INSIGHT
 
   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 it."
   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

 

Key Text:                    Isaiah 64:8

Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

Theme:

Being 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?

Application:

Here are some practical suggestions:

1. Make it your goal to be like Jesus in

    all you do: whether at work, at home,

    or in dealing with opposition.

2. 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

    action!

3. Be open to discipline. Do not defend

    sin, but rather hate the sin, and love

    the reproof.

4. 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

    your sin.

5. Memorize Psalm 141:5!!!

May the Lord richly bless you!

 

 

 

 

 

Sermon Outline


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 
         by the Lord.
      b. Failure to shape the clay:
         -- skillful potter; faulty clay
         -- 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 accordingly
         so does God shape us

  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. 2:12)
      --there is hope

II. Conclusion
Make Him Lord of your life each day,
and your strength he will renew!
(Isaiah 40:30-31).

Small Group Study

Warm-up:

Have 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                                Psalm 141:1-5

1. From these verses, what kind of man was

    David?

 

2. What was the main focus of his prayer? How

     did he pray?

 

3. David was known as a man after God’s own

    heart (1 Sam. 13:14). From these verses, how

    is this manifested?

 

4. What did David desire of his friends?

 

5. The world thinks of reproof as unkindness.

    Why did David see it differently?

Seeing It Closer:

1. How are we to receive reproof?

 

2. Read Ecclesiastes 7:6. What is the

    meaning of these verses? How is this done

    today?

 

3.  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?

 

4. 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.

 

 

 

 

This week's Quiet Times:

The Attitude of Christ: Humility & Pliability

MONDAY
A 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 18:2-6. 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!

TUESDAY
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 it (Prov. 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 you!

WEDNESDAY
Even our 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.

THURSDAY
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? Read 2 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.” 

FRIDAY
You 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...” Read 1 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