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Transcript of SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES
"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God. When can I go meet with God? - Psalm 42:1-2
Meditation is a time to hear from God more clearly.
The central idea of fasting is the voluntary denial of an otherwise normal function for the sake of intense spiritual activity.
Read Proverbs 1:1-9 and Proverbs 23:12-23
How do these verses encourage study as a spiritual discipline?
1. What is it about gratitude that humbles us?
2. Why is it good for the soul to be thankful?
See Colossians 3:15-17 - How does gratitude strengthen community?
Where do you seek time with God? What does your devotional time look like? How often do you pray? fast? read Scripture? meditate?
Richard Foster writes, "superficiality is the curse of this age."
Do you agree or disagree. List three examples that support your conviction.
"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither, Whatever he does prospers." - Psalm 1:1-3
1. What are your first reactions to the concept of meditation? What are your experiences with meditation?
2. What is the basic difference between eastern meditation and Christian meditation?
The Bible focuses on fasting from food, what other things might we choose to fast from?
Have you fasted before? If so, from what?
How long? What was the experience like for you?
Consider Jesus' example in Luke 4:1-13
DISCIPLINE OF STUDY
Do you study the Bible? What books have you studied? How do you study the Bible?
Outside of the Bible, what book has had the most profound impact on your life?
List three things that you could do next week in order to follow the dictum of Socrates: "know thyself"
Read Matthew 6:19-34.
How important are material possessions to you?
What material possessions are important and why?
What stresses you out in life?
Have you ever bought something only because you thought it would impress other people?
Are we being propagandized by a culture of consumerism?
How can we simplify our lives?
"Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed" - Luke 5:16
"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues or on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. Then, your Father who sees what you have done in secret will reward you" - Matthew 6:5-6
What is the difference between loneliness and solitude? What do you experience more often?
Why do we need both solitude and community in order to function properly?
What keeps you from solitude?
Read Matthew 20:20-28
What is the Mother of Zebedees's sons requesting of Jesus? How does Jesus respond? What can we learn about service from this exchange?
Do you think our culture practices a biblical perspective of greatness?
Why is the towel a sign of service? Read John 13:17. What is Jesus' message while washing His disciples' feet? Why does Peter oppose Jesus' service? How does Jesus respond to Peter?
Look for opportunities to serve beyond the required service project.
Pray this prayer: "Lord, Jesus, I would so appreciate it if you would bring me someone today whom I can serve?
"Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" - Ephesians 5:18-20
What are your favorite worship songs or hymns? Why?
Write your own personal Psalm to God.
Write a thank you note to somebody in your life and tell that person how grateful you are for them. What a blessing it will be as we enter into Thanksgiving week.