Sermon No: 881-Discipleship and Discipline - Part 4

SERMON TOPIC: Discipleship and Discipline - Part 4

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 26 August 2012


Sermon synopsis: Discipline with regards to praying and reading God's Word.
You will be able to see a person who spends time with the Lord
Exodus 34:29-35.
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.

Discipleship part 4.



Establishing a disciplined quiet time.

In our busy lives it is necessary to carve out time for relationships that are important, there is no substitute for time.

You need to spend quality time with your husband/ wife, with your children and above all with the Lord.

Luke 10:25-28.

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. Teacher, he asked, what must I do to inherit eternal life? What is written in the Law? he replied. How do you read it? He answered, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbour as yourself. You have answered correctly, Jesus replied. Do this and you will live.


Why have a quiet time every day?

Because we love the Lord.

For fellowship. (We were created for this Revelation 4:11)

John 14:23.

Jesus replied, Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

We renew our strength.

Isaiah 40:28-31.

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.


Why have a quiet time every day?

We are equipped to face trials and tests.

Matthew 26:40-41.

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour? he asked Peter. Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

We get direction.

Matthew 7:7,8. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

James 1:5,6. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,


Practical hints for planning an effective quiet time.

Choose a definite place.

(A quiet place where you can meet with God undisturbed.)

Matthew 6:5.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This, then, is how you should pray:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.


Choose a definite time.

(Don’t try find the time, make time)

Daniel 6:10.

Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

If anyone can set us an example of he importance of prayer it is Daniel, a man who had a high office and stood out above everyone else that his behaviour impacted a heathen king.


Quality is more important than quantity. (but don’t be pressurized by time, God is not moved by casual or superficial prayer)

Jeremiah 29:11-14.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you, declares the Lord,


Remember prayer is not just talking, it is listening. (quieting your heart, getting rid of distractions and casting your cares upon the Lord so that you can hear His voice)

Philippians 4:6,7.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Two main elements of a Quiet time.


The Word of God.

Guidelines for establishing an effective Quiet time.

1. Ask the Holy Spirit to be your teacher, then read your passage for the day.

Psalm 119:18.

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

2. Meditate on the passage.

Psalm 1:1,2.

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.


3. Respond to what you have read in prayer.

Just recently I read a passage of scripture that I have read many times before and I saw it in a new light.

Luke 16:1-13.

Jesus told his disciples: There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer. The manager said to himself, What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses. So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, How much do you owe my master? Nine hundred gallons of olive oil, he replied. The manager told him, Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty. Then he asked the second, And how much do you owe? A thousand bushels of wheat, he replied. He told him, Take your bill and make it eight hundred. The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.


Luke 16:1-13.

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.


The Shrewd Manager in Luke 16:1-13.

This passage in Luke 16:1-13 is a problem for a lot of folks because Jesus seems to be praising a crook. One of the Sunday School teachers in the congregation asked me about it recently, and here is my response: I guess the first thing to note is that all of Luke 16 is about money in one way or another. There are two parables about money...this one and the closing one about the rich man and Lazarus with some money-grubbing Pharisees providing the filler between the two. I find two keys to this particular parable. The first is in v. 9 where Jesus says, "Make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth. The NIV translates it "worldly wealth." The point to me seems to be similar to Jesus pulling the coin out of the fish's mouth to pay his taxes...earthly money has no eternal value, so if you're going to have it, you should be using it for making life better for others. So the dishonest steward first just squandered the money. Then, after he was caught, he wised up and used it to make others happy....granted he did it for his own benefit, but even in his warped mind he could see that things would go better for him if he made it better for others.. The rich man in the parable at the end of the chapter never got even that much and never gave the poor man, Lazarus, any benefit at all...selfishly or otherwise.


The Shrewd Manager in Luke 16:1-13. (continued) It is in that light that I see the other key verse, which is the one before, verse 8: "For the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light." In other words, if a crook can figure out that his own life is better when he gives away money to benefit others, then why can't the people of the light manage to get it right? The point is not to be dishonest, but to say, "Look, how come you religious folks are so daft that you can't manage to figure out that using money to benefit others is simply the smart way to use earth's wealth?

Even dishonest financial moguls know that you need to have some philanthropy in your portfolio!" I think it relates to the verse that says, "Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves."


4. Write down what the Spirit particularly impressed upon you.

I have always found the making notes is the best way to keep a record of things that the Lord opens up to me in Scripture, I have 5 or 6 lever arch files with notes from my time in ministry.

Bear in mind we have the Scriptures because of men who wrote down what the Holy Spirit was impressing upon them.

2 Peter 1:19-21.

We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.


5. Memorise a portion of scripture.

Deut 11:18-21.

