Spiritual Discipline Part 3

Small Group Discussion Questions (NET)

1. There were eight questions that have to do with spiritual discipline posed on Sunday from Proverbs 1:2-6. Look at these questions and discuss your top two or three and why. Here’s the questions...
1. Would you like to attain wisdom and discipline?
2. Would you like to be able to understand words of insight?
3. Would you like to acquire a disciplined and prudent life?
4. Would you like to always do what is right and just and fair?
5. Would you like to gain knowledge and have discretion?
6. Would you like to now how to listen and add to your learning?
7. Would you like to have the discernment to receive the guidance of God?  
Would you like to be able to understand proverbs, parables, sayings and riddles of the wise?

2. Practice is important in any discipline. Sports, music, medicine, science, and especially spirituality. What are some of the reasons practice is so important?
1 Tim 4:7  Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.
1 Tim 4:8  For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

3. Practicing the principles of God’s Word begins with our attitudes and our thoughts. What  can we do to condition our minds to practice the principles of God’s Word?
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

4. What are some ways The Holy Spirit helps us practice the principles?
2 Tim 1:13  What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.
2 Tim 1:14  Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you--guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
John 14:26  But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.




Spiritual Discipline
Part 3
Practicing the Principles

Proverbs 1:1-7

We've talked about preparing the heart to desire spiritual discipline!
We've talked about practicing the presence of God!
Today we're going to talk about practicing the principles of God!

We're going to read our text that has served as our main text for this three week series and then we're going to break it down into eight simple questions we must ask ourselves as we seek to become spiritually disciplined.
Proverbs 1:1-7

1The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
Proverbs 1:1 (NIV)

2for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight;
Proverbs 1:2 (NIV)

3for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair;
Proverbs 1:3 (NIV)

4for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young—
Proverbs 1:4 (NIV)

5let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—
Proverbs 1:5 (NIV)

6for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise.
Proverbs 1:6 (NIV)

7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Proverbs 1:7 (NIV)

 Let's Pray!

 Okay, now I'm going to ask you a series of eight questions based on our text.

Get ready, hear goes...

1. Would you like to attain wisdom and discipline?
2. Would you like to be able to understand words of insight?
3. Would you like to acquire a disciplined and prudent life?
4. Would you like to always do what is right and just and fair?
5. Would you like to gain knowledge and have discretion?
6. Would you like to now how to listen and add to your learning?
7. Would you like to have the discernment to receive the guidance of God?  
Would you like to be able to understand proverbs, parables, sayings and riddles of the wise?
Ephesians 4:21 Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
Ephesians 4:22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
Ephesians 4:23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
Ephesians 4:24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

If your answer to these questions is yes, then today's your lucky day!!

Or should I say, "today is your blessed day!"

If you will commit to practicing the principles of God's Word in your life, every day of your life, you will begin to receive each of the things listed in those eight questions. How do I know practicing the principles of God's Word will bring those things into your life? God's Word promises it and I've experienced it!

But I don't want you to just take my Word on it!! I want you to experience the rewards of practicing the principles of God's Word for yourself.

We're going to look at each of those questions and see what God's Word has to say about practicing the principles.

 Before we start, I want you to know I'm not talking about a legalistic, letter of the law, Pharisaical kind of lifestyle.
We're talking about God's principles, and we must remember how vital it is that we understand God's intent. His desire for us is to become more like Jesus in our attitude and in our actions as we apply His Word to life's circumstances!!

21Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
Ephesians 4:21 (NIV)

22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
Ephesians 4:22 (NIV)

23to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
Ephesians 4:23 (NIV)

24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:24 (NIV)

 So with the goal of spiritual discipline to become more like Jesus, let's look at those eight eight questions in detail...

1. Would you like to attain wisdom and discipline?

Practice the Principles!

22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
James 1:22 (NIV)

23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror
James 1:23 (NIV)

24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
James 1:24 (NIV)

25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
James 1:25 (NIV)

 This Scripture tells me there are a lot of deceived people sitting in churches across our nation today. They hear the Word, but do not do it. James says they are deceived. They think they are fulfilling their religious duty to God as long as they attend church.   

