Perseverance in the Spiritual Disciplines

Perseverance in the Spiritual Disciplines

This summer, we have been reading Don Whitney’s book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life together. With certain goals for us as individuals, we all desire to grow in grace and personal holiness. The purpose of this study is to help us make necessary adjustments in our spiritual lives that will enable us to achieve such goals by incorporating the use of spiritual disciplines.  Today marks the end of this study and I trust it has been profitable to your soul.  If you would like to add to the discussion, as always, post your comments below.

The Role of the Holy Spirit

In this section, Don Whitney reminds us that the Holy Spirit makes us more like Jesus through the Disciplines. It’s not our effort in the Disciplines that produces the change.  Don Whitney quotes D. A. Carson in a needful warning regarding the pursuit of godliness.

D. A. Carson warns, “What is universally presupposed by the expression ‘spiritual discipline’ is that such disciplines are intended to increase our spirituality From a Christian perspective, however, it is simply not possible to increase one’s spirituality without possessing the Holy Spirit and submitting to his transforming instruction and power.”

The point is clearly made in this final chapter that no matter how dedicated a person is in practicing the Spiritual Disciplines, without the Holy Spirit the effort will be in vain.  However, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the child of God will have a desire for godly pursuits.  Don Whitney writes, “Wherever the Holy Spirit dwells, His holy presence creates a hunger for holiness” (290).

The Role of Fellowship

One of the most important statements in this book is found on page 293 as Don Whitney writes, “No one should read of these Disciplines and imagine that by practicing them in isolation from other believers he or she can be as Christlike—perhaps even more so—than Christians who are active members of a local body of Christ” (293).  He goes on to write, “One obvious reason we can’t take the Spiritual Disciplines and become spiritual recluses is that many biblical Disciplines—public worship, united prayer, participation in the lord’s Supper, serving other disciplines, and more—cannot be practiced without other Christians” (293).

No matter how dedicated a person is regarding the Spiritual Disciplines, they will never reach true godliness apart from the local church.  The point is, we need one another for fellowship and we need the corporate worship and service as a means of Spiritual Discipline in our lives.  What a critical mistake it is when people pursue godliness apart from the local church.  Consider Acts 2 and the fellowship of the early church.  Consider 1 John 1:3-4 and the mention of fellowship.  Consider Hebrews 10:25 and the necessity of assembling with the church.  Consider the model put forth in Titus 2 for the older people to train the younger people within the church.  You can’t pursue spiritual maturity while remaining disconnected from the local church.  It’s an impossible and fruitless pursuit.

The Role of Struggle

Don Whitney reminds his readers, and appropriately so, that the Christian life is not an easy life. He seeks to encourage us all by warning us of the struggle that accompanies the Christian life.  Paul makes this point clear as he writes in 1 Timothy.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 – Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; [8] for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

1 Timothy 4:10 – For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

When we hear sermons and read books where people suggest that the Christian life is easy if you follow a certain rules or steps along the way – they’ve missed true Christianity.  Read the New Testament. Look at the struggle. Look at the hardships. Look at the challenges. Look at the tears. Look at the death. Look at the persecution. Look at the discouragement. Look at the pain.  Christianity – real Christianity – is not an easy journey. We must discipline ourselves for the race of life.

Chapter 17 of the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith is on Perseverance. In paragraph three, the statement reads:

In various ways-the temptations of Satan and of the world, the striving of indwelling sin to get the upper hand, the neglect of the means appointed for their preservation-saints may fall into fearful sins, and may even continue in them for a time.  In this way they incur God’s displeasure, grieve His Holy Spirit, do injury to their graces, diminish their comforts, experience hardness of heart and accusations of conscience, hurt and scandalize others, and bring God’s chastisements on themselves.  Yet being saints their repentance will be renewed, and through faith they will be preserved in Christ Jesus to the end.

Catch up in this series:

Opening Article
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12

Questions to Consider:

  1. Would you be godly? Then practice the Spiritual Disciplines in light of eternity.
  2. Would you be godly? There’s no other way by through the Spiritual Disciplines.

This is the final post in this study of Don Whitney’s book.  I trust that you have found it profitable to your soul and challenging at the same time.  If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can do so through the following:

Where to Buy the Book


Spiritual-DisciplinesIt’s quite possible to find the book in your local bookstore, but you can likewise find it online.

I look forward to reading this book with you this summer.  All that’s required of you is to purchase the book and read chapter 1 before June 2nd when the first article will appear here on the blog.

Ephesians 4:11-14 – And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

Discussion: Post your comments, thoughts, and questions in the comments section. I will engage with you at times, but the purpose is to allow everyone to have a conversation regarding what we are learning and considering through this book. I do hope you will be encouraged.

