Sermon: Discipled Discipline
Scripture: Hebrews 12
ICE BREAKER: Share your favorite spring break memory from your childhood!
This week, Pastor Noel shared some deep insight about how to live a disciplined life! First he helped us understand the difference between discipline and punishment - an important distinction that most people fail to make.
PUNISHMENT is about what you OWE
DISCIPLINE is about how you GROW
Both punishment and discipline often require forms of suffering or challenge, and they can get easily confused. However, it is only discipline that gets you from point A to point B and help you grow and develop into a DISCIPLINED life of power and purpose.
We all desire to be disciplined - this is why we set "new year resolutions" ever December. However, by January 10th, most people have abandoned those dreams of a disciplined life and settled back into old habits.
What area of your life do you wish was more disciplined?
What resolutions have you abandoned in your past?
Hebrews chapter 12 implored followers of Jesus to run the race of life in a disciplined manner. We do this by:
-Throwing off anything hindering us. This could be habits, sin patterns, false narratives, broken world-views, etc.
-Keeping our eyes on Jesus! To finish the race, we have to know what the finish line looks like. We do this by constantly lining our life up to Jesus.
-Last, we must ENDURE SUFFERING!
This is the key for most of us. We desire to get out of negative patterns, and we hope to keep our eyes on Jesus; however, the thing that draws our attention OFF of Jesus and back on to our sin is the suffering we experience!
Hebrews says to endure suffering specifically by viewing it as discipline from a loving Heavenly Father! This is a BIG perspective change for many of us. If we are not intentional, when suffering comes we see it as punishment! Punishment does not feel fair and so we look for a way out of the suffering. This usually involves taking the easy way out, taking our eyes off Jesus, and falling back into common temptations.
Hebrews says that if we see suffering as an opportunity for growth, it can be the thing that pushes us TOWARDS our purpose and closer to God! Faith is trusting that God wants to use everything, EVEN OUR SUFFERING, for our good!
Remember, Punishment is about what you OWE while Discipline is about how you GROW. For followers of Jesus, our punishment has already been taken by Jesus. Jesus paid it all and now we do not owe anything to God to receive eternal life.
This means that everything in life can be (and should be) used for our growth and development, not as punishment to hold us back!
What are some ways you are suffering or being challenged in life right now?
If seen as discipline, how might God use these circumstances to grow and progress you in life?
How, practically, can you demonstrate faith in what God is up to in the midst of your suffering?
Having heard the areas that your teammates are struggling, spend time lifting these situations up in prayer. Ask for strength and proper perspective to see these challenges as discipline, not punishment.