June 19, 2008

Journey of Godliness

I am just beginning to meet up one-to-one with 2 other ladies separately. We are reading through the book “Disciplines of a Godly Woman” by Barbara Hughes. Barbara's husband Kent Hughes first wrote the male version before she wrote the female version of the book. Together, they penned “Disciplines of a Godly Family”.

Kent and Barbara came to Brisbane some 3 months ago. Barbara gave a talk to women and she focused on prayer. She shared from the Bible why and how we should pray and our attitude and mindset on prayer.

Mrs Barbara Hughes, in a short interview before the talk began

As I live in the end times now, I need to press on living, not lose heart and to keep on praying. Barbara suggested that we must not give up praying the fruit of the Spirit for each other (she referred to our husbands) and for ourselves. I also must pray in faith and trusting that God's good and perfect will will be accomplished. By praying, we learn to align ourselves to God's will. Barbara used the illustration of us being in a boat. When we throw our anchor from the boat towards the pier, we pull ourselves closer towards the pier. We have the example of Jesus Christ, who knowing the Father's will, prayed not for comfort and his well-being, but prayed “Not my will but yours be done”.

In the first chapter of her book “Discipline for Godiness”, Barbara pointed her readers to 1 Tim 4:7-8 where Paul told the church to “train yourself to be godly”. Godliness has to be trained, suggesting that hard work has to be put in. It is like when we train our bodies to lose weight or be more healthy. It calls for a serious commitment and a “no pain, no gain” effort in order that we reach the goal, or win the prize. Hebrews 12:1 also tells us to run the race that is marked out for us with perseverance.

Barbara suggested that the true heart of discipline is a relationship with God. The fear of legalism stops people from pursuing disciplines that lead to godliness. Legalism is motivated by self-centredness, while discipline is motivated by God-centredness. I like the quote of John Wesley's words to express discipline - the beautiful relationship we have with God:

O God, fill my soul with so entire a love of Thee that I may lose nothing but for Thy sake in subordination to Thy love. Give me grace to study Thy knowledge daily that the more I know Thee, the more I may love Thee. Create in me a zealous obedience to all Thy commands, a cheerful patience until all Thy chastisements and a thankful resignation to all Thy disposals. Let it be the one business of my life to glorify Thee by professing Thy truth, and by engaging all men, so far as in me lies, to glorify and love Thee.

My SIL and I prayed the above for ourselves as we ended our first session of journey to encouraging each other towards godliness.

(Hubby and I also attended Kent and Barbara Huges' seminar on “Common Sense Parenting”. I will blog about what we learnt from the seminar at another later time)

1 other thoughts:

Anonymous said...

nice! a great thing to spend time on :) ky

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