Summary: Understanding the disciplines in everyday Christian life.
Series: Discipline – Week 3
Title: The External Disciplines of the Faith
Focus: Establishment of Spiritual Disciplines
Introduction: The desire at Velocity is for every teenager to invest his or her life daily to walking with Christ. At Velocity we accomplish this through 3 areas (vision) and it also relates to our current study on spiritual discipline.
1. We love God personally (internal disciples)
2. We love each other (external disciplines)
3. We mature in our relationship with Christ (internal, external, and cooperate disciplines).
Title: How God’s people are externally disciplined
The last two weeks we have been talking about the internal disciplines (Bible study and prayer) and now we need to move on to the external disciplines (simplicity, submission, and service). NOTE: The external disciplines focus on integrity, or doing the right thing when no one is watching. Perspective = doing things with a right motive.
Point #1: God’s people will be simple people (Matthew 6:19-21)
• Explanation: In 28 years I have come to realize that people desire two things; (1) possessions and (2) money. These are selfish desires. The relationship with your possessions and the desire for money shows where your relationship with Christ stands. As Matthew says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (6:21). While it’s not wrong to be blessed, God desires that we be simple because the increase of possessions and money complicates our relationship with Christ. It makes it more difficult to keep our focus when we increase our wealth and possessions. Christ followers were, and would continue to be simple people.
o The Pharisees were a distracted people. They built and stored up great treasures on earth (temples) while also paying close attention to what they wore (clothing). Jesus told the Pharisees that the material possessions and wealth that they had and desired would pass away.
o 12 Disciples – left everything to follow Christ
o Luke 18: 18-29 – The rich and the kingdom of God.
• Application: Think of three things you have (or have had) that desired your attention that takes you away from your relationship with Christ (Mine: Macbook and xbox – DISCIPLINED to use the possession correctly. Has to be a balance). The desire Jesus had for His people were to be simple. They were to (1) love God and (2) follow the commands while loving each other (Matt 28:19-20). It’s very simple to be a Christian but we make it complicated with what we own. The things of this world will pass away but the treasures of eternity are forever (Luke 21:33). God’s people will be simple people and that is an external discipline.
Point #2: God’s people will be submissive people (Various Passages)
• Explanation: Simplicity is submission. When we talk about being simple, we are talking about being submissive. These go hand in hand. A person is submissive in 3 ways:
o Submit to God: James 4:7 “Submit yourself to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
• Submission starts with salvation.
o Submit away from my old Self:
• 2 Corinthians 5:17 “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
• Philippians 4:8 “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable. If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.”
• Submission away from your old self and focus on who you are in Christ. This takes discipline.
o Submit to one another: Ephesians 5:21 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
• I submit to others so that I can grow in my relationship with Christ. (Proverbs 21:17 – “Iron sharpens iron”)
• These take time and energy. You will fail but don’t be discouraged!
• Illustration: Peters short comings in his relationship with Christ set him up to do amazing things for the kingdom of God after Christ ascension into heave.
o How to tell if you’re a simple/submissive person:
• Do you always have to be right?
• Do you always have your own way on everything?
• Are you are willing to be last in line, letting others go before you?
• Do you hold your tongue in situations where you could start a pointless fight or argument?
• Do you care enough about your friends and family that you are willing to give in?
• Do you want the best for others, even if that means you must settle for less?
Point #3: God’s people will be people of service (Matthew 20:26-28)
• Explanation: There is no greater example of a servant than the Jesus. In John 15:13 we see that, “greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”. Jesus in His love for us died and rose again so that we may have life to the full. His ultimate act sets the foundation for people to serve and the reason for which we serve God and others. Matthew 22:37-39 gives us the two greatest commands, “(1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the (2) second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.” Therefore, a Christian who is obedient to Christ will serve Him first and others out of the overflow of their heart. This takes discipline.