Discipline for the Disciple
This week we continue in our series on discipline for the disciple. Our motives to be
disciplined will determine the outcome of our efforts. We must always examine ourselves
and our thoughts. Our own ego and even the enemy will always try to resist the things of
God. If you get a thought in your head telling you to avoid someone, not to go
somewhere, to engage or not engage in an activity: examine the thought and see if the
result of acting on that thought takes you into or out of where God may want you to go.
In the matters of church and serving God I have often had thoughts that come from
personal fatigue or fear: but then I examine the thought to see if it fits with what the
Lord would have me do. We are not called to respond to our feelings but to serve. Not
our will but His will. Should I not talk to that brother because he looks a little ragged? Or
am I missing an opportunity to fellowship with one of the Godliest people I will ever
Always ask what would the Lord have me do? It will rarely be connected to how
you are feeling or what is comfortable. That is why it is so critical to understand God’s
will for your life.
Discipline for the disciple. This week we began a series of sessions that will help reveal
just how much we are willing to give to the Lord to truly become consecrated unto Him.
For most Believers, including myself, this can be a nervous time. Does this mean I have
to give up some of my personal time, my comforts, or my family time? What does it
really mean to be a disciple for Christ? May be I should bail out from Men’s Ministry at
All these thoughts are normal. The heart of man’s soul which is his ego, fears being killed
and will reject and become fearful of the things of God. Yet that is exactly what Christ
says we must do to receive the full power and promises of His Word. We must cut away
the heart of the soul, like flesh from bone, so the Spirit can grow in each of us.
If you want the power to heal, to speak a word and see people get saved, to really trust God to
provide, to finally experience and taste the Holy Spirit rushing through you – if you never
have it will change you forever - to hear the Lord say, "with you I am well pleased," to
finally experience the power, joy and peace you read about in the Bible then let us take
the next step together.
This reminds me of a trip I took to Water Country years ago with my oldest son. There is
3-4 story water slide that has a slight vertical drop that you slide down on your back. For
years, because of my fear of heights I never went on that slide. Then this day my son
encouraged me to suck up my fears and go for it. I closed my eyes at the top of the
slide, sat down, pushed back and just let go. It was one of the most exhilarating rides
I’ve been on. So let’s encourage each other as we go through these sessions
and get ready for the best times of our lives.
Count the Costs
This past meeting was a powerful session where the men attending opened up and
shared some of the obstacles that keep them from experiencing the fullness of God’s
promises in each person’s life. Such willingness to share tells me we have men hungry
for what the Lord has to offer and willing to stretch and reach to get closer to the
transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
We started on the topic of what it means to be a disciple in the Christian sense and what
it means to have discipline in the body of Christ, or the church, per biblical principles.
Part of discipline is helping brothers in their walk by calling them out when they are in
A great example of this situation was shared by one of the brothers. He had befriended
and led a man to Christ who was married and had children. Later this man, who was
having marital difficulties, started an affair with a woman in his office. He came to the
brother and he said he wanted to introduce his girlfriend to him.
Immediately the brother told him he was deep in sin, and there would be consequences.
The brother told this man that he could not condone or support him if he continued down this path.
That rebuke, out of love, led this man to confess his sin to his wife and after much strife, led to an
Before a man goes to war, or builds a house he must weigh the requirements, sacrifices
and the outcome. He must decide if he is willing to make that commitment. In like
manner, as a disciple of Christ we must decide up front; before the storms, before the
distractions, what we are willing to commit to the Lord. You must be honest with
yourself. And in the final analysis if you cannot commit your heart, soul, mind, time, and
football season, then you must examine yourself. For if the children of Israel in the
exodus were not spared in the wilderness, how shall we?
Praise God with whom all things are possible.
This week’s session and next week’s features Pastor Paul speaking on the topic of
evangelism. Every Believer who has received the Holy Spirit and has a regenerated or
born again spirit is commanded to go and be a witness to the world. A witness to what? A
witness that Christ lives and is alive inside him, it is your testimony.
Evangelism in its simplest definition is about sharing the good news that man is guilty of
breaking God’s laws and will receive the consequences of those transgressions. However,
a merciful God took the penalty upon His son who died, rose again and whose Spirit now
lives inside those have surrendered to Him, thus redeeming or rescuing Believers from
destruction and the penalty of the second death.
No Need to Cry
Psalm 62: "My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my
rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken."
This was a week which caused us to examine our beliefs and also rejoice in the promises
of the Lord. The passing of our sister Jessica, the mourning of her husband Joe and
family. The passing of the child of Greg and Christine. After prayers for miracles and
hope abounding, we were left with questions. Why does God answer some prayers and
Why do Godly brothers, sisters, and children have to die so young?
