Author: thejoshuacommission

  • Intro. to Fundamentals of Discipline II

    via TJC “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” Hebrews 12:11[expander_maker id="2" more="Read more" less="Read less"] Definition of discipline as a transitive verb: to train or develop by instruction and exercise, especially in self-control. This week, we will continue our fundamentals of discipline. I think it is no coincidence that discipline requires action! James had much to say about action and its outcome when he writes, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. “ James 1:22-24. Becoming a Doer requires discipline and training! Starting last month, all of the writers at TJC were asked to participate in a program designed to “discipline” our spirit, soul, and body. It sure challenged me; from doing core exercises 45 minutes/day or hiking 3-4 miles a day; every day! Spiritually, spending 15 minutes a day reading and studying the Bible as well as time alone with God in prayer and meditation. Now the prayer part was easy, I’ve done that every morning for the past 5 years over my first cup of coffee; coffee with Dad as I refer to it. However, that dynamic has been changing. Dad has given me that very first part of the morning with Him, just us. A time of intimacy. It has changed how I pray and why I pray. The word of God is opening my eyes to God’s truth for myself, not for something a pastor or teacher may say but to see it for myself! Those three things have led to more changes in my soul. The practical side of my soul. The part where I turn into the problem rather than running away from it or just asking someone else to “fix” it for me. This past weekend, I set up my Lionel train around my Christmas tree and converted an older set I had to run on a newer system. It would have been easier to pass on it, but something in me said “No.” Did I need training? Oh yeah, and I was able to find it from men who knew what to do! Daily Battle Order: Taken from our Creed as Kingdom Men: “I will train my mind and body for the battles to come. I will discipline my heart, eyes, and tongue to be steadfast and faithful to the calling on my life.” Kingdom man take action! The first step is to get involved and you can do that by going to our website, (https://joshuacommission.org/) Read the Daily Battle orders, learn from the lives of other warriors! Join us as we travel the Ancient path. Tomorrow we’ll see how the phrase “United we stand divided we lose” is all about a disciplined life.[/expander_maker]

  • Understanding Motives

    via TJC "For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Hebrews 4:12 ESV[expander_maker id="2" more="Read more" less="Read less"] As we wrap up this week’s DBOs focusing on the fundamentals of discipline in our realm, today we will drill down to the core of discipline: understanding motives, refining and maturing them. With our focus on discipline, there comes the question of the motivation behind the discipline. God’s Word has a lot to say about our motives, our heart’s desire (ref. Hebrews 4:12, Ephesians 6:6, Colossians 3:22, and many others). When you are following through with a disciplined approach to accomplishing a goal at work, are your motives driven more by a desire for recognition from others, or more for pleasing the Lord in the work of your hands? Remember, Kingdom Man, from Whom the work of your hands comes from. The Lord uses discipline as a tool to refine and mature us. In Hebrews 12:11, the experience of discipline and God’s purpose in it are both clearly given: “For the moment, all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” For those who have had a sports injury or knee or hip surgery, and have had to go through physical therapy, you will relate. The physical therapy will be painful for the moment, but the pain results in gains of mobility and strength later on. A good friend of mine is a physical therapist. One of his favorite phrases regarding physical therapy is “motion is the potion”. Meaning, if you want the best chance of getting back your range of motion after a surgery or injury, you have to consistently do the exercises prescribed by your physician. Not just when the physical therapist is there to see you, but when you are alone. This applies to our walk here on this earth Kingdom Men. When we are alone. When we have been defeated. When the chips are down and we are ready to quit. When the temptation comes to not be a man of your word, or to not act with integrity. When the frustration of seeing others win when you know that they have cheated. Be consistent in your walk with the Lord, even when no one else is looking. Our God is our Great Physician. Your motivation to walk in a disciplined manner is to please the Lord who made you, who loves you, and who is for you, even if no one else is. Daily Battle Order: Kingdom Men, we are in training. Discipline is God’s training program for yielding “the peaceful fruit of righteousness”, with a clarifier, “to those who have been trained by it.” Be trained by God’s discipline Kingdom Men. The result is the “peaceful fruit of righteousness.” What else on this earth yields something as powerful as that? Answer: Nothing. The following quote from C.S. Lewis puts our training time here on this earth in perspective: “If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.” Next week we will continue the series on the fundamentals of discipline, focusing on consistency, consequences, and standing united together.[/expander_maker]