 But people who only attend church and never apply the principles will eventually develop spiritual atrophy! The lack of spiritual discipline and exercise will cause weakness and sickness.

We must be doers of the Word!

 Just like physical exercise. As you get off the couch and begin to get physically fit, you'll find physical fitness brings about greater freedom of mobility.

Spiritually speaking, as we leave the nice soft chairs of the worship center and begin exercising the principles of God's Word in our daily lives we will find great spiritual freedom!

2. Would you like to be able to understand words of insight?

Practice the Principles!


8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:9 (NIV)

 Did you notice Paul said if we put God's principles into practice the God of peace will be with us?

So many times we fret and worry whether or not we are in God's will.

 Am I supposed to live in Vancouver, or Indiana, or Slidell, or wherever.

I firmly believe if you are doing your best to practice the principles of God's Word in the strength and power of the Holy Spirit, then you will be in God's will!

Hey, if you're supposed to be somewhere else, God will orchestrate circumstances and will put it so heavy on your heart you'll know. In the mean time, just practice the principles! God will bless you and you will experience the joy and the peace of God!!  

3. Would you like to acquire a disciplined and prudent life?

Practice the Principles!

20My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
Proverbs 6:20 (NIV)

21Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck.
Proverbs 6:21 (NIV)

22When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you.
Proverbs 6:22 (NIV)

23For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life,
Proverbs 6:23 (NIV)

4. Would you like to always do what is right and just and fair?


6For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 2:6 (NIV)

7He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
Proverbs 2:7 (NIV)

8for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.
Proverbs 2:8 (NIV)

9Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path.
Proverbs 2:9 (NIV)

10For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Proverbs 2:10 (NIV)

11Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.
Proverbs 2:11 (NIV)

5. Would you like to gain knowledge and have discretion?

Practice the Principles!

5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;
2 Peter 1:5 (NIV)

6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;
2 Peter 1:6 (NIV)

7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
2 Peter 1:7 (NIV)

8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:8 (NIV)

6. Would you like to now how to listen and add to your learning?

Practice the Principles!

1My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,
Proverbs 2:1 (NIV)

2turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,
Proverbs 2:2 (NIV)

3and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,
Proverbs 2:3 (NIV)

4and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
Proverbs 2:4 (NIV)

5then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
Proverbs 2:5 (NIV)

7. Would you like to have the discernment to receive the guidance of God?  

Practice the Principles!

8Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
Psalm 25:8 (NIV)

9He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
Psalm 25:9 (NIV)

10All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant.
Psalm 25:10 (NIV)

11For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
Psalm 25:11 (NIV)

8. Would you like to be able to understand proverbs, parables, sayings and riddles of the wise?

Practice the Principles!


 As you practice the principles of God's Word, you'll find that the proverbs, parables, sayings and things that might even seem like riddles in God's precious Word will begin to come clear to you.
Why? Because the Holy Spirit of God who lives in a believer will teach and reveal things to you as you exercise spiritually.

 How many runners do we have in the room today? Let's see your hands. Now, how many spiritual runners to we have.

Let me explain. The Psalmist put it this way...

32I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.
Psalm 119:32 (NIV)

33Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.
Psalm 119:33 (NIV)

34Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
Psalm 119:34 (NIV)

35Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
Psalm 119:35 (NIV)

36Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
Psalm 119:36 (NIV)

37Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
Psalm 119:37 (NIV)

 Jesus wanted His disciples to remember what He taught them in His brief ministry here on earth. He wanted them to remember the words He spoke, the Scriptures He had quoted, and the example He had lived out before them every day.

15“If you love me, you will obey what I command.
John 14:15 (NIV)

16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—
John 14:16 (NIV)

17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
John 14:17 (NIV)

18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
John 14:18 (NIV)

19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
John 14:19 (NIV)

20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
John 14:20 (NIV)

21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
John 14:21 (NIV)

21Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
Ephesians 4:21 (NIV)

22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
Ephesians 4:22 (NIV)

23to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
Ephesians 4:23 (NIV)

24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:24 (NIV)

 Pray!