In the midst of these questions, let us press deeper into the Lord for comfort, peace,
wisdom and strengthening of faith. Let us look not downwards at death and burial, but
upwards at the resurrection of Him who promises life eternal for all who endure.
Psalm 30: "Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."
We are left to ponder our mortal state and fragility of human life which comes and goes
like a vapor that vanishes in the air. And in that realization of how faint our existence
really is, we give thanks and praise to a God who is faithful in His promises.
1. A God who promises to him who overcomes the right to eat from the tree of life
which is in the paradise of God.
2. The promise that you will not be hurt at all from the second death.
3. A promise that you will receive a white stone with a new name written on it.
4. The promise that he who overcomes and does His will to the end will receive
authority over the nations.
5. A promise that He will dress you in white and never blot out your name from the
book of life, but confess your name before God and the angels.
6. A promise that He will make you a pillar in the temple of God and write on you
7. And finally the promise that to him who overcomes He will give the right to sit
with Him on His throne. These are the promises of our Lord Jesus Christ. No
more, no less. (Revelation)
"No need to cry because through it all…I still see God." Praise Him
We concluded our study in the book of James. The key message was for brothers to
examine their thoughts and motives against what is Godly and righteous. It is a constant
battle to reflect on our thoughts which arise out of envy, jealousy, anger, personal
desire, pride and ego – and then to ask the Lord to help defeat those thoughts, impulses
It is a constant struggle to remain humble and to put ourselves last and serve others
when our "old man" desires recognition, fame and his own glory and needs. It is a sign of
Christian maturity when we can identify those thoughts in our minds, isolate them, take
a time-out before speaking or acting on those thoughts; and then pray to the Lord to
help us overcome those voices, impulses and emotions. As we gain victories we grow in
spiritual muscle and bear more fruit for the Kingdom. And we avoid the infighting and
conflict which can occur among the brethren.
Today we began a discussion on apathy. Apathy is defined as a lack of concern or
interest. We see apathy in American society as well as in the church at large. When we
have apathy in our walk with Christ we lose the salt and our ability to impact the world.
So the question begets itself, "Who are you in Christ and what are you prepared to do
about it?" Do we compromise or stand-up for what is right? Apathy can lead to
1. Our prayers show where we are before God
2. Humbleness and love are first fruits of the Spirit
3. We are not given a spirit of fear
4. Man’s love is conditional. It is the Holy Spirit that gives us the ability to love
5. Marriage failures and other social statistics are not significantly different in the
body of Christ compared to the world
6. The root of apathy is in the flesh
We were privileged to have Pastor Jim Mailloux, Sr. Pastor of First Baptist Church in
Richland Washington as a guest speaker this Sunday. Jim is the brother of our own Sean
Bishop and brother-in-law to Rich Bowman. Pastor gave us some great materials (email
Mike Mcpherson to get copies) on Codes of Honor and prayers for revival and spiritual
awakening focused on men. Every man should have these posted in their work, house, in
Pastor’s message was on the powerful influence both Godly and unGodly fathers can
have on future generations. He shared some personal experiences on the men in his life
and how the sins of the father are passed down through generations. And why helping
men develop into Godly leaders in their respective households is so important not only to
a prosperous family life but also to the Kingdom.
Born Again Believer
Here is a recap of our Sunday morning In Your Face Men’s Ministry meetings at NEBC for
the last two weeks. We are examining the character of a born-again Believer and in the
same course highlighting those that are Christians in their minds only – folks who claim
to have faith but show no works; people who don’t seem to manifest the fruits of the
Spirit; believers in God who Christ calls "wicked" and "worthless" servants, destined for
We also had some Teaching Moments where we described how to fight the tendencies of
the flesh, building spiritual maturity and thus showing God’s grace and love to others.
The children of the Holy Spirit should show no partiality towards their fellow man, lest
they be judged and condemned. Whether a brother is poor, rich, of a different race,
color, straight, gay, rude, in a different political party or religious denomination – inside
each is the soul made in the likeness of God. We are called to love all and be the face of
God to an unbelieving world in need of hope.
It has been foretold in scripture that the church would be invaded by wolves dressed as
Christians and there will be many false teachers who seek to deceive even the Brethren.
These people stir conflict, grievance, preach false doctrine and ultimately aim to disrupt
the Body of Christ. Satan’s goal is to kill and destroy the church. Whether that means
keeping folks from reaching spiritual maturity, leading them into damnation, creating
doubt about the Word, and hiding the truth from the lost.
How do we spot the false teachers and wolves? Christ tells us to look at the fruits of the
tree. An evil tree will produce evil fruit and a good tree will produce good fruit. Does the
brother in church gossip, look to tear down another brother, and create ill will in the
Body? Or does he effuse kindness, peace, generosity, humility and thanksgiving – fruits
of the Holy Spirit?