  • Fundamentals of Discipline – Teaching Accountability

    via TJC

    "Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid." Proverbs 12:1[expander_maker id="2" more="Read more" less="Read less"]

    Reader, let me tell you how hard discipline and accountability is for me and how "stupid" I've been in the past... and recently. Before writing this DBO that you're reading, I received a message from my team's lead, a person assigned to hold writers accountable for the readers' [your] content and deadlines. "Your draft is the only one missing from the team's.  Please have consideration for the time from those who review these DBOs (paraphrased)." My reaction? Frustration. I knew the expected work and deadline, but no one held my feet to the fire. It was assumed that I would have the self-discipline to carry out the work, which I did not do. This lack of execution prompted the "reproof." I did not love it. Thus, I was being stupid.

    I will get past how fitting it was that God assigned this DBO to me, and show you what the Bible says about "Discipline." Romans 14:12 says, "each of us will give an account of ourselves to God." What was my tactic before reading this passage? Blame someone else for my shortcoming. How will I do this before the Lord, when it is just Him and me, alone? Who will be there for me to point at for my shortcomings? The trailing verse states, "Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another." This is the point where your Father (in his infinite wisdom) caught you, and you have nothing left with to argue.

    Don't let me convince you that you are left to fend for yourself. The Lord said "it is not good for man to be alone." We've heard those who are dating or those quotes in movies say that they are waiting for someone else to make them complete. 50% looking for another 50% to make 100%. Conversely, Christians are taught to strive to be 100%, meet someone else whose goal is to be 100%, and try to make 200%. There is underlying support that God has for us-- it is to support one another. "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

    I want this takeaway to be encouraging and enabling. Be encouraged that others are keeping you accountable to things you know you have been tasked to do (responsibilities) and to be enabled to execute these tasks with your God-given talents, treasures, and time. Kingdom Man, stop fighting with what you know you have the ability to do and grab the bull by the horns. You should be armored up every day, holding your sword, and working as if you're working directly for the Lord (Col. 3:23).

    Daily Battle Order

    What is the Lord bringing to the forefront of your mind? What are you unenthusiastic about, being irresponsible with, or procrastinating? You may have someone around you to encourage you, but this shouldn't be a dependency. You need to be 100%, with the Lord, not with someone else. Go to the Lord and say, "I gave it 100%."

    P.S. Thank you, "team lead", for keeping me accountable.

    Tomorrow we will focus on understanding motives, refining and maturing them.[/expander_maker]

  • It’s All In How You Look At It

    via TJC

    "All day long my disgrace is before me, and shame has covered my face at the sound of the taunter and reviler, at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.  All this has come upon us, though we have not forgotten you, and we have not been false to your covenant. Our heart has not turned back, nor have our steps departed from your way; yet you have broken us in the place of jackals and covered us with the shadow of death.  If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart." Psalm 44:15-21 ESV[expander_maker id="2" more="Read more" less="Read less"]

    “Shame occurs when you haven't been able to get away with the who you want people to think you are.” – Carl Whitaker

    We have all had secrets. We have all felt disgrace. We have all had disappointments. The question is Kingdom man, “Do you dwell there?” 

    It is very easy to go that direction psychologically or spiritually; it’s even easier to stay there. It seems we often are so quick to take a negative view on life or ourselves or both. Do you truly understand that people are watching? That’s not meant to bring more shame. It’s meant to be an alarm that says, “Stop wasting time in the middle of shame!” Shift your sight to the one who is fighting to pull you out of that hole. Shame can be a foreign god. 

    In Psalm 44 the people of Israel went through shameful times. Their victories were not of their own power or prowess, and it’s a great idea to look back at the times in life when we truly acknowledge that it was God’s power and goodness that won battles for us. Again, just as the Israelites, we’ve had our times of disgrace and disappointments. They feared God’s rejection and even considered the consequences of dishonoring his name. Do you ever really consider that? Dishonoring the name of the Lord. We do that when we live in the middle of self-appearance and self-preservation. It is extremely important that no matter how you view yourself or your circumstances, to not seek comfort in sin. It’s best to seek a resolution that is based in truth and love, and it’s all in how you look at it.

