12 Weeks of Discipline – Worship

Take time each morning this week to dwell in the daily passage


Monday:   Meditate on Revelation 4. Put yourself in the throne room.

Tuesday:  Matthew 6:19-21.  Pay close attention today to what you worship. What are your idols?    Write them down in your journal, surrendering them as you write.

Wednesday: Philippians 2:12-13

How are you living into His good pleasure today?  Give thanks throughout the day for how He has and is using you.

Thursday: Psalm 19:14   Today as you go to school, work, play, eat and even sleep, be in a state of listening and constant conversation with Christ (practicing the presence of God).

Friday:      Psalm 86:1-10  Go for a walk with the Lord today at lunchtime. Tell Him the things you are so thankful for and ask Him about those things that cause you angst. Release those into His able hands.

Saturday:  Isaiah 6:1-9  Ask today, “Lord, what woulst thou that I should do?” Do it.


12 Weeks of Discipline – Confession

“At the heart of God is the desire to give and forgive. Because of this, He set into motion the entire redemptive process that culminated in the cross and was confirmed in the resurrection.” Richard Foster

Confession has nothing to do with coaxing God into actually forgiving us. That work has been accomplished. Confession involves a change in our relationship with God, and a change in us.  It is God’s way of healing and transforming our inner spirit.


The interesting thing about Foster’s placement of confession is that it’s listed as a corporate discipline. Confession is both private, I Tim. 2:5; and public, James 5:16. We are a community of sinners saved by grace, struggling with basically the same sins. But Christ has given us each other to walk through this fire together; consider John 20:23

“A man who confesses his sins in the presence of a brother knows that he is no longer alone with himself; he experiences the presence of God in the reality of the other person. As long as I am by myself in the confession of my sins everything remains in the dark, but in the presence of a brother the sin has to be brought into the light.”  (Dietrick Bonhoeffer)

Monday:   Spend some time examining your conscience, letting the Holy Spirit reveal to you those things that need forgiveness and healing in your life.  Write them down.

Tuesday:  Look at what you wrote yesterday. Add any that were revealed to you last night. Meditate on how those sins have affected your behavior.  Let the abhorrence of your sin move you to real sorrow.  Give them one by one to the Lord.

Wednesday: Meditate on Psalm 51:1-12.  Call a friend you trust and line up a time on Thursday or Friday that you can get together to share those things you wrote down.

Thursday: Get together with a friend, or do Friday’s discipline and meet with your friend tomorrow.

Friday:      Initiate getting together today with someone you know well who is having a rough time.  Listen to them, ask insightful questions. Hear what is said. Pray over them a prayer of forgiveness – maybe even a healing prayer.

Saturday:  Today is a day of doing penance. Consider today your sins that have affected other people. Spend the day making amends, asking forgiveness, rectifying wrongs caused by you.


12 Weeks of Discipline Week 5 (July 9-13): Simplicity

Save receipts for all of your purchases this week.

Monday: Look at Matt. 6:19-24. What is He saying? Jesus had many, many things to say on the issue of simplicity. Where else does Jesus talk about the evils of money and materialism? See Matt. 13; 19; Luke 6; 12; 16 for example. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you if you have a heart of simplicity. How does that compare to spiritual duplicity?

Tuesday: Find a quiet place to be alone. Examine the materialistic “loves” in your life. Ask yourself, and the Lord, if these things are competing for your devotion to Him. If so, then what? What are you willing to do to follow the 1st commandment?

Wednesday: Foster says “We crave things we neither need nor enjoy. We buy things we do not want to impress people we do not like.” What do you own that’s purpose is mainly to impress? Give it away today (to someone in need of it or maybe a homeless person). Do it anonymously to avoid praise.

Thursday: What do you own that you have a difficult time sharing? Do you believe that everything you have is a gift and therefore should be available to others? Spend some time dedicating those things to the Lord, and offering to share them to bring Christ honor.

Friday: Focus on your words today. Avoid empty flattery and excessive talk. Listen more than you speak. Let your speech be honest, simple, and God honoring.

Saturday: Go off by yourself into God’s creation for at least an hour today. Make this a planned retreat to be with Christ. Bring your receipts from the week with you. Examine them. What do your spending habits reveal about you?

Does your money control you? How could you use your money to glorify God and seek His Kingdom?


12 Weeks of Discipline Week 4 (July 2-8):  Study

Monday:   Read Matthew 9:18-26. Then read Mark 5:21-43. Write down the any differences you see in the texts. How is one more complete/detailed? Now read Luke 8:40-56.  Do you see any additional details? Why the differences? What is the point? What lessons do you take away?

Tuesday:      Read Judges 4-5. What role did a Judge have in those day? Why, in a patriarchal society, was Deborah a respected judge?  What specifics about Deborah are noteworthy?

Wednesday: Rewrite the story of the Good Shepherd (John 10:1-14; 27) in plain language- not metaphors. What are the main messages?

Thursday: Look at Romans 12:1-2. Why is the “therefore” there? What are some key words and phrases from chapter 11 that Paul might be referencing with his “therefore?”  Are there any cross references that will make this passage richer?  (use Biblegateway.com)

Friday:         Read carefully Psalm 139. What does it communicate about our standing with God. What are key words that describe how God created us?  Look those words up in Hebrew. (use Biblehub.com)

Saturday:     Read John 21:15-17. Using the above online resources look up the Greek for the different uses of ‘love.” What do you discover? How does Christ want us to ‘love?”