A Believer’s faith will be tested. Will you pass the test? We have to fight our own
temptations, voices in our head that originate from our egos, the devil’s whispers and
then trials and tribulations that come our way. So many obstacles, how do we conquer
them all? This led to a teaching moment.
My wife was in one of those moods where I was being chastised as nothing I did was
right and things from the past were being called up, as coals were being heaped on my
head. My reaction was to throw my hands-up and walk away to my cave until I cooled
off. I felt I was being unreasonably attacked. Then the Spirit came to me and told me to
take a breath and submit to her and show her some love and not react in the way she
anticipated - which would have led to more arguing.
When she got quiet I showed her love, affection and submitted to her.
I think it took her by total surprise as she wasn’t
expecting it. The next day she came to me in an incredibly loving manner, submitting to
me – all because I submitted to her first – showing leadership in the home.
Sometimes I don’t feel like reaching out and talking to others. And there was this one
brother in church who I saw on this one day – and the thought came into my head "let
me avoid eye contact with him so I don’t have to talk to him today." At that moment the
Spirit came to me and said "What are you doing?" When I went to my seat in the
sanctuary I started praying quietly to the Lord – "Please teach me to love this brother
and embrace him and never walk away from him." And since that time I have been
released to embrace him as a friend.
So here we see when the voices in the head come up, pushing you to act the way the
flesh, the world, your ego, or the devil wants you to behave – first recognize the thought
is not Godly, then take a time out, no matter where you are – and ask the Spirit to help
you respond in a Christ-like manner. And in this way we slowly crucify the old man,
allowing the Spirit in us to grow to the fullness of our Lord Jesus Christ
I was at the Mobil gas station in Andover a week ago and a car pulled up, a man in his
60’s got out to pump some gas. He was about 5 foot 7 inch, wore a cap, had a beard and
reminded me of Brother Wayne for some reason. Then I noticed there was something on
his forehead. As he moved about handling the gas pump, I realized he had "Jesus"
tattooed on his forehead.
Whether it was permanent or temporary, I don’t know. I just smiled and said to myself,
here is a bondservant, a self-committed slave who has declared he is the property of our
Lord Jesus. Just as each disciple in the New Testament reckoned himself.
The question today is do you see yourself as: (a) a child of God, on your way to Heaven
(you’ve been saved and attend church and/or read the Bible); or (b) as a servant of the
Lord (e.g., you are active in helping at church or some other religious activity or
ministry); or (c) as a bondservant of the Lord - you have declared your reason and chief
purpose for being is to please the Lord?
The perception and realization you have of yourself, either as a child, servant, or
bondservant will be crucial to the practical application of some deep truths we will share
in the next few weeks.
I’m going to share some messages from Brother Watchman Nee, a man who the Lord
mightily used from 1920 until his death in 1972 to grow His Kingdom. You will learn the
keys to resurrection faith that produced miraculous healing and the secret to a ministry
that produced bountiful harvests of souls – in the midst of Communist oppression.
However, just a heads up, the practicality or usefulness of the things Brother Nee has to
say depend on your mindset with the Lord. What I have learned is that we serve a God
whose revelation of Himself to each believer is commensurate to the sacrifice and
obedience of that believer. While the same grace is available to all believers, the fullness
of His grace and power is realized in his bondservants. As we have said before there is a
cost but also a reward to discipleship.
So ask yourself where are you in your walk? What is your mindset around the chief
reason and purpose for your being? Is it still to make a good living and care for your
family, to be a good Christian, to be a better you?
When you reckon your sole purpose and reason for being is to please our Lord it opens
the door for the Spirit that dwelleth within. It opens the door for the Spirit to dominate
every aspect of your life.
To be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ was never about making a corrupt,
sinful human body a better person that does a bunch of good things and feeds the poor.
To be transformed is about the Spirit putting the believer’s soul under His control so
God’s will be done.
I have no fantasy that the Lord thinks I am good person for I am not. I no longer trust
my own decisions, perceptions or will. I now let the Spirit guide and direct me. For what
the Lord sees is the Spirit of Christ in me, His only begotten Son with whom he is well
“For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all
of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the
Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his
glorious image.” 2 Cor 3:17 NLT
Remember the goal of the Gospel was never to get people into Heaven so they can be in
paradise skipping through fields of flowers. The goal of the Gospel was to redeem a fallen
man so that man could come to the feet of our Lord and glorify Him. And what did our
Lord say to Moses?
“Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and say to him, 'This is what the LORD,
the God of the Hebrews, says: "Let my people go, so that they may worship me." Exodus
It is and will always be about Him.