    Those around you are watching to see what you see. Do you see them watching you? Do you see yourself in the light and context of the one who has done everything for you; everything to pursue you as a loving Father? The Lord knows your heart. Be transparent with Him and the transparency will have a ripple effect on those around us who are watching. It will teach them this: The way we see ourselves lovingly, and not shamefully, only comes when we continually seek to meditate on the truth and knowledge and love of God. Let’s face it, how can we deny it? We didn’t create ourselves, He did, who better would know. In return, He simply wants our hearts and reconciliation, and the praise for it. We master this, we do this, we teach beyond measure through our actions and far beyond words.

    “O soul are you weary and troubled?

    No light in the darkness you see?

    There's light for a look at the Savior and life more abundant and free.

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus
    Look full in His wonderful face
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
    In the light of His glory and grace”

    Daily Battle Order:

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus and watch how others follow along.

    Do you take accountability for knowing that we were sent to teach others? Tomorrow we’ll learn a little something about not only being accountable but teaching accountability.[/expander_maker]

  • Training and Punishment

    via TJC

    "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness." Hebrews 12:11[expander_maker id="2" more="Read more" less="Read less"]

    As we continue our discussion on discipline, we need to consider the part punishment may have in the process. There are two types of punishment: retributive and redemptive.

    Retribution or manipulative punishment is inflicted as a raw act of vengeance. The deliverer of this sort of punishment is usually angry and emotional. The only ‘training’ occurring in these circumstances is in how to be coerced, and forcibly controlled. That punishment is ungodly, with roots in the kingdom of darkness.

    Redemptive punishment can be used as one of the many tools for Godly discipline and training. And though Jesus is fully God, He endured such training as the Son of God, while also embracing the human training you and I might experience. The writer of Hebrews 5:8 tells us Jesus “was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.” Jesus chose to endure all aspects of being human, including submitting to a season of training.

    As a teenager, through an angry act, I unintentionally separated a teenage girl’s knees from her lower legs. I had been playing sandlot football with a bunch of buddies. Several girls, including Sandy, were watching. When the ball went out of play, Sandy grabbed it and ran off. I chased her down with a vicious tackle. Instead of exercising wisdom and controlling my emotions, they controlled me. Sandy came home from the base hospital a few days later. I was horrified but remained silent, thinking to hide my sin. Eventually, her parents informed my parents. Turns out, Sandy liked me and was attempting to get my attention. My Chief Master Sergeant father used this as a training moment.

    Instead of yelling or applying a wooden rod, my father used an appropriate tool. I was in JROTC at the time. Dad had me dress in full uniform, and he had me spend my own money on a box of candy and a bouquet of flowers. He then marched with me down the sidewalk, in broad daylight, to Sandy’s home. All the neighbors knew of the event, as they were outside on their stoops or looking out the windows. My poor, adolescent choice was on full display. But Dad walked right beside me.

    Sandy’s entire family was waiting in their living room. I verbally asked forgiveness of Sandy and her entire family, presenting her with the candy, flowers, and as soon as she was out of her casts...a request for a date to go to the movies. Her family graciously forgave, and Sandy’s smile told me I would be buying movie tickets soon.

    My Dad’s training that day was definitely ‘not joyful’. I would have rather he used a different rod. But Dad used the right, redemptive punishment that day. Since that October day at Sheppard AFB, I have never tackled another girl! It was a training step in how to control my emotions, so as to avoid harming others. I had a tangible tool, a better grasp regarding how a ‘man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness of God.’

    Daily Battlefield Order
    Examine your outlook on training and discipline. Is it redemptive or manipulative? What we practice will be replicated. Look deep into yourself and see where you stand with your discipline. Are you willing to train and be trained redemptively? Godly training may include redemptive punishment. But Godly training always has the same goal and outcome for those who have submitted to its training. It yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

    Take time out and answer those questions. Post them up on our Facebook site (https://www.facebook.com/joshuacommission )and our Website (https://joshuacommission.org/).

    Tomorrow we will focus on constructive corrective discipline vs. shaming.[/expander_maker]

  • Discipline is Intentional

    via TJC

    Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray. ~ Proverbs 10:17

    And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; ~Genesis 3:17[expander_maker id="2" more="Read more" less="Read less"]

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. ~Galatians 5:22-23

    The Bible gives us a lot of instruction regarding discipline. Paul compares it to a boxer training for fight in his letter to the Corinthians. King Solomon, tells us that it is a path to wisdom and righteousness, in the Book of Proverbs. The common theme between these men, covering  over twenty-five generations between their writings, is that discipline requires energy and focus. It is intentional, not haphazard. The focus and energy must come from something greater than just you.

    As we are discussing this week, discipline is more than just about how it impacts us. It is about how our discipline impacts the people and things we touch. As Proverbs, 10:17 suggests and Genesis 3:17 illustrates, as men, our discipline, or lack thereof, impacts our environment. We will either help it to be nourished or cursed. The outcome is due in large part to the intentionality we place on preparing, training and drawing on the Fruit of the Spirit to power that which brings a harvest of peace, joy and success for the glory of God.

    Often when we try to live a disciplined life we draw our own energy and willpower. We say things like “Dig Deep” or “I can overcome” or “I can hang on for one more day” and “I can do one more rep." I can refrain”. We boast about our self-control. Not realizing that like grace, self-control is a gift lest no one should boast (Ephesians 2:9). We use the words willpower and self control interchangeably but they are not the same. Willpower and self-control draw from different wells. You feed your willpower. It is a function of your attitude and energy. That's why it's greater at the beginning of the day or early in the week. And as the days drag on or the hour gets late, your willpower breaks down and ultimately fails. You find yourself, as Paul says “doing what I don’t want to do'' (Romans 7:15). Self control on the other hand is a Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), it can never run out and it doesn’t have to do with how you feel or your energy level. It is always refreshing we just have to be intentional and tap in.

    Daily Battle Order:

    Kingdom Man, do you want to be refreshed?  Do you want others around you to be refreshed?  Then be intentional.  The intentionality of heeding discipline “shows the way to life”.  The haphazard approach, ignoring correction, “leads others astray.”

    God has given you a choice, but, He didn’t just leave you alone.  He gave you the Holy Spirit as a guide and counselor, along with His Word.  Rely on and yield to the Holy Spirit who empowers you to live a disciplined life and to love others intentionally, as Christ.

    Tomorrow we will focus on the training of discipline vs. punishment.[/expander_maker]

  • Master of Mulligans

    via TJC 

    “When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” ‭John‬ ‭21:15, 17‬ ‭NIV‬‬[expander_maker id="2" more="Read more" less="Read less"]

    I just took up golf this year.  I’ve hit lots of balls over the years but this year took lessons and really been trying to focus and be disciplined playing.  But I keep slicing balls off into the woods or water. I’ve taken a mulligan so many times, which the dictionary defines as “a shot not counted against the score, permitted in unofficial play to a player whose previous shot was poor.” In other words, a mulligan is a do-over.

    In the Book of John, Jesus gave Peter a “spiritual mulligan.” If you remember at the Last Supper, Jesus warned Peter that he would deny him three times before the rooster crowed. Peter boasts that he was ready to go to prison and to death. But Peter fails, accused by a little girl, he denies Christ three times. Jesus looks right at him as the rooster crows - and Peter leaves weeping bitterly as he fails. 

    I’ve failed countless times in the areas we talked about this week; discipline is hard. 

    But don’t quit; this is about the long haul and getting back up when we fail. That bowl of ice cream last night isn’t the end of weeks of dieting; you get back up and keep eating well. 

    So here we have, Jesus going and finding Peter and giving him a huge redo.  Jesus calls Peter back to the tee, back to service, commanding him to feed his sheep. Did Peter blow it? Yes! Big time! Failure was not final because of grace and Peter was given a second chance at discipleship. He received a spiritual mulligan, a do-over 

    Daily Battle Order:

    Have you blown it lately?  Those things you swore you wouldn’t do- Porn, drugs, yelled at your wife with a stream of four letter words? We aren’t condoning failure as there are consequences, but our God is always giving second chances. Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, David, Samson - they all blew it but God used them when they got back up and swung away with God. Kingdom Man- tee it up and let’s keep rolling

    Facebook: (https://www.facebook.com/joshuacommission) and our Website: (https://joshuacommission.org/)[/expander_maker]