Learning. . . For the Purpose of Godliness

Learning. . . For the Purpose of Godliness

This summer, we are reading Don Whitney’s book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life together. With certain goals for us as individuals, we all desire to grow in grace and personal holiness. The purpose of this study is to help us make necessary adjustments in our spiritual lives that will enable us to achieve such goals by incorporating the use of spiritual disciplines.

In the previous chapters, Don Whitney has outlined the specifics of Bible reading, meditation, prayer, worship, evangelism, serving, stewardship, fasting and other spiritual disciplines of the Christian life. What exactly is taking place when we read the Bible, meditate on Scripture, and pray? Essentially, these disciplines should lead us to godliness and a life that reflects the glory of God.  In this chapter today, we look at the subject of learning.  Much of our worship and service to the Lord is done with our mind.

Learning Characterizes the Wise Person

Don Whitney does an excellent job of pointing to the wisdom literature and reminding us that wisdom is something we must learn.

  • Proverbs 9:9 – Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
  • Proverbs 10:14 – The wise lay up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.

Don Whitney writes, “Learning is a lifelong Discipline, a Spiritual Discipline that characterizes the wise person” (274).  Just as it is with anything else in this life, we must put effort into learning wisdom.

Fulfilling the Greatest Commandment

Don Whitney writes, “There is an intellectualism that is wrong, but it is also wrong to be anti-intellectual” (275).  To love the Lord our God with all of our mind is essential to the Christian faith.  To neglect Him with our mind and pursue everything else under the sun would be an unwise pursuit.  Don Whitney quotes R. C. Sproul as stating:

God has made us with a harmony of heart and head, of thought and action. . . . The more we know Him the more we are able to love Him.  The more we love Him the more we seek to know Him.  To be central in our hearts He must be foremost in our minds.  Religious thought is the prerequisite to religious affection and obedient action. [1]

Learning—Essential for Increased Godliness

Don Whitney quotes Martyn Lloyd-Jones as saying, “Let us never forget that the message of the Bible is addressed primarily to the mind, to the understanding” (quoted on 277).  If we are to increase in godliness, we must increase in learning.  We must grow in our knowledge of God, and in order to do that, we must learn some things about God.  To neglect learning God is to neglect the knowledge of God and it will result in a stale Christian life that’s joyless.

Learning is Mostly by Discipline, Not By Accident

Don Whitney writes, “As every dust ball gets bigger the longer it rolls around under the bed, so every mind picks up at least a little knowledge the longer it rolls around on the earth. But we must not assume that we have learned true wisdom just by growing older” (278).  Just as every marathon runner reaches the finish line by the consistent discipline of training and preparation, so it is with the Christian.  We can’t expect to grow in grace if we are not growing in the knowledge of God.  Learning requires discipline – not laziness.

Learning in a Variety of Ways

Don Whitney provides some helpful considerations regarding the different learning methods. Some people read well and others don’t. It helps to know how to learn and each person will be different.  Although some people may learn best through audio and lecture formats, everyone must read.  In fact, we must consider the reality that our God did not send us an .mp3 of the His Word.  He has communicated it to us in written format.  Don Whitney writes, “I’ve always found it true that growing Christians are reading Christians” (281).

Catch up in this series:

Opening Article
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11

Questions to Consider:

1. Will you discipline yourself to become an intentional learner?
2. Where will you start?
3. When will you start?

Next Week: Next week, we will turn to chapter 13 and look at the subject of perseverance in the disciplines for the glory of God. Read ahead and think through the content of that chapter, and we will gather here next week to discuss what we’re learning.

Discussion: Post your comments, thoughts, and questions in the comments section. I will engage with you at times, but the purpose is to allow everyone to have a conversation regarding what we are learning and considering through this book. I do hope you will be encouraged.


  1. R. C. Sproul, “Burning Hearts Are Not Nourished by Empty Heads,” Christianity Today, September 3, 1982, 100.

Journaling. . . For the Purpose of Godliness

Journaling. . . For the Purpose of Godliness

This summer, we are reading Don Whitney’s book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life together. With certain goals for us as individuals, we all desire to grow in grace and personal holiness. The purpose of this study is to help us make necessary adjustments in our spiritual lives that will enable us to achieve such goals by incorporating the use of spiritual disciplines.

In the previous chapters, Don Whitney has outlined the specifics of Bible reading, meditation, prayer, worship, evangelism, serving, stewardship, fasting and other spiritual disciplines of the Christian life. What exactly is taking place when we read the Bible, meditate on Scripture, and pray? Essentially, these disciplines should lead us to godliness and a life that reflects the glory of God.  In this chapter today, we look at the subject of journaling.  Consider the importance of handwritten journals that trace a spiritual journey.

