8 benefits of spiritual disciplines

I just hit a snag in my sermon-writing. I've got some helpful insights that will bog down the sermon and distract from the main point.

So, as is my tradition, I'm posting those insights here.

In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches on 3 familiar spiritual disciplines:
- giving to the needy
- prayer
- fasting

Spiritual disciplines help us grow and transform, to become the people he desires us to be: people capable of "doing the right thing at the right time in the right spirit" (to quote Ortberg).

So, how do these familiar spiritual disciplines help us?

Giving to the needy helps us ...
  1. become more grateful for what we have
  2. become less devoted to what we have
  3. help someone God cares about (don't underestimate the transformative power of mission inclusion)
The practice of prayer helps us ...
  1. demonstrate faith that God is real
  2. demonstrate faith that God is generous
  3. demonstrate faith that God is able to help us
And fasting? Fasting helps us ...
  1. acknowledge dependence on food (human limitedness)
  2. acknowledge dependence on God
So, 3 benefits of giving and 3 benefits of prayer and 2 benefits of fasting ... that 8 benefits for these spiritual disciplines.

Thanks for letting me dump ideas here. Not every good insight has to make it into a sermon!


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