InPursuit

Discipline of the Church {Book Club Thursday}

Welcome!

We’re jumping into Barbara Hughes’, Disciplines of a Godly Woman (affil. link).
For your convenience, all the posts in the series will be archived here. Or, to make life even easier, subscribe to our Book Club Thursdays newsletter and receive all book club posts directly to your email. 

You will also receive a link to our private FB group where we can chat through some of the concepts in this book and a free PDF downloadable Study Sheet

I hope you’re ready for the ride, because it’s going to be filled with encouragement, insight, and God-inspired wisdom.

Chapter 10: Discipline of the Church, Submission’s Framework–God’s Family

“I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.”

1 Timothy 3:14-15

 

 

Barbara writes, “Because the church is “the gathering of God’s people,” the church is about relationships. This is especially clear in the comparison of the church to a body. Just as a physical body is intricately interconnected, the church too depends upon the proper function of each individual part. When one part fails, the entire body is affected.”

We’re walked through some beautiful (and some difficult) passages. And yet, all of them require submission to God and trust and faith that He knows what is best. His design is perfect.

It begins with Jesus as Head:

“Jesus Christ is the head of the body. “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way,” (Ephesians 1:22-23).

It continues with Jesus giving “the eternal family of God priority over earthly family ties.”

“Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”“Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother,” (Mark 3:31-35)

Ouch. How difficult this is to comprehend.

Barbara writes, “By sharing the same spiritual Father, our relational dynamic is far greater than that in our earthly family. It’s difficult for us to accept this truth because our own families mean so much to us.”

Yet, what is there for those who have been hurt, broken, or abused within their earthly families? I believe God points us to his eternal Family that we might hope for what’s to come. I believe the Church, as the body of Christ, is a glimpse to the beautiful design God intended. A foretaste of what’s to come.

The Family of God gives us a place for fellowship, a place where order exists in the pattern God designed. It truly is a gift.

I leave you with these words I wrote earlier this week on Facebook. How appropriate considering that this week’s chapter is on the same thread:

As a little girl I was dreamer. Filled with laughter and smiles. Hopeful.

I grew up in a single-parent home.

At 10 I wished upon a star. Yeah, I did. My wish? That one day I’d have a family. A husband. Children. A family.

At 16 I ran away,
At 18 I was a momma,
At 20 I was a single momma.

At 21 I found Jesus. Rather, He sought me out and loved me.

At 22 I met my now husband (also a single parent to a 4 yr. old son),
24 we married,
and 26 we had our daughter.

Many, many years after, I’ve suffered much heartache, grief, sorrow, and pain.

And yet, every time I see a father look at his daughter with love, my heart smiles.
Every time I see a momma love and impart wisdom into her daughter, I’m filled with such emotion.
Every time I see children love and honor their parents, I can’t help but smile.

I still believe in the gift of family.
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I don’t care how messed up your family situation is, and how broken it looks from the outside, know that Family is God’s design, and it is a beautiful thing!

If you never get to experience that on this side of earth, know there is a perfect Father in heaven. He loved you so much He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross and pay the penalty for your sin that you might be with Him for eternity. In the meantime, He blesses you with the ultimate Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us. And He places you in the Family of Jesus Christ, the Church–though imperfect, and merely a glimpse, a small taste, of what we get to experience for eternity in heaven.

Family. God’s way. Is a real and beautiful gift. You are welcome, friend, into the Family of God.  

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The Discipline of the Church requires submission to God’s framework as we trust that God knows best. It helps grow and mature us alongside other believers. It provides a place of belonging, nurture, and instruction. May we all learn to submit to this beautiful design.

I encourage you to go through the Scriptures shared here (and in this chapter). Allow God to show you the posture of your heart regarding this area of discipline of the church. Then meet me here next week when we’ll talk about the Discipline of Singleness.

{Thoughts to Ponder}

Q1: What do your attitudes toward church and toward Christ have to do with each other?

Q2: What tempts you to disobey Hebrews 10:25? What spiritual benefits might you miss out on by staying away from Christian gatherings?

Q3: List the strengths and weaknesses you see in your church. Now write down the ways you are personally contributing to each of these and also specific ways you can be part of change weaknesses.

**Some discussion questions taken from Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes. All quotes by Barbara Hughes unless otherwise noted. 

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© 2016 Darlene Collazo | {In Pursuit} My Quest

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