| Training in righteousness has a
positive and essential place in the lives of God's people.
This holds true in both the Old and New Testaments. God's
people had to learn how to be obedient to His will, to become
more and more like their Lord. This was accomplished through
"the discipline of the Lord" (Deut.
11:2 NIV). God deals with His people very much
the same today, for "the Lord disciplines those he
loves" (Hebrews 12:6a).
Scripture teaches us "God disciplines us for our good,
that we may share in His holiness" (Hebrews
12:10b NIV). As we can see from this passage,
the discipline of the Lord produces holiness.
Verse eleven goes on to say "..it produces a harvest
of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by
Discipline refers to the process by which
one learns a way of life. A disciple was like an
apprentice who was learning a trade or craft from a master.
Such learning required a relationship between the
master who knew the way of life (discipline) and a learner (a
disciple). Within this relationship, the teacher led the
learner through a process (the discipline) until the learner
could imitate or live like the master. Jesus taught this very
concept in Luke 6:40,
"A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who
is fully trained will be like his teacher."
When Jesus called the twelve, it was to establish
a master-learner relation with them. As they lived and worked
with Him, Jesus disciplined them unto a way of life that was
pleasing to God. Such discipline involved praise and
criticism, affirmation and rebuke. Today, Jesus does the same,
through His church. He seeks people willing to learn; people
who are pliable and moldable unto His likeness. What kind of
pottery are you? What's your shape?
|Becoming Like Christ
Training in Righteousness: Being Pliable
Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we
are all the work of your hand.
molded after the likeness of the Lord should be every
Christian’s focus. To be like Jesus in every way is the
attitude and desire of every true believer. Jesus calls us to
be His disciples. But this requires a special kind of heart--a
willing and moldable heart that is pliable like soft clay. Our
mind-set and response to discipline will determine the kind of
“vessel” we will become. What type of clay are you?
Moldable, or rigid and unyielding?
are some practical suggestions:
Make it your goal to be like Jesus in
all you do: whether at work, at home,
or in dealing with opposition.
Have this question in mind: “What
would Jesus want me to do?” This
question will prove to be very helpful
when facing decisions or course of
Be open to discipline. Do not defend
sin, but rather hate the sin, and love
Ask your discipler to point out areas in
your life that need work. Request
reproof and correction! Don’t give
them a hard time when they expose
May the Lord richly bless you!
Pliability and Christianity
I. A Lesson From The Potter
A. Jeremiah 18:1-12
1. Jeremiah is sent to a potter's home.
a. He is sent to receive a
sermon already prepared
b. Failure to shape the clay:
potter; faulty clay
formed into another type of pot
B. God's Lesson To Israel
1. He has supreme dominion and authority over us.
-- Like the potter who shapes
so does God
2. Our composition determines our shape
a. Punishment comes from our sin
b. Solution: Be moldable
--Return from sin
--Reform your ways
3. Dangerous Attitude of Disbelief
a. "It's no use..."
--being obstinate in sin
causes one not to be reformed
b. Hopelessness was our former life (Eph.
--there is hope
Make Him Lord of your life each day,
and your strength he will renew!
you ever tried to correct someone because you cared for them?
How do they usually react? Why do
so many people react poorly to correction?
See To It
From these verses, what kind of man was
What was the main focus of his prayer? How
did he pray?
David was known as a man after God’s own
heart (1 Sam.
13:14). From these verses, how
is this manifested?
What did David desire of his friends?
The world thinks of reproof as unkindness.
Why did David see it differently?
How are we to receive reproof?
Read Ecclesiastes 7:6.
What is the
meaning of these verses? How is this done
Why is the laughter of fools like burning
thorns under a pot? What will eventually
happen to the burning thorns as compared to
those who are not disciplined?
On a scale of 1 -5, how opened are you
towards correction? (1-very open; 5-least open)
Getting To It:
Pray a similar prayer like that of David in Psalm
141. Ask God to guard your mouth against evil and to have a
willing, moldable heart that does not refuses the discipline
of the Lord.
week's Quiet Times:
Attitude of Christ: Humility & Pliability
necessary factor to be able to serve in the Kingdom of God and grow to know the
love of our Lord is possessing a moldable heart.
