Study Guide of a Scriptural Principle: “Managing Your Most Valuable Resources”
How to blend spiritual disciplines (prayer, Bible study, meditation, fasting, etc.) into a hectic pace of everyday life in the marketplace.
Explore the Answers…
It seems that every other comedian has a joke about men who won’t follow instructions or who refuse to ask for directions. Without getting too confessional, maybe one reason some of this might be true is because a secret and unspoken goal in both men and women is to be able to complete a task with interruption. Yes, even it means missing the mark occasionally. Does this include our “Spiritual Disciplines” as well? Prayer, Bible study, Fellowship with other believers, Rest, Fasting, Silence or Solitude… these and others which are a believers most important discipleship “building blocks” are what we yearn to incorporated into our lives. Maybe asking for a little instruction or direction in this case might not be such a bad idea. Success in any of these disciplines will require something from us. Since trying to squeeze one or more of these into our already overburdened lives just isn’t working, perhaps forcing the issue isn’t the answer. We know that putting off our Spiritual Disciplines isn’t the answer; we must as Randy Kilgore put it, “Carve out the time.” and just won’t from his learning!
Blending Spiritual Disciplines: Making the Time Luke 10:38-42 and Philippians 4:8-10
Missionary Tales… Mimosa was a very young girl when she met Amy Carmichael, a well know Christian missionary in India. Before she was six years old, Mimosa overheard a brief teaching about the God who was foreign to her Hindu environment. Amy Carmichael recounts in her book the remarkable story of a young women who with only a glimpse of God began to worship the God whose Scripture had not even been made know to her. All this young woman had to sustain her was prayer. Her entire walk with this God was strengthened daily while under ridicule and persecution by often going into the “potato room” which became her retreat to pray and seek God. Even after losing a child later in life she prayed that she, “…was not angry with Thee.” Mimosa would eventually be seen marching her own children to Dohnavur, where the Missionary School was located, so that she and they would learn more about this sustaining and powerful God she had heard about years ago.
“Surely if God can sustain this marvelous women’s faith in the midst of incredible trial and absolute isolation, He is capable of breaking through the distractions in our own lives, and to teach us to be disciplined in our relationship with Him.”
- Make a list of everything, yes everything you do that you enjoy that requires discipline, concentration or meticulous attention? How is it we “find” the time to do these things” Spiritual disciplines also require concentration and detailed attention. How can we cultivate these traits in this area of our lives?
- In Luke 10:38-42 what was the “one thing Jesus commended Mary for choosing” How was Martha like you when it comes to the things that interfere with your practice of the spiritual disciplines?
- Now, describe what your life would look like if you modeled Mary and her choice? What changes would you need to make (carve out) to see this happen?
- Use Paul’s teaching in Philippians 4:4-9 as a road map (yes ask for directions…) of principles or instructions for making these changes. Be sure to look closely at each verse.
- How many of these principles can be found in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)? Rejoice… Be anxious for nothing… God does the guarding, not us! Dwelling on goodness… Practice… Pray as a Petition to God who through the very real presence of the Holy Spirit as the source of our ability to discipline ourselves in these spiritual matters.
- Read also, John 11:21-35 for a glimpse of Jesus’ response to Mary and her heart. Try picture Christ responding the same way to you and to your own petition. Why do you think Jesus responded the way he did? Mary wasn’t just asking… she was listening. Have we become so distracted by asking about the needs, we sometimes forget to just listen?
A FINAL THOUGHT... Remember Aaron and Hur holding Moses arms up in the flight from Egypt? Remember when Jethro told Moses to get help from others? Remember when God gave Aaron to Moses to help him? Stewardship is as much about cooperation and community as it is about efficiency.
This study guide is based on the Marketplace Network, Inc. series “30 Moments Christians Face in the Workplace”, Volumes 1-3. J.E.Motes, Anderson University, Anderson, SC
Dr. Motes is Associate Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University and has brought over 20 years experience in Church related ministry from service in Churches in Virginia, North and South Carolina. He has worked in Associational Missions, has taught and continues to teach a variety of subjects in church settings, and is published in Sunday School Leadership magazine. As an “Army brat” his upbringing has enriched his multi-cultural perspective for ministry.