A few days ago, Brookside's co-lead pastor, Jeff Dart, preached a sermon championing the value of spiritual discipline in the life of believers. (I encourage you to check it out - click here and scroll down to the sermon preached on Sept 25, 2016, titled "Be Disciplined with Purpose.")
The spiritual disciplines are important enough that the Brookside Institute has devoted one of our classes to this topic - "Grow: An Important Class about Spiritual Formation." This class spends 8 sessions digging into the goal of spiritual formation (godliness) and specific disciplines, practices, or habits that will cultivate godliness in our lives. (Check out what others are saying about the "Grow" class here.)
All that to say: Spiritual disciplines are important. We don't drift into godliness as followers of Jesus Christ; rather, we need to take intentional steps to pursue a lifetime of growth.
Yesterday I was reading a section from Steven D. Boyer's and Christopher A. Hall's Mystery of God: Theology for Knowing the Unknowable, and found this excerpt that further reinforces and explains this value of spiritual discipline.
The biblically rooted experience of God's people throughout the ages very strongly suggests that certain specially graced practices, reflections, habits, and dispositions, certain specific ways of thinking, speaking, loving, and acting, tend to empower our response to God's invitation to know him, so that we are led ever more fully into his incomprehensible mystery.
Boyer and Hall then go on to list certain disciplines (many more could be added): cultivating sacred space in the midst of our busy world, developing self-awareness through discipline, imitating praiseworthy Christian examples, and growing in humility and other Christian virtues.
The value of the spiritual disciplines, then, is that they provide habitual and embodied practices that re-train our minds, hearts, and bodies to live in line with the reality of the gospel and Christian truth. These practices help renew our minds (cf. Romans 12:2) and increasingly transform us into the image of Christ (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:18).
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