Explanation of Journaling

Don Whitney explains, “A journal (a word usually synonymous with diary [1]) is a place (tangible or digital) in which a person records information important to him or her personally for preservation or consideration.  As a Christian, your journal is a place to document the works and ways of God in your life” (249).  It’s essential to note that God never requires His children to keep a journal, so it’s not sinful to refrain from practicing this discipline.  However, when you consider the benefits for the individual Christian as well as the treasure of wealth it will be for future generations, it’s really an easy choice.

Value of Journaling

Consider the value of a well written journal written by your grandparents.  What would you do to have such a book to chart their spiritual journey in the faith?  How important would that be to you and your children?  Don Whitney provides a list of eight specific values for the discipline of journaling.

  1.  Help in Self-Understanding and Evaluation
  2. Help in Meditation
  3. Help in Expressing Thoughts and Feelings to the Lord
  4. Help in Remembering the Lord’s Works
  5. Help in Creating and Preserving a Spiritual Heritage
  6. Help in Clarifying and Articulating Insights
  7. Help in Monitoring Goals and Priorities
  8. Help in Maintaining the Other Spiritual Disciplines

The powerful evangelist of the First Great Awakening, George Whitefield, is not only remembered for his power in the pulpit, but for his faithful and spiritually rich journaling.  It’s quite apparent by his journal why the Lord chose to use him to shake the world with the gospel of Jesus.  Each day, he would record his activities.  He would then evaluate them by the following list:

Have I.

  • Been fervent in prayer?
  • Used stated hours of prayer?
  • Used ejaculatory prayer each hour?
  • After or before every deliberate conversation or action, considered how it might tend to God’s glory?
  • After any pleasure, immediately given thanks?
  • Planned business for the day?
  • Been simple and recollected in everything?
  • Been zealous in undertaking and active in doing what good I could?
  • Been meek, cheerful, affable in everything I said or did?
  • Been proud, vain, unchaste, or enviable of others?
  • Recollected in eating and drinking?  Thankful?  Temperate in sleep?
  • Taken time for giving thanks according to (William) Law’s rules?
  • Been diligent in studies?
  • Thought or spoken unkindly of anyone?
  • Confessed all sins?

Ways of Journaling

Depending on style and preference, there are many different ways to keep a journal.  It can be done in electronic format on a computer, a blog, or some electronic software where it can be archived and accessed.  The value of such electronic journals is centered on the fact that the notes and entries can be searchable.  OneNote is one good resource that can be kept private and organized for later access.

Hand written journals can be done on almost any size and style of notebook.  From leather journals and moleskins, to loose leaf paper (the preference of Don Whitney), a journal can be kept and archived away for future use and access.  This practice enables a person to write by hand and this does a couple of very important things:

  1. Concentration:  Something happens in a unique way in the human brain when a person writes by hand and thinks through the process while writing.  This concentration enables us to remember in ways that are often better than when we type.
  2. Connection to History:  How many daily practices such as reading the newspaper and writing journals by hand will our children overlap with their grandparents and great-grandparents?  This is one way to allow this overlap in a unique and helpful way.
  3. Handwriting Development and Improvement:  In many schools today, the art of handwriting is disappearing.  While cursive has been on the way out for a while now, even the non-cursive standard handwriting is starting to lose out to the computer and electronic device.

Catch up in this series:

Opening Article
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10

Questions to Consider:

  1.  Consider the fact that any level of journaling will be a fruitful experience.
  2. As with all the Disciplines, journaling requires persistence through the dry times.
  3. As with all the Disciplines, you must start journaling before you can experience its value.

Next Week: Next week, we will turn to chapter 12 and look at the subject of learning. Read ahead and think through the content of that chapter, and we will gather here next week to discuss what we’re learning.

Discussion: Post your comments, thoughts, and questions in the comments section. I will engage with you at times, but the purpose is to allow everyone to have a conversation regarding what we are learning and considering through this book. I do hope you will be encouraged.

Silence and Solitude . . . For the Purpose of Godliness

Silence and Solitude . . . For the Purpose of Godliness

This summer, we are reading Don Whitney’s book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life together. With certain goals for us as individuals, we all desire to grow in grace and personal holiness. The purpose of this study is to help us make necessary adjustments in our spiritual lives that will enable us to achieve such goals by incorporating the use of spiritual disciplines.

In the previous chapters, Don Whitney has outlined the specifics of Bible reading, meditation, prayer, worship, evangelism, and service to the Lord. What exactly is taking place when we read the Bible, meditate on Scripture, and pray? Essentially, these disciplines should lead us to godliness and a life that reflects the glory of God.  In this chapter today, we look at the subject of silence and solitude.  In a world full of noise, we need to be alone with God – sometimes.

Explanation of Silence and Solitude

Don Whitney writes, “The Discipline of silence is the voluntary and temporary abstention from speaking so that certain spiritual goals might be