Determined Discipline

Sunday, March 01, 2015  ::  

Through the years I've started and not finished many hobbies from photography to learning to play the bass or the banjo. You see, I'm an ideas person. I can have ideas until the cows come home. Lately, my mind as been swimming with so many potential good visions. Sometimes I wish I could simply put the ideas in a bowl, add some sugar, flour, and eggs, pour them into a pan, and turn them all into completed accomplishments.

A couple of the ideas I've had I really want to see through. But they are both BIG ideas. It will take so much prayer and discipline. And I'm a little scared. Actually, so scared that I don't even want to tell anyone about them because I'm afraid I can't accomplish them, and then I will feel flakey or worse, like a failure.

But, at the same time I'm so thankful for new thoughts and plans. When I was in my 20s, I heard someone say that most people stop learning new things when they are in their 30s and just coast to the end of their lives living off the few years of accumulated head knowledge they've managed to gain. It alarmed/pushed me into determined discipline to position myself as a learner for the rest of my life. Notice the words: determined discipline. Learning can sometimes begin accidentally, but it must continue with effort and intentionality. Continued ideas, vision, and direction are some sweet fruits of learning.

As you might have guessed it, I believe learning for a follower of Jesus begins with time spent in the Bible. Reading it, hearing it, studying it, meditating on it, and of course, memorizing it. I hope those of you that are joining in this accountability group are not just spending time memorizing verses. You will be one lopsided person if that is all you are doing. You must take this one ingredient and mix it will all the other aspects of taking in His Word to grow into an accomplished learner full of vision and ideas from Jesus.

Do you have the notion that all of this should be easy? Were you hoping that taking in His Word and obeying would come automatically or naturally? Did you know it would take effort? Listen, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. But the truly challenging and changing stuff of life takes real work. The gate is narrow, not just for the Kingdom, but for many good things in this life. So keep up the good, hard, soul-changing work! You will continually reap the fruit of learning, my friends. I know it to be true.

I'm still working on 2 Timothy 3:1-7. I have verses one through four down, but five is still tripping me up, so I'm going to keep working on it. I'm hoping to have the whole passage down by the end of the month because six and seven will be easy for me to remember. If you've been around me at all, you've heard me get preachy about these two.

2 Timothy 3:6-7 
For among them are those that creep into households and capture weak-willed women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at the knowledge of truth. 

Which that last phrase puts a whole new aspect onto being a learner, doesn't it? To be a faithful-to-Jesus learner, we must fix our eyes on Him or we "learn" all kinds of things but never arrive at the knowledge of the TRUTH! That makes me shiver. I don't want the ways of this dark world to worm their way into my mind, heart, or home. I want to be a learner with ideas, vision, and direction from the Spirit of God!

Now it's your turn. Please post the verses you are memorizing and/or studying.


Do you see yourself as a teachable person? In what ways do you learn from God and from others? What have you been learning lately? 

May your life be enriched through determined discipline, my friends! 

10 important comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Nicky said...

Last month I memorized Joshua 1:9 ( I forgot to post).

THis month I am memorizing Isaiah 4:24
"The Lord of hosts has sworn: As I have planed, so shall it be and as I have purposed so shall it stand."

Unknown said...

I enjoyed writing down all the verses I have memorized over the years this month. I also wrote out 10 verses I hope to memorize this year. I am working on Ezekiel 36:26 and almost have it.

Seeds Community Center said...

For some reason it is making me post as Seeds, but this is Lauren Hixson. Hopefully I can figure out how to change that...My verses for the month are
Ephesians 3:20 "Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us"
and Hebrews 10:39 "But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls"

Unknown said...

My husband and I and our small group are memorizing through the New City Catechism and it's so good! Such foundational truth.

clepeau said...

Dave constantly encourages his students to be lifelong learners and I long to be an example of that...but sometimes life gets in the way and its too easy to just not be. Thanks for the encouraging that this is hard work, but that it is worth it.

I've flipped to Psalm 34 countless times last month by "mistake". So it seems I should be soaking it up.

I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!
Psalm 34:1-3

Unknown said...

I am still working on the last part of 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 - But I hope to memorize that and add on another later this month.
"And we all, with unveiled face beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. This comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."

Angela DeSoto said...

I am late to the game, but haven't forgotten. You can't get rid of me so easily ;).

For March I am working on Ephesians 1:18, 19 (and will probably need April to really get this one down, but I'll attempt to only use March.)
18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might

Kelsi Somers said...

Gah. I tried to post last month and had issues and completely forgot and now I'm late but better late than not at all:) So last months was Psalm 46:5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.

This months is psalm 62:1-2
Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken

Anonymous said...

Been meaning to post these... :)

Psalm 51:10 (ESV):
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."

Proverbs 31:30 (NIV):
"Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." (I like the NIV use of the word 'fleeting' over the ESV's 'vain' because vain is a little more ambiguous - not sure if it means haughty or pointless. Either way I like that 'fleeting' more readily draws out the danger of trusting in beauty more than God rather than any inherent evil in beauty itself.)

2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV):
"for we walk by faith, not by sight."
(Called to mind by the last few sermons; an encouragement recently. It's good to remember the reference.)

Nehemiah 8:10b (ESV):
"And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
(^^love this. Has been a huge encouragement in recent months.)

Unknown said...

This verse stood out to me recently, so I'm going to add it to this month.
"The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion." Proverbs 28:1

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