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Discipline of devotion
Opening questions:
How much time do you think you spend doing different activities during the week?
How much time do you think you generally spend in conversation with God?
What does devotion look like? What would you say are things/people/ideas that you are devoted to?
If someone were to ask you what your plan was for maintaining a devoted life, what would you tell them?
Why do most men fail to live devoted lives?
Why should we meditate on the Lord and his word?
Disciplines of a Godly Man Chapter 7: Discipline of Devotion

most fail because they simply do not know how to go about cultivating the disciplines of the interior spiritual life

Devotion can not be boiled down to keeping rules only
Disciplines of a Godly Man Chapter 7: Discipline of Devotion

First, one’s prayer and devotional life cannot be reduced to a few simple rules. These areas of spiritual experience are far too dynamic and personal for simplistic reduction

John 3:16 KJV 1900
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Psalm 1:2 KJV 1900
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; And in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Psalm 1:2 KJV 1900
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; And in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Disciplines of a Godly Man Chapter 7: Discipline of Devotion

All Christians should be systematically reading through the Bible, once a year if possible, so that our minds are being perpetually programmed by the data of Scripture.

This understood, there is yet another step: meditation — which involves personalizing and internalizing a segment of the Word.

Revelation 2:7 KJV 1900
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Revelation 2:7 KJV 1900
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
, ,
Meditation
Psalm 1:2 KJV 1900
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; And in his law doth he meditate day and night.
The importance of having our ears dug open comes to us from the lips of Jesus: “He who has an ear, let him hear …” (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). We need to read God’s Word, but we must also pray that He will blast through our granite-block heads so we truly hear His Word.
Listening
R. Kent Hughes, Disciplines of a Godly Man, 10th anniversary ed.; rev. ed. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2001), 85.
Psalm 40:6 KJV 1900
6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; Mine ears hast thou opened: Burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
This verse says in the Hebrew to ‘have our ears dug out’ - This shows us that often times we can be block heads and not really listen to what we are reading or what we are hearing!
God takes a pick and mines through the sides of our heads so that we can hear!
Disciplines of a Godly Man Chapter 7: Discipline of Devotion

The importance of having our ears dug open comes to us from the lips of Jesus: “He who has an ear, let him hear …” (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22). We need to read God’s Word, but we must also pray that He will blast through our granite-block heads so we truly hear His Word.

Muttering
speaks of “muttering” or “reciting what we have read”
There are certain passages of Scripture that would be very helpful for us to keep before us often. What are some that you can think of?
Philippians 3:10 KJV 1900
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Phil
Disciplines of a Godly Man Chapter 7: Discipline of Devotion

The effects of meditation are supernal, bringing:

• Revival — “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul” (Psalm 19:7).

• Wisdom — “The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7); “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me” (Psalm 119:97, 98).

• Increases in our faith — “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17)

Confession
Disciplines of a Godly Man Chapter 7: Discipline of Devotion

There can be no ongoing devotion without confession, which can take place anytime. Ideally it ought to take place whenever we sin. But all too often we are too proud and emotionally charged to acknowledge our sin at the time we commit it — for example, when we lose our temper in an argument. But devotion is impossible if we are overloaded with guilt.

Spontaneous Confession
Psalm 139
Disciplines of a Godly Man Chapter 7: Discipline of Devotion

If we have put off admitting our sins to God, confession may need to come first in our devotional time. There is also the probability that during Scriptural meditation, or even during adoration, further hidden sins will come to light. So our moments of devotion may be filled with repeated confession.

Psalm 139:23–24 KJV 1900
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.
Isaiah 6:5 KJV 1900
5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
Systematic Confession
Disciplines of a Godly Man Chapter 7: Discipline of Devotion

While understanding that confession should happen spontaneously, our discipline of devotion ought to involve systematic confession as well. First, we must confess what we are, the ontological reality that we truly are sinners

We must recognize that we are sinners, so there ought to be regular confession to God
Romans 3:9–20 KJV 1900
9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes. 19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Confession is importan
Psalm 66:18 KJV 1900
18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear me:
Adoration
Disciplines of a Godly Man Chapter 7: Discipline of Devotion

The disciplines of devotion should culminate in sublime adoration and worship. This begins with a proper sense of awe in the presence of the God we know and serve.

Revelation 4:11 KJV 1900
11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
What do you really think of God? Are we really in awe of how wonderful he really is?
Psalm 19:1 KJV 1900
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Psalm 139 KJV 1900
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. 1 O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. 2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandest my thought afar off. 3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, And art acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word in my tongue, But, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. 5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, And laid thine hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain unto it. 7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, And thy right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; Even the night shall be light about me. 12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; But the night shineth as the day: The darkness and the light are both alike to thee. 13 For thou hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Marvellous are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, When I was made in secret, And curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; And in thy book all my members were written, Which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. 17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! 18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: When I awake, I am still with thee. 19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: Depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. 20 For they speak against thee wickedly, And thine enemies take thy name in vain. 21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.
It would do us well to contemplate on the attributes of God - if you really want to appreciate someone or something, you study it and search out what makes it so special (cars for example)
Worship
Disciplines of a Godly Man Chapter 7: Discipline of Devotion

The height of devotion is reached when reverence and contemplation produce passionate worship, which in turn breaks forth in thanksgiving and praise in word and song

Disciplines of a Godly Man Chapter 7: Discipline of Devotion

As we worship we can pray or read or sing God’s Word back to Him. The Psalms are perfect for this because they are a worship manual. For example, Psalms 146–150, the last five Psalms, begin and end with “hallelujah” (i.e., “praise the Lord!”). And Psalm 150 says, “praise the Lord” in every sentence

Psalm 150 KJV 1900
1 Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: Praise him in the firmament of his power. 2 Praise him for his mighty acts: Praise him according to his excellent greatness. 3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: Praise him with the psaltery and harp. 4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: Praise him with stringed instruments and organs. 5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: Praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. 6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.
Submission
Disciplines of a Godly Man Chapter 7: Discipline of Devotion

Does adoration lead to anything else? Yes — the presentation of our bodies — our entire lives — in an ultimate act of worship. This is how Isaiah capped his great experience with God: “Here am I. Send me!”

Isaiah 6:8 KJV 1900
8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
Romans 12:1 KJV 1900
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Disciplines of a Godly Man Chapter 7: Discipline of Devotion

Our devotion must culminate in a conscious yielding of every part of our personality, every ambition, every relationship, and every hope to Him. This done, we have reached the apex of personal devotion.

Disciplines of a Godly Man Chapter 7: Discipline of Devotion

As I cautioned when we began, personal devotion cannot and must not be reduced to a few principles such as meditation, confession, adoration and submission. Neither can it be put in a logical straitjacket. Sometimes we may be called to confession and submission only. Other times, adoration may occupy an extended time, or our devotions will properly be confined to petition only. There will be times when all of it takes place in twenty minutes.

But one thing is certain — it will not happen without discipline. The reason many men never have an effective devotional life is, they never plan for it. They do not know what it is because they have never taken the time to find out. They do not pray because they do not set aside the time. Their character never rises to that of Christ’s because they do not expose their lives to His pure light. Their wills stay crooked because they do not tie into Him.

The question for prayerless men is a very masculine one: Are we man enough to meditate? To confess? To adore? To submit? To sweat and endure?

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