May 9
Today's Bible Readings
     Numbers 17-18
     Psalms 55
     Isaiah 7
     James 1
''But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." (James 1:22)
     The Holy Spirit, speaking through James, presents a convicting admonition - that we are to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. He reminds us that hearing the Word without applying discipline is like a man who sees himself in a mirror and then lives his life with no realization of who he is and what he is. It seems to me that this verse is the key to all that James has presented to us. In this one chapter, he lets us know that when we lack wisdom, we can ask and God will give us  wisdom.
     He warns us of the tragedy of giving in to temptation, and the blessing of applying discipline against temptation. (James 1:12) He reminds us of the sinfulness of an unbridled and undisciplined tongue. In short, the Holy Spirit is telling us that in the Christian life, discipline is everything. If you are to be a doer of the Word, it will call for some spiritual sweat. The ancient athlete freed himself from every encumbrance to compete in the athletic event, so we must rid ourselves of every encumbrance, association, habit and tendency which impedes Godliness.
    It is one thing to hear the Word of God - it is something else to put it into practice today in your life. The successful life is a daily and challenging exercise in discipline. None of us are inherently righteous, and none of us naturally seek God. Therefore; as children of grace, our spiritual discipline is everything.
No discipline, no discipleship!
No sweat, no sainthood!
No perspiration, no inspiration!
No pain, no gain!
No manliness, no maturity!
    It is sad to realize that in today 's church, disciplined, Christian lives are the exception, not the rule. The majority of those who hear the Word  of God are hearers only. It is also true that many who seek to do what they hear become legalists, and the end result is frustration and confusion. The difference is one of motivation. Legalism is self-centered; discipline is God-centered. The disciplined heart says, ''I will do this thing because I love God and want to please Him." Are you willing to begin, today, to be a disciplined believer? It will cost you dearly, but I hope you will make the commitment now to refuse to only hear the Word, and begin to do the Word. This will free you from the gravity of this present age, and allow you to soar with the saints and the angels. Do we have it in us?  Will we enter the gymnasium of divine discipline? Will we strip away the things that hold us back? Will we discipline ourselves to the control of the Holy Spirit? Today is the day to begin!
     Papua, New Guinea is a country of approximately 5 million plus in the Pacific. Some of the great needs in this country are the rivalries that exists between denominations, and the inability of most of the church groups to disciple their new believers. Further needs include the training of leadership, additional missionaries, and missionary vision among the people of God in this country to send out their own foreign missionaries. There  is also a need  for additional  aircraft for missionary organizations. Pray also for a strengthening of the student ministry.