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October 2011


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October 2011

October 2

God the Father organized salvation, God the Son achieved salvation, and God the Holy Spirit applied salvation. This salvation is offered as a gift from God and man receives this gift, trusting that it is the solution and therefore forfeiting his sinful life. Entering the kingdom of God through salvation, man is involved in a life-changing process. All sinful habits, all unhealthy trends, all wrong internal impulses, all reactions full of rage- all must be changed. Wrong self-worth, which results in sinful acts that were formed in childhood, must be altered. As an adult, they are formed exactly in the same way that they were formed in childhood: through repetition, in other words through discipline and perseverance. The Bible says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). Who must submit themselves to God? Us. We must discipline ourselves and it is our responsibility, our job. How? The Bible explains: “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer…” (Ephesians 4:28). How can this change be achieved? By repeating self-restraint and by discipline. The Disciples of Christ must achieve being similar to their mentor, Jesus Christ. This is not done just for a day, but every day. It is not fully achieved by just being born again, but through the process of spiritual growth. Christ said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

1. Change cannot exist except through wanting- “Whoever wants to be my disciple…”

2. Change cannot exist except through discipline – “…to be…must deny themselves…take up their cross…”

3. Change cannot exist except through repetition- “…and follow me”

Personal discipline is imposed by one’s own conscience, without coercion of human authority. Instead, consciousness is influenced and directed by the Bible: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. "(2 Tim. 3:16-17). The role of personal spiritual discipline is to be equipped- “so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped”. So, Scripture is useful:

1. “…for teaching…”- Constructive discipline. God’s purpose is to remodel and reform our lives of old sinful habits and to build a new life, following Christ's example. This is between man and God. Everything is peaceful, made with love and joy and without constraint.

2. “…rebuking…"- Corrective discipline. God does not rebuke the man who learns. If the teaching is not accepted or does not practically affect our lives, then God helps us by the rebuking. “because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in" (Proverbs 3:12). Rebuke is not desirable, but the sin of disobedience of teaching by the father is rewarding.

3. “…correcting… "- punitive discipline. If the child does not obey what he learns, he will be punished. How disobedient must a child be who, after they do not listen to what they are taught, does not even listen after being rebuked? Disobedient enough for God to choose his punishment, making the child suffer for his correction. “…they were humbled by oppression…"(Psalm 107:39). Reprimand is embarrassing, even humiliating, but suffering is painful, and hard to endure. However, it is man’s choice.

What are the areas of life in which the man of God must be equipped in discipline? In all areas of life, but remember a few what have been recommended by the Savior:

1. Discipline anger- “…anyone who is angry with a brother or sister…"(Matthew 5:22 a)

2. Discipline words- “…anyone who says to a brother or sister…"(Matthew 5:22 b)

3. Discipline sinful eyes- “…anyone who looks at a woman…” (Matthew 5:28 a)

4. Discipline Lust- “…anyone who looks at a woman lustfully…” (Matthew 5:28 b)

5. Discipline commitments- “…do not swear an oath at all…” (Matthew 5:34)

This means to obey and to submit to God – “Submit yourselves, then, to God" (James 4:7). This means to resist the Devil – “Resist the devil…" (James 4:7). We all come to church, but to what extent do we actually discipline our lives?

October 30

When reading the bible, it is easy to understand that in God’s eyes children have a great value, along with adults. God told Moses to tell the Jewish prisoners, who were liberated from Egypt, to bring along their children and from a spiritual perspective He says: “And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD…’” (Exod 12:26-27a) God gave the same command to Joshua, saying: “He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’” (Josh 4:21-22) Later, Solomon repeats the same command for all parents, saying: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” (Prov. 22:6). Our Savior gave great value to children, most especially when he allowed Himself to be interrupted by a group of mothers in order to bless the children through prayer. Education and discipline are the two methods used to instruct and teach our children, following the divine model given in the Garden of Eden. Education is a process achieved through teaching and instruction. Discipline is an event that occurs through punishment. This is certainly the ideal model of a father, given to us by God through His example with his children in Eden, Adam and Eve.

1. God informed man the environmental rules with which he would lead his life.

2. God warned man of the fact that he was not allowed to eat from the tree in the middle of the garden.

3. God informed man about the consequences of disobedience.

4. God kept His word when the first people disobeyed His divine command.

5. God asked questions about what His command was and about who was to blame.

6. God brings arguments that confirmed man’s blame.

7. God evaluates the measure of blame and decides what the proper punishment should be.

8. God finds the solution in order to redeem the guilty people.

If children have value during their childhood, they have value through education in their teens; they have value through their realization in life as an adult. Childhood, when “who are the parents” gives value to children, lasts only 15-20 years, but the life of a teenager and adult lasts 50-60 years. During this period, the child goes through life on “autopilot” on “manual” detaching themselves from the value attributed to them from being a member of their parent’s family. They are left with the personal realization that, along with a genetic link, in great measure they are a product of the education they received from their parents. These two factors—genetics and education—greatly influences a child’s future and how they will choose to lead their life.

If God acted this way with Adam and Eve, in the role of “Father”, then this is the greatest model that an individual can choose to practice in the role of “parents”. In this manner, we will end our mission as “administrators” over our children, who in fact belong to God, with happiness and success.