We are now into the 3rd day of 2012. Parades are over and many are headed back to work after a long break. Time to get going and back to normal again as the saying goes. In your list of New Years resolutions did you include being disciplined? As mentioned in a previous devotion, many include weight loss on list of things to do for the new year but many do not follow through. Sounds doable but then when the 'rubber meets the road' the dedication and discipline are just not there. What do you do about that? First you make up your mind just how important being in shape and being healthy is. You can do something if it is really important enough to you but it takes Discipline. There is that nasty little word again. For those of us who have served in the military we know what discipline is, but a normal civilian can acquire this valuable trait as well with some dedication, desire and hard work.
Discipline is required to get up in the morning. Discipline is required to not spout off to people when you feel like saying something ugly. Discipline is required when completing your housework so you do not just go lay down somewhere and leave your home dirty. Discipline is required in looking for a job. You just can not give up. Discipline is required in getting an education. Sometimes things in life are hard and you have to stick with it to gain the reward. A doctor works hard in school for years before gaining the title 'medical doctor' which he can wear with pride. For marathon runners much discipline is needed to keep going when their body hurts and they feel like giving up.
The most important discipline you should be working on in 2012 is that of putting God first. I mean really first!! Not praying "Oh Lord I want you first in my life" then expecting a magic wand to be waved over you and 'voila', you are more spiritual. No, what is required is getting up and setting aside time to be alone with Jesus. Before the day is cluttered with all of its' busy activities make sure you put God in there. Pencil Him in on your 'to do' list and do not leave Him as an after thought. How many well meaning Christians do their Sunday thing going off to church and possibly Sunday school then the entire week goes by and the Bible is not picked up one single time? Does this describe you? When this happens you are giving the Devil a foothold and a grand opportunity to come into your mind and get you to believe lies and get you depressed and agitated. You must stay connected to the word of God and do it regularly.
Is reading the Bible important to you? I am not talking about getting on some rote plan where you read the Bible through in a year but really you were just reading and it did nothing for you. I am referring to studying God's word daily and applying it to your everyday life. You need Jesus every day so you can live victoriously above the junk our culture throws at you. 2 Timothy 2:15 says "Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth." Colossians 2:8 says "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." You can study the world's ways or you can study God's ways. It is your choice.
What is more important to you watching the nightly news to 'stay informed' or reading God's word to 'stay informed'? Think about that one for a while. 1 John 2:17 says "The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."
Do you want to be spiritually disciplined in 2012? Start now with a plan to get up daily and pray and read God's word. Do not start making excuses for why you can't. Start with a simple reading plan. Take whatever day it is today say the 3rd and read Psalm 3 and Proverbs 3 to start. Proverbs has 31 chapters so that is a perfect book to get started on at the first of each month. Make God a priority in 2012.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus I am committed to being better disciplined in 2012 in getting into the word of God. I know the only way to combat the enemies lies is to quote the word of God. I desire to know your word better and let it guide my life. Help me to resist making excuses as I seek to get closer to you. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Note: To help you on your spiritual journey I have included a link to a wonderful praise and worship song. Click on link and praise God!