A gem from my favorite devotional
One of my favorite devotional books is a little volume titled, “A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants” by Ruben P. Job and Norman Shawchuck, (The Upper Room, 1983). A rich collection of readings for each week, taken from various classic Christian authors always provokes thought and provides inspiration. This last week I discovered again a quote from Albert Edward Day taken from his book “Discipline and Discovery.” I found it so amazingly relevant to our world today and to the state of the church today that I thought I would share it with my readers.
True faith calls us to disciplines of discipleship
True holiness is a witness that cannot be ignored. Real sainthood is a phenomenon to which even the world laying pays tribute. The power of a life, where Christ is exalted, would arrest and subdue those who are bored to tears by our thin version of Christianity and holy uninterested in mere churchman ship.
We have talked much of salvation by faith, but there has been little realization that all real faith involves discipline. Faith is not a blithe “turning it all over to Jesus.” Faith is such a confidence in Jesus that it takes seriously his summons, “if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
We have loudly proclaimed our dependence upon the grace of God, never guessing that the grace of God is given only to those who practice the grace of self-mastery. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling for God is at work in you both to will and to work his good pleasure.” People working out, God working in – that is the New Testament synthesis.
Humans, working out their salvation alone, are a pathetic spectacle – hopelessly defeated moralists trying to elevate themselves by their own bootstraps.
God, seeking to work in a person who offers no discipline cooperation, is a heartbreaking spectacle – a defeated Savior trying to free, from sins and earthiness, a person who will not lift his or her face out of the dust, or shake off the shackles of the egocentric self.
We must recover for ourselves the significance and the necessity of the spiritual disciplines. Without them we shall continue to be impotent witnesses for Christ. Without them Christ will be impotent in his efforts to use us to save our society from disintegration and death.
–Albert Edward Day