Happy Monday!! Are you a Monday lover or a Monday hater? Mondays can symbolize the end of the weekend, the end of fun, relaxing and doing what we want to do days. But it can also symbolize the newness of opportunities, another chance to do better, work harder, accomplish what we are working towards. Regardless of our Monday attitude, it comes along once a week!
I enjoy the challenge of a new week. Currently, I'm striving to be a little healthier. Eat a little better, exercise a little more. Weekends allow me an indulgence, to eat some things I love, but may not line up with my quest for a healthier lifestyle! Mondays allow me to get back on track! My goal to be more healthy and fit will bring the reward of greater energy and a toned and fit body. But, there is no shortcut. It takes discipline to eat right and exercise.
This week in the 5 Weeks- 5 Disciplines- 5 Challenges, the challenge is for our spirit - discipline in our spiritual life. If we are a Christian, we are also a disciple - one who constantly learns and seeks to be like Christ. That may sound like a simple sentence, but it can be a very hard thing to live out. Often it is a battle between what we want to do, and what we know is right. God's standards are always right, but it may seem we always fall short because our standards are easier to reach. To keep God's standards in sight and in our aim, we must stay connected to Him. There is no shortcut to spiritual growth. It takes time, dedication, diligence and denial to self. Prayer, Bible reading and obedience are the needed things to grow in the Lord. Taking time for these is a true discipline, but one that will bring beautiful results - a heart and life that reflects Him.
Sometimes there are things we need to cut out of our life. Things or habits that can distract us from reaching toward our goal. Spiritual discipline often brings these areas to light. It may be like a little red flag that waves over an area that needs God's transformation. Instead of moaning what we are losing, we can look at this as a gap between where we currently are and where God is trying to grow us to become. This place is somewhere God can transform us to make us more like Him., an area where things don't line up with His character. Spiritual discipline can close that gap and move us toward becoming the person we were meant to be. Our ultimate goal is to be transformed in the image of our Lord.
The first step to any discipline is to commit. This week's challenge it so commit to read God's Word before we do anything else. The length of time isn't important, what matters is the discipline of putting Him first in our day and allowing Him to set the tone of our heart for the day.
Where to begin? A chapter from Psalms, Proverbs or the book of John are great places to start. For a maturing Christian, reading some of Paul's letters give guidance and direction for the Christian's life - Ephesians, Colossians, Romans are full of godly wisdom. But the best place to begin is by getting up and opening God's Word ....'Just Do It'!
"being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;" Philippians 1:6