The heart of a disciple of Jesus is one that is pliable.
Look this word up in a good dictionary and write down the definition.
It will be helpful to look back upon the definition of pliability as we
continue throughout the week. Read Jeremiah
What do you think was the reason the Lord sent Jeremiah to the potter’s house?
How is it that we, like Israel, can be like clay in the Lord’s hand? The
desire to have a moldable heart comes from knowing that you are a sinner and in
need of correction (Ezekiel 7:20)! When you
heed correction is when you allow the Lord to mold you for His purposes. Write Ephesians
2:10 on an index card and memorize it. Realize that you are God’s
vessel, His workmanship! Created to do and to walk in the ways of the Lord. Be
like soft clay in His hands!
The hardest thing to do when working on having a
moldable heart is learning to accept correction. When someone tries to correct
you, how do you respond? Do you show your annoyance at once (Prov. 12:16)? Do you turn away from discipline, or do you seek
15:5)? Read Psalm 141:5. Doesn’t this make a good memory verse? This is
the attitude of a disciple, one who seeks after the Lord’s own heart. Maybe
you should begin to seek good rebukes rather than empty praises! Write Psalm
139:23-24 on an index card and memorize it. Remember, don’t be angry
at the one who corrects you, be angry at your sin! During your mentorship meeting this week, tell your
mentor how much you want to get rid of the sin that is holding you back, or that
you’re holding back, from the Lord. Be bold and let your brother/sister help
Lord had to be tested and perfected! What do you think His attitude was
throughout all this? Read Hebrews 5:7-9. How did
Jesus learn obedience? What was the attitude He possessed that enabled Him to be
heard by God? Why was it necessary for Him to be made perfect? The
phrase "learned obedience by the things which He suffered" does not
mean that Jesus was ever disobedient but rather that He learned through
experience as a Man and through all His temptation and suffering what it meant
to suffer and triumph in a way He did not experience before the incarnation. His
humanity was in this sense "completed," which is the meaning of the
Greek word translated "perfected" in this context. Would you have
trusted in Jesus if He decided not to be pliable in the Lord’s hand? Write Isaiah 28:16 on an index
card and memorize it.
When faced with correction, do you think about your will,
or the will of God? Have you trained yourself to act upon the correction or do
you just react to it? Do you want to get better or do you want to remain bitter?
Corin. 7:10-11. What do you think is the difference between the sorrow
of the world and the sorrow that is godly? What does sorrow of the world lead
to? What does godly sorrow lead to? What other godly attitudes does godly sorrow
produce? Does worldly sorrow motivate you to be pliable? Write Ecclesiastes
7:3 on an index card and memorize it. From the Believers Study Bible : “Sorrow tends to produce a saddening reflection, while
laughter may indicate a frivolous frame of mind. In a serious mood, one is more
ready to think reflectively about life. From this comes the motivation for a
purification of the heart.”
can be a servant of the Lord, only by having a submissive and pliable attitude.
I quote Matthew Henry: “Younger
Christians are to submit to their elders, and to yield with humility and
patience to God, and to be sober, watchful, and steadfast in faith...”
Peter 5:5-9. Why should we be submissive to the elder? Why should we
serve one another? Let your anxieties about receiving discipline and correction
drive you to God’s throne in prayer, rather than giving the devil a foothold.
Remember! The battle is against the evil powers that influence, not against the
people who are trying to love you! Write James 4:10 on an index card and memorize it. “Submit
yourself to God, for he is ready to do you good. If you yield to temptations,
the devil will continually follow you; but if you put on the whole armor of God,
and stand out against him, he will leave you. Let sinners then submit to God,
and seek his grace and favor; resisting the devil. All sin must be wept over;
here, in godly sorrow, or, hereafter, in eternal misery. And the Lord will not
refuse to comfort one who really mourns for sin, or to exalt one who humbles
himself before him.” -- Matthew Henry