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.


6. Look for opportunities during the day to apply and share what you have learnt.

James 1:22-25.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it they will be blessed in what they do.

7. Stay in prayerful contact with the Lord throughout the day.

1 Thess 5:17.

Pray without ceasing.


You will be able to see a person who spends time with the Lord

Exodus 34:29-35. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them. Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai. When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever he entered the Lord’s presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the Lord.


8. Schedule in additional time every week just for studying the Word.

Matthew 13:44.

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

2 Timothy 2:15.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Psalm 119:105.

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.


Reasons for failure in our prayers.

1. Disobedience.

Deuteronomy 1:26-33.

But you were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. You grumbled in your tents and said, The Lord hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. Where can we go? Our brothers have made our hearts melt in fear. They say, The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there. Then I said to you, Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place. In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God, who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.


Reasons for failure in our prayers.

1. Disobedience (continued) Deuteronomy 1:41-45. Then you replied, We have sinned against the Lord. We will go up and fight, as the Lord our God commanded us. So every one of you put on his weapons, thinking it easy to go up into the hill country. But the Lord said to me, “Tell them, ‘Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies. So I told you, but you would not listen. You rebelled against the Lord’s command and in your arrogance you marched up into the hill country. The Amorites who lived in those hills came out against you; they chased you like a swarm of bees and beat you down from Seir all the way to Hormah. You came back and wept before the Lord, but he paid no attention to your weeping and turned a deaf ear to you.


Reasons for failure in our prayers.

1. Disobedience. 1 Samuel 28:3-7. Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his own town of Ramah. Saul had expelled the mediums and spiritists from the land. The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem, while Saul gathered all Israel and set up camp at Gilboa.

When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart.

He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.”


Reasons for failure in our prayers.

2. Sin.

Ps 66:16-20

Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!

Isaiah 59:1,2.

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken falsely, and your tongue mutters wicked things. No one calls for justice; no one pleads a case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.


Reasons for failure in our prayers.

3. Indifference.

Prov 1:24-28. How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord. Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.


Reasons for failure in our prayers.

4. Neglect of mercy.

Proverbs 21:13.

Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.

Isaiah 1:15-20.

When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood! Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. Come now, let us settle the matter, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.


Reasons for failure in our prayers.

5. Despising the law.

Matthew 5:17-19.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Romans 13:8-10.

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet, and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: Love your neighbour as yourself. Love does no harm to a neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.


Reasons for failure in our prayers.

5. Despising the law.

Zechariah 7:9-13.

This is what the Lord Almighty said: Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other. But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears. They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the Lord Almighty was very angry. When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen, says the Lord Almighty. I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land they left behind them was so desolate that no one travelled through it. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.

Proverbs 28:9.

If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable .


Reasons for failure in our prayers.

6. Doubt.

James 1:5-8.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

7. Self indulgence.

James 4:2,3.

You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.


Reasons for failure in our prayers.

8. Lack of persistence.

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, Grant me justice against my adversary. For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me! And the Lord said, Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.


A.W. Towzer said that what Christians need is not a change of menu, but a change of appetite.

Colossians 3:16. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Psalm 119:11. Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

1 Peter 1:22 - 1 Peter 2:3.

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the Lord endures forever. Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you. Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,


Without God’s Word in our lives, we will die.

Deuteronomy 8:2,3. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.


How to get to know God’s Word.

1.Through hearing.

Romans 10:17.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

John 6:12,13. So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost. Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. (Do you gather up fragments of the bread of life so that nothing is lost)

2.Through reading.

Revelation 1:3.

Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.


Methods of reading to avoid.

(i) Box of chocolates ie. Promise Box.

(ii) Deep Sea fishing ie: Looking between the lines.

(iii) Lucky Dip Method ie: Flip though Bible.

(iv) First Aid Method ie: Use Bible only in Emergencies.

3.Through Study.

Acts 17:11.

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.


Four methods of study.

(i) Verse analysis

(ii) Chapter analysis

(iii) Character study eg: Simon Peter

(iv) Topical study eg: Faith (You can combine character and topical study)

4. Memorise Gods Word.

Proverbs 7: 1-3.

My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.

5. Meditate on Gods Word. (This goes hand in hand with previous 4 methods)

Joshua 1:8

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Question yourself on what you have read.

(example: Is this a mistake to avoid, a command, a sin to put off, a promise to believe)


We must pay attention to rules of interpretation.

Pay attention to context.

Consider the simple and the most obvious meaning as correct. If the literal sense makes good sense seek no other sense lest you end up with nonsense.

The Bible itself is it’s best interpretation. We need to study the old testament out of the view of the New Testament.


Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (