Good Discipline or Godly Discipline
Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame. Isaiah 50:7 NLT
There is a difference between good discipline and godly discipline. There is one “O” difference between good or godly discipline and that is oppression. Good discipline is heavy oppressive, burdensome, it steals our joy. It causes us to say things like “I have to do this”. This ends up destroying our heart of passion in serving the King. Fasting is a godly discipline that creates in us a passionate resolve to stand strong in the day of adversity. We see a glimpse of this godly discipline in Jesus as he set his face like flint to go to Jerusalem. Luke 9:51-53...Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. The godly discipline Jesus walked out daily kept Him from being be distracted. Fasting helps you set your face for the daily journey of taking up your cross and not allowing good things to draw you away from your purpose. Set your face to fast. Tell your self, fasting is a joyful discipline not an oppressive burden. So let this godly discipline of fasting set your heart to do God’s will not oppress your heart.
Pastor Mike Sturgeon
God's Love Language
John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands.”
The language of God is submission and obedience. God equates love with obedience from the beginning to the end of the Bible. In the Old Testament, we see this with the children of Israel. Every time they would stray from the Law, He would address the condition of their heart. God many times used the analogy of adultery for their disobedience. Many times we want to show God how much we love Him by giving, worship, or acts of service, while we continue to live our own way. All the way back in Genesis, with the story of Cain and Abel, we see that a good offering is not enough. We must give what God wants…. submission. That’s why Cain’s gift was not accepted. It was given in rebellion.
In Psalm 51 David said the sacrifices of God are a broken and contrite heart. That means a heart that is in submission to God.
Many of the promises that God gives in the Bible are preceded with a command to obey. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says IF my people, will humble themselves and pray (submit) THEN I will hear from Heaven. Submission will always get God’s attention, because it is His love language. God does not see as man sees, but looks at the heart. Therefore, we must offer our gifts with a pure heart. Our motive must be to submit and obey. Then our prayers will be answered. Then our gifts will be accepted. Then we will know what is the good and perfect will of God.
So, what is the command of God? Matthew 22 says that the Law is summed up with this: Love God, Love People, Serve Your World. Let’s submit together!
Hot Coffee for Your Soul...Prayer
Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [ in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. 1 Peter 5:8 AMP
Fasting sobers you up like a cup of Hot coffee sobers up a drunk. You may not be physically drunk on alcohol but you could be drunk on your circumstances. Lately Tamara and I had become mentally drunk over a circumstance to a point that it was all we talked about. The problem had become the topic in every conversation. On and on we went until we heard God’s sobering words during a time of prayer. God spoke to our hearts that we had become drunk on the problem and we needed to sober up.
The Lord showed us how to determine if you are drunk on your circumstances. Start by listening to what is coming out of your mouth. If you can talk for hours about your problem but don’t know of one scripture that speaks to your problem. Jesus tells us in Matthew 15:18 that the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.
As you fast and pray, ask God to show you the areas that you have become drunk on. Ask Him to reveal the places you are out of balance. Ask Him to expose the doors you have left open and allowed the enemy to devour you. Begin to ask Him to give you a sober, well balanced mind. Tell your self, I will not get drunk on my circumstances but be vigilant and cautious at all times. Lord, may your words in my heart sober me up like hot coffee in Jesus name! Amen
Pastor Mike Sturgeon
Loving, Trusting and Experiencing
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
A guy performing the tight rope walking across the Niagara falls, walked across and back. When the crowd cheered him on his safe return, he asked the crowd, "Do you believe I can cross pushing a wheel barrel?" The crowd cheered, "yes, we think you can." With great skill he pushed the wheelbarrow across and back. The crowd was exuberant! He did it! He then addressed the crowd, "who thinks I can push some one in the crowd across in a wheelbarrow?" The crowd cheered, "yes we believe!" He then asked, "Do I have any volunteers?" But no one volunteered. The crowd began to leave one by one because if he wasn’t going to continue to perform and they were not willing to get in the wheelbarrow, then they were going home.
Many of us can identify with the crowd. We love it when Jesus performs great miracles in our life but when he asks us to trust him and go across to the other side, we begin to have second thoughts. We back away. What is worst is when He refuses to continue to perform like a circus act, we walk away and lose the chance of experiencing the journey of crossing over to the other side. We lose out on the view of the falls from his perspective. We miss out on the experience of victorious liberty!
Fasting helps us see were we need to trust him but also experience our path of purpose He has for us. God wants us to experience the journey across the falls of life in our purpose trusting and Loving Him to the other side.
God, I refuse to be just a loving spectator. I refuse to think of You as my entertainer. I choose to trust You through every circumstance. I choose to depend on You as I lean on You and not my own understanding. I choose to seek You in all I do. Thank you God for showing my path of Your purpose in my life. In Jesus name. Amen
Pastor Mike Sturgeon
Romans 12:5 “so in Christ we, though many, form one body and each member belongs to all the others.”
This passage goes on to describe many of the gifts or functions of the parts of the body. They are: prophesy, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, and showing mercy. All of these are different expressions of love, for he goes on to write about the action of love. That list is too long to put here, so you will have to read Romans 12 when you have time. So, back to the gifts.
When I read about the body, it makes me think of my own body. I imagine the serving being my feet, encouraging my heart, leading my hands, etc., and I wonder what happens if one part isn’t working. In our natural bodies, if there is a part or function of the body that is impaired, we are considered handicapped. Handicaps come in various forms and degrees of severity. I wonder when Christ says in Ephesians 5, that He is coming back for a bride (body) without spot or blemish, if He is taking into consideration our handicap? We all know there are parts of our body that don’t function. There are gifts or expressions of love, that are old fashioned or out dated. There are parts that are “new” and haven’t found their gift yet… We are ALL called to function in some way. We are all members of this body.
Every member has a gift (function). This gift is your purpose. What function of the body of Christ did God intend you to do? What is your purpose? How can you help the bride of Christ prepare for His return? Ask, Seek, Knock….Matthew 7:7-12 God gives good gifts!!