Warm greetings to you in the most exalted name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Bahrainbrethren.com comes to you with a variety of Bible based features, sermon outlines, Bible study materials, audios, videos, free resources, systematic links, etc., "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Mat.11:29). Please let us know your comments & suggestions, write to info@bahrainbrethren.com.
"And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him." (Gen.22:2-3)
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HOME CALL
Br. Samuel Babu, Believers Brethren Assembly, (BBA), Majlis - Bahrain For the last few days, we have been relentlessly praying for Br. Samuel Babu, who suffered Cardiac Problems and was admitted in Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain. It was well pleasing for our Lord to call HIS child to the Eternal Home, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no tears, no sickness and no death. He went to be with the LORD around 10:30 PM Bahrain Time today (Friday 23rd 2015). Let us uphold the grieving family members to the Throne of Grace. May the Lord bestow upon them heavenly Grace, Peace and strength and console them with the word of God.
 
 
 
YOUTH

DISCIPLINED LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN

Dr. Varghese John, Trivandrum

The life of a Christian or a disciple of Christ should be a disciplined one because it is a life under the yoke of Christ. Personal discipline is nothing but self-control. Therefore, disciplined life is a self controlled one. Self-control is the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:23). In order to lead a disciplined life one should practice certain disciplines. Disciplines are certain activities a person does daily to keep him healthy -- physically, mentally and spiritually. In other words, disciplines are some good habits that one should develop to lead a life that pleases the Lord.

            Apostle Paul speaks of the Christian life as running a race and reaching the goal. Listen to him: " Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified"(1 Cor. 9: 26,27). Paul said, " I run," "I fight" and "I discipline." To keep him always qualified and approved unto God he disciplined himself and ran the race of life. In other words, like a disciplined soldier (boxer) he fought the fight of life. That is why he was able to declare with confidence and courage by the end of his life, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" (2 Tim. 4:7). Hudson Taylor, the great missionary to China has rightly said, "A man may be consecrated dedicated and devoted but of little value if he is undisciplined".

I. TYPES OF DISCIPLINES

 

1.     Physical disciplines

Disciplines of a disciple of Christ begin with the body. The Bible speaks a lot about our bodies. Though body is not the source of sin, it is an effective medium for sins if not controlled. Hence, bodily disciplines are quite essential to maintain purity in life. The Bible says that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who resides in us. Therefore, we have to glorify God in our bodies (1 Cor. 6: 19,20). We cannot give our hearts to God and keep our bodies to ourselves.

A.   Food

Discipline of the body starts with our food habits. We have to keep our body clean and healthy so that it will be fit for God’s use. Whenever we have a choice, choose to eat for good nutrition. An ancient Medical Journal says, "Man eats too much; thus he lives on only a quarter of what he eats. The Doctors however live on the remaining three quarters." A Turkish proverb rightly puts it: "The man who overfills his stomach digs his own grave with his own teeth." Eating is not a sin but gluttony is. It was treated as one of the deadly sins in the Old Testament (see Deut. 21:18-21).

         B.  Sleep

Everyone knows that sleep is essential for survival. Though individual needs vary, there is a reasonable time sufficient for each one. Studies have shown that the individual requirement for sleep is a matter of habit rather than any physical necessity.

For many Christians one of the hardest things to do is getting out of bed in time. In order to get out of bed in time it is necessary to go to bed also in time. All through life, John Wesley and George Whitefield were early risers. Their day began at 4’O clock in the morning and they would go to bed exactly at 10’O clock in the night. If some people are present in his house at that time, George Whitefield would say, "Come, gentlemen. It is time for all good folks to be at home."

There must be a revolution of discipline in our sleep habits if we have to know and fulfill God’s purposes in our lives. If you sleep one hour more than you sleep now, I can assure that you will become a confirmed backslider within six months.

 C.  Exercise

"For bodily exercise profits a little but godliness is profitable for all things"(2 Tim. 4:8). Here Paul indirectly approves the benefit of bodily exercise. Apostle Paul probably didn’t have a daily exercise programme in the morning. In fact, he didn’t require any special programme. His very life style was his programme. His frequent journeys on foot, habitual fasting, labour etc. kept his body in shape. However, for us, we need to do daily bodily exercise to keep our body fit.

 Some helpful hints

* Fix up a specific time for bodily exercise.

* Start with 5 to 10 minutes of exercise daily.

* Never give up because of occasional failures.

2.     Mental Disciplines

A.  Thoughts

Our heart (mind) is the source of all kinds of evil. The Bible says, "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9). The lust or evil desires of the heart when entertained produce sins (See James 1:14,15). Therefore, our thoughts must be controlled or disciplined to keep our heart pure.

Effective control of thoughts involves both negative and positive actions. Negatively, we ought to guard our eyes and ears zealously because they are the gates of our mind through which all kinds of evil information and influences creep in. All kinds of information whether good or bad once they get into our minds will create certain permanent impressions there and they can never be erased. Therefore, beware of what we read, watch, and hear! Positively, we have to think or meditate on good things. Paul gives a list of things that we must meditate on (see Phil. 4:8). Remember offense is the best defense.

 B.   Spiritual gifts and Talents

            A Spiritual Gift is an ability, which God gives His children to serve Him. Every Christian has at least one gift (see 1 Pet. 4:10). Though the gifts are bestowed on a believer supernaturally, the development of the same is a natural process. Only through discipline and determination they can be developed. Paul exhorts young Timothy to stir up the gift of God, which is in him (2 Tim. 1:6). How shall we stir the spiritual gifts up? It is by constant practice. Practice alone makes perfection.

3.     Spiritual Disciplines

A.  The Quiet Time

It is the time taken daily by a child of God to have fellowship with God through His word and prayer. It is the regular practice of spending a few moments of each new day alone with God, praying and reading the Bible. To take the Quiet Time effectively it is necessary to set apart a fixed place and time. If you fail occasionally, don’t get discouraged and give up. Make sure that you are taking it on the next day and go ahead.

         B.  Private Prayer

            Secret of praying is praying in secret. Secret of all our failures is our failure in secret prayer. Our Lord by His life and lips taught the importance of secret prayer or praying in private. (See Luke 5:16,17; Matt. 6:6). Like the Quiet Time, we have to fix up a definite place and time for prayer also. Make it a Daily habit.

          C. Occasional fasting

            Though the New Testament never commands us to do fasting, it assumes that we will do so, (See Matt. 6:16). Start practising fasting by skipping one meal occasionally and separating a few hours for intensive prayer. The time can be increased later to more hours or days. Fasting shows how much we are sincere and serious in our prayers.

Reward of Personal Disciplines

God expects us to grow spiritually. When we grow, our lives will be more and more conformed to that of Christ. That is the greatest reward of disciplined life. We also will get an imperishable crown in eternity for the disciplined life we lead in this world (see 1 Cor. 9:25). The spiritual disciplines are not an end in them but they are the sure means for achieving an end, that is, spiritual growth or Christlikeness.

 
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