The Discipline of Devotion speaks of the determined desire to fulfill the greatest commandment Jesus referred to in Matthew 22:37, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." It also speaks of the commitment Jesus expected of his disciples to have a greater love for Him than for anyone else. This is spoken of in Matthew 10:37, "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me." Our love for Christ is NOT doing harm to our family relationships. When you love the Lord more than anyone else you'll actually find that your love for everyone is even greater than it was before! Putting Christ first means you're able to put others where they belong. I used to say, "When the Lord is where He belongs in your life, then everyone else will be where they belong in your life!"
Devotion involves a hunger and desire to cling to the Lord and not let Him go! Though obedience to the Lord is absolutely important, love for Him is a desire to be with Him more than just doing things to please Him. Think of a husband and wife's relationship and ask yourself how "deep" would their relationship be if they were constantly trying to please each other by doing nice things, but never actually spending time in each other's arms?! There's something about "clinging to one another" that builds a stronger bond between each other. Think of Ruth's commitment to her mother-in-law, Naomi, when she said, "Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me." That gives us a great example of what our devotion to Jesus needs to be.
THE DISCIPLINES of LIFE
By "Discipline" the thought speaks of instruction that corrects the course of one's life; gives training of the mental faculties and leads to a godly, moral character. It is a daily exercise in spiritual and intellectual growth. Even the body can be improved with a discipline of daily exercise. The "Disciplines of Life" are Scriptural principles laid out in the Word of God to enable a believer in Jesus Christ to grow stronger in their faith in Christ and see the development of a godly, Christ-like spirit and character in their lives.
I will share various Disciplines that have had an impact on my life and are part of my own personal daily routine.
THE DISCIPLINE OF BEING DISCIPLINED!
This, logically, is where to begin. Briefly, this speaks of a desire to be disciplined in one's life. Not to settle on living a routine but to hunger for a "new adventure every day!" Being disciplined in life is not being "stuck in a rut." Disciplined living actually can open the doors to a greater, growing experience in Christ and living a life that is truly "Abundant." In John 10:10, the Lord Jesus promised "life, and that more abundantly." Do I desire such a life? Will I discipline myself to make that one of my strongest pursuits?
The need for discipline in life is so very apparent, but so often neglected. Discipline involves effort, but more than that, it involves real HUNGER and THIRST for something "more than the norm." It speaks of a desire for what can only be achieved by hard work and a determined desire to go beyond wherever you have been before.
Being disciplined leads to a life of victory, though with pain, but a life that knows the rewards are coming! And the rewards are even more than a crown. The reward of "well done" is worth the strain, toil, and anguish to achieve it.