  • Spiritual Discipline

    via TJC “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thes 5:23 (NASB) [expander_maker id="2" more="Read more" less="Read less"] When God made mankind, He made us as a 3-part being: Body, Soul (mind), and Spirit. So far this week we emphasized for Kingdom Men, those called as Christ’s disciples, to embrace Physical and Mental discipline. You know that top athletes train with intensity. They discipline their body into peak physical condition, and are mentally prepared, so when the game is on the line, they are ready. We can see the physical conditioning that athletes undergo to compete for prizes, which in the end are temporal. For many Christians, there is a disconnect when thinking about our spiritual conditioning. The sad reality is that many Christians are unfit because they are isolated and undisciplined. For some, the word discipline brings negative feelings. However, nobody drifts into discipline. Here is coach (apostle) Paul’s advice to young Timothy: “discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily training is just slightly beneficial, but godliness is beneficial for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Tim 4:7b-8 So how do we embrace spiritual discipline, so that we are fit, ready for the Lord’s calling? Begin with studying God’s word: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness” 2 Tim 3:16. The Bible is different from other books that we read for information or entertainment; the Bible is inspiration and food for our spirits (Math4:4; Jer 15:16). Beyond studying/consuming God’s word as a hungry man would consume a meal, there is no consensus list of spiritual disciplines. As a spiritual exercise, study the Bible for what helps you to become spiritually fit. Here are some suggestions to get started: prayer, fellowship, fasting, and worship. Daily Battle Order: Are you (or have you been) in a season of feeling spiritually empty? Do (did) you feel lonely, isolated, using pornography to try to fill a hollow feeling? Just as the undisciplined body becomes sluggish and fat, the undisciplined spirit becomes weak, and eating Cheetos will not help. Spiritual discipline is a process, constantly choosing God’s spirit over the flesh. However you are feeling now, how can you become more spiritually fit?. After Bible study, what else works for you and strengthens your spirit? This struggle over the flesh is a team sport; let’s learn discipline together gentlemen. Take time out and answer those questions. Post them up on our Facebook site (https://www.facebook.com/joshuacommission) and our Website (https://joshuacommission.org/).[/expander_maker]

  • Physical Discipline

    via TJC

    “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run their very best to win, but only one receives the prize? Run your race in such a way that you may seize the prize and make it yours! Now every athlete who goes into training and competes in the games is disciplined and exercises self-control in all things. They do it to win a crown that withers, but we do it to receive an imperishable crown that cannot wither. Therefore I do not run without a definite goal; I do not flail around like one beating the air (just shadow boxing). But (like a boxer) I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached the gospel to others, I myself will not somehow be disqualified as unfit for service.” 1 Cor 9:24-27 (AMP).[expander_maker id="2" more="Read more" less="Read less"]

    If you saw a professional athlete, huffing & puffing at the beginning of training camp, you’d think that person lacked the personal discipline necessary to properly prepare their body for the season ahead. Similarly, when seeing a service member in uniform, we generally expect them to be physically fit to successfully meet the rigors of their jobs. 

    The need for physical wellness is not limited to tasks or jobs requiring obvious physical exertion, but in all endeavours. The latin phrase,”mens sana in corpore sano”, or "a healthy mind in a healthy body" is widely used to express that physical wellness is an essential part of mental and psychological well-being. In seemingly cerebral activities, like chess, grandmasters have found the need to achieve high levels of physical fitness, with top of this list, Magnus Carlsen, the current world champion.

    Still not convinced? What if there was a pill you could take, at minimal cost and with virtually no side effects, that “has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, certain cancers, osteoporosis, cognitive decline, hypertension and obesity, and even depression", would you take it?  That “pill” is called physical fitness and it’s what the Doctor ordered. And following physical fitness comes the rest of physical wellness which includes watching what you eat (diet) and getting enough rest/sleep.

    As disciples of Christ, does taking care of our body really matter? The answer is definitely yes! “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Cor 6:19-20 (NIV). Taking care of our bodies is not about vanity. Think about your car - do you maintain it so that it is ready to perform when you need it? In the same respect, we are to maintain the vessel that the Lord has given us so when called to use our bodies to serve, we’re ready.

    Personally, when I make time to include physical exercise, I find I have the energy, stamina, and more relaxed approach to tackle the issues of the day.

    Daily Battle Order: ”Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1 (NIV).

    How are you doing this week at Physical Discipline? For the rest of this year, the TJC Authors are encouraging each other in Physical Discipline, focussing on FIT-Frequency, Intensity, and Time (duration).

    Have you found someone to encourage you (& you encourage them) to improve your Physical Discipline?

    Take time out and answer those questions. Post them up on our Facebook site (https://www.facebook.com/joshuacommission) and our Website (https://joshuacommission.org/)[/expander_maker]