lifted more often than anyone in recorded history. His present training regimen is tailor-made for only superheroes. While many of his contemporaries are content to sit on the sidelines, La Lanne rises at 5:00 a.m. every day, heads to his gym, and logs in a vigorous two-hour workout

La Lanne’s rise to prominence and respect gives new meaning to the popular phrase "no pain, no gain." When he began championing the virtues of sound nutrition and regular exercise in the 1930s and ’40s, people thought of him as a "charlatan and a nut," he says. He was the butt of countless jokes and public ridicule.

But his big break came in television when "The Jack La Lanne Show" debuted, introducing an unfamiliar 1950s audience to the importance of fitness

The body is a tool, according to La Lanne. Make it work for you.

Q: How’s your health?

A: Wonderful. I work out two hours every day. This morning, I was in the gym from 5:30 until 7:30.

Q: Do you work out every day?

A: Seven days a week.

Q: Do you ever miss a workout?

A: Never, even on the road.

You get out of the bed in the morning tired with aches and pains, but this body works for me. It’s my slave. I take care of it.

Many older people complain that they are too old to exercise or they really like to eat. They have so many excuses. They are thinking about the good old days. Poop on the good old days. They are gone. The good old days are today.

When I was 40, people said, "You’re over the hill." If you were a bodybuilder or gymnast, people thought you were muscle-bound and therefore couldn’t swim. So I put handcuffs on and swam from Alcatraz prison to the mainland. It got international publicity. Then, every two or three years, I would do something more difficult. I swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge underwater towing a 2,000-pound boat. On one of my birthdays, I did 1,000 chins and 1,000 push-ups in one hour and 22 minutes. On another, I water-skied behind a helicopter for over 70 miles through rough waters. On my 70th birthday, I towed 70 boats with 70 people on board, handcuffed and shackled, a mile and one-half. On my next birthday, I want to swim from Catalina Island to Los Angeles underwater. It’s 26 miles, and it will take me over 20 hours.


A. Now ask yourself this question, how many people do you know that are highly disciplined? Do you know 5, do you know 1? If you know 1 still close to that person and learn from them.

B. It is hard to find people who are disciplined in our society. Why? Because our society as a whole thinks discipline is hardship.

C. If I were to ask you to paint a word picture of discipline this morning, what would you say? Most people probably think of military bootcamp, some would think of pain or punishment like a parent to a child. In every case it usually carries a negative connotation.

D. The truth is that nothing worthwhile or significant is possible without discipline. At college.

E. Discipline is considered by many people as hardship. However, in reality discipline breeds success and sets us free from fruitless, meaningless living.

F. (Prov 6:23 NIV) and the corrections of discipline are the way to life

G. Contrary to popular opinion, discipline does not hinder you, discipline frees you.

H. Read Titus 1:8- Disciplined and self-controlled (sober-minded)

I. King James Version uses the word “temperate.” We talked about this last week. In our day, it means not given to extremes or excess. This takes discipline.

J. New American Standard and New King James uses the word “self-controlled.” To be self-controlled we have to be disciplined. Billy Blanks in Tae-Bo says, “My mind has to control my body.” For a lot of people this is not true. We are different from the animals.

K. I like the word “disciplined” which is used by the New International Version. Three reasons:

1. A person who is disciplined will be temperate and have self-control.

2. The basic concept is used in ancient Greek literature to describe a person who is “strong” and “robust.”

3. Paul used this word in several athletic illustrations to describe the importance of being “disciplined” when living the Christian life.

L. Olympic style games were played throughout the Roman Empire.

M. Tarsus, where Paul grew up, was a great center for athletic contests. Though a Jew, Paul grew up understanding Greek and Roman culture, particularly the commitment to develop physical strength and mental concentration in order to engage in vigorous competition. Many athletes from Tarsus competed in the games every three years in Corinth.

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