Apr 22, 2010
In our fourth session, The Challenge of Change, we learned that changing behavior and actions is second to what must occur first: a change of heart. Changing our behavior and actions are the leaves; changing the heart is the root of the issue. This changing of the heart is to change our thinking – “you are what you think.” Proverbs 27:19 tells us, “as a man thinks in his heart, so he is.” We must wage spiritual warfare and take every thought captive through the filter of Philippians 4:8-9. We can take control of our thinking and choose to think rightly and Biblically.
It is war we are waging! Be in control of your thinking! Exercise the power you have to turn off wrong thinking and turn on right thinking. Genesis 1:28 tells us to “subdue all the earth”, which includes our minds and thoughts.
It is hard discipline to train ourselves to think rightly. We are to put on right thinking, of God, His Son, His Spirit, the cross – every moment. Let us grow and press on to maturity, let us choose life over death.
Apr 21, 2010
In our third session we discussed the “dangers of discipleship.” Counseling people is discipleship of people, and in our relationships we don’t want to be forming people into proselytes. Unregenerate people making disciples or believers trying to make unregenerate people into disciples are recipes for disaster!
We are to work towards people having the aroma of Christ, both ourselves and those we counsel. They are image bearers and reflections of God and will grow in this image. The learner is to become like his teacher.
The Christian life is meant to be more than “coping” or “getting by” – we are to obey and be holy!
Apr 20, 2010
In our second session, we reviewed the vigorous and vigilant effort it takes to train and discipline our bodies and minds for the glory of God. Training to think and act rightly takes continuous work and effort! Thankfully, God has given us a spirit of self-control (2 Timothy 1:7) and it is one of the fruits of the Spirit working within us.
It’s interesting how many times Paul refers to running a race and the image of an athlete as he describes our growth in Christ. Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us to “throw off what entangles us” and “persevere and run the race.” It is our passion for Christ that fuels this determination. We are not meander aimlessly with no direction or purpose – we are to be moving forward and getting farther along every day. We press on (Philippians 3:13-14), not slide or drift!
A disciple must be disciplined, through the work of God, the church, and himself. We are to be killing sin and buffet our bodies daily. Your body and mind will do what you tell them to – practice self-control!
Praise God for His correction and rebuke and guidance that come from His Spirit and Word and church.
Apr 19, 2010
I was so blessed to attend the discipleship / counseling conference in Pittsburgh at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary this weekend. Their Biblical Counseling Institute hosted the speakers, the director Dr. George Scipione and pastor Dr. Richard Gantz gave the addresses.
The first session, Personal Transformational Discipleship, was given by Dr. Ganz. He focused on Romans 12:1-2
- the mercy of God
- presenting ourselves
- a living sacrifice
- a logical and reasonable response
- we are not to conform to the world
- we renew our minds in order to prove the will of God
He emphasized the self control we have been given by the Spirit (2 Timothy 1:7) over our minds, and to develop positive and right Biblical thinking. We are to exercise power in killing the old man through right thinking.
He also developed the relationship between counseling, discipleship, and sanctification, all to the worship of God.
It was a great lead-off session and good to be reminded of these truths.