12 Weeks of Discipline Week 3 (June 25-30):  Fasting

As followers of Jesus Christ we want to be people who make a difference in our world. We want our lives to mirror what Christ calls us to be. This is not a haphazard, “Boy, I hope I hit the mark,” but a determined commitment to live disciplined lives.

The goal: to have a more intimate walk with Jesus Christ.


Fasting: abstaining from food {(or something else)} for spiritual purposes

What is the spiritual purpose of fasting?

  • To seek God’s favor
  • To show our dependence upon God- we live in a culture of instant gratification (is it a positive spiritual virtue to satisfy every human desire / appetite?)
  • To worship God

Is it commanded? Matt 6:16; 9:15

What are the benefits?

  • Reveals the things that control us- they are raised to the surface (Psalm 69:10)
  • Reminds us that we are sustained by God (Col 1:17)
  • Helps us keep our balance in life. “How easily we begin to allow non-essentials to take precedence in our lives. How quickly we crave things we do not need until we are enslaved by them.” (I Cor. 6:12)
  • Brings freedom (Gal 5:1)
  • Guidance in decisions, increased concentration, increased effectiveness in prayer, deliverance for those in bondage, revelations

Monday:       Do a partial fast today, start after breakfast and break it at dinner. Take your lunch break to spend time alone in prayer and in the Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you those things in your life that control you. Write down the things that A. Demand too much of your time (e.g. TV, cell phone, social media, gaming, reading, etc); B. Things that are unhealthy (e.g. sugar, alcohol, smoking, etc); C. Attitudes that tear down (e.g. sarcasm, criticism, judgmentalism, etc.). Write down one of those issues for Tuesday through Friday of this week, and on that day (24 hours) fast from it.

Tuesday:      Along with your fast today, meditate on I Corinthians 6:12-20

Wednesday:  Along with your fast today, read and meditate on I Cor. 9:24-27

Thursday:    Along with your fast today, read and meditate on Matt. 4:1-11.

Friday:         Along with your fast today, read and meditate on I Peter 5:6-9.

Saturday:     Do a full 24 hour day food fast. Start when you wake up this morning, break your fast with breakfast Sunday morning. See this as a day of freedom to focus on Christ and your relationship with Him.


12 weeks of Discipline Week 2 (June 18-22): Prayer

In the same way we often realize a need to get back into physical shape, there are times its blatantly obvious that we are spiritually sloppy. Incorporating discipline in our spiritual lives centers us, focuses us, settles us into a state of clarity where we can hear the Holy Spirit.

3 things happen during prayer:
*Worship- our spirits acknowledging our Creator
*Participation- In what God is doing:
“God does nothing but in answer to prayer.”
John Wesley
“The closer we come to the heartbeat of God the more we see our need
and the more we desire to be conformed to the heart of Christ.”
Richard Foster

Daily Exercises of Prayer  Take 15 minutes each day to meditate on the passage given, then 15 minutes to do the exercise

 Monday:    Romans 8:26. Make your prayer less wordy today.  Remember that God hears the heart and not the words.  The only words in your prayer as things come to mind: “Oh God”

Tuesday:   Matt 6:25-33. Write down the “little worries” that get in the way of your prayer (ancient teachers on prayer called them scruples or little pebbles that intrude on our ability to walk confidently in the way of Christ).  Name them and surrender them.

Wednesday: Psalm 51:1-4. Spend some time in confession today. Do you want to be well?

Thursday: Pray through Psalm 139. Dwell inside the text, experiencing God’s love for you abundantly.

Friday:       I Thes. 5:16-17. Interweave an experience of prayer with an experience of intense work or labor (pray while running or exercising). Do you notice a change in the way you pray, or the tenor of your prayers?

Saturday: Psalm 100. Allow yourself an hour to rest today away from the normal daily distractions. Focus on praise in your prayers.


12 Weeks of Discipline Week 1 (June 11 – 16):  Meditation

When we recognize our sinful or apathetic spiritual life and have 2 options:

  1. Overcome it with willpower and good intentions.
  2. Put ourselves in a healthy spiritual state- which takes work

First week of discipline: Meditation

Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2; 4:3-5; 119:15, 23, 27

What does it mean to meditate?

 “If we hope to move beyond the superficialities of our culture, including our religious culture, we must be willing to go down into the recreating silences, into the inner world of contemplation.” Richard Foster

– Make a decision to commit, a non-negotiable in your calendar.

-pray for the desire to meditate, before you begin!

-Give yourself at least 30 minutes, in a place without external distraction

-choose a good posture, commit to listening, discipline your mind



Daily Activities

Monday:   Read Mark 10:46-52. Experience the crowds, the smells, the noises, the passion of Bartimaeus and the response of Jesus. Put yourself in the scene. What do you cry out to Jesus?  How does He respond?

Tuesday:  Read slowly through Psalm 51. Allow the reality of God’s forgiveness and grace to sweep over you as you consider His everlasting and unconditional love.

Wednesday: Reflect on your day- or yesterday. As you remember moments when God was glorified through you or you were receptive to His teaching, raise your palms up and give Him praise. As you recall times of sin, self-focus, or neglect turn your palms down and release them to Christ.

Thursday: Sit down with a newspaper today. Morn with those who mourn. Weep with those who weep. Rejoice with those who rejoice. Ask, “Holy Spirit, what is my role here?”

Friday:       Read Matthew 9:20-22. Meditate on that passage putting someone you love in the place of the woman who was healed.

Saturday:  Find a quiet place in a natural setting for about an hour. Meditate on the detail, the grandeur of God’s creation. Listen to God’s love for you through His creation.