The Lost Spiritual Discipline

We are all accustomed to reading works on the spiritual disciplines of the Christian life. We know that as Christians we ought to discipline ourselves to ensure we maintain a lifelong focus on Word, prayer, and fellowship. And so we read the Bible and meditate on it, we pray as individuals and families, and we maintain fellowship with one another through local church worship and the sacraments or ordinances. Well and good! This is the stuff of the Christian life. …

Wanting It Enough

I want to have 10 percent body fat. I set that goal a while ago and even managed to get really close to reaching it. But eventually I found out that I want to have 10 percent body fat just a bit less than I want to have 13 percent. There’s a key difference between the two: While 13 percent requires moderate effort to gain and retain, 10 percent requires strict discipline. I soon learned I just didn’t want the …

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5 Bad Substitutes for Discipline

There is nothing easy about parenting, and nothing easy about the responsibility of training our children in obedience through discipline. Because discipline is unpopular and unpleasant, parents often find themselves looking for substitutes. In her book Parenting Against the Tide, Ann Benton lists five poor substitutes for disciplining our children—five poor substitutes that fail to address the heart. Excuse Them This is the voice of therapy culture. Sometimes we make excuses for our child’s misbehavior. We say, “he’s tired, she’s …

The Discipline of Choices

It’s funny where life’s little defining moments can come from. It’s so often through words that are so obvious to other people, but somehow they’ve just never stood out to you. As a young man Jerry Bridges was at a Bible study group and heard this: “The Bible was not given just to increase your knowledge but to guide your conduct.” This was a brand-new thought to him. He headed home and that night prayed a simple prayer: “God, starting …

Being Transformed into Christ’s Likeness

I have been enjoyed a re-reading of Jerry Bridges’ The Discipline of Grace, a true modern-day classic work. I have come to the sixth chapter which discusses sanctification, or being transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ. Bridges looks at two different texts and two different ways the Bible speaks the goal of the Christian life. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says that “we are being transformed into [Christ’s] likeness” while Romans 8:29 states that God “predestined [all believers] to be conformed …

God Disciplines Us By Grace

Jerry Bridges says that God disciplines Christians by grace. It may strike us as an oxymoronic statement that discipline is grace, that it may be done out of grace. After all, “Discipline suggests restraint and legalism, rules and regulations, and a God who frowns on anyone who has fun. Grace, on the other hand, seems to mean freedom from any rules, spontaneous and unstructured living, and most of all, a God who loves us unconditionally regardless of our sinful behavior.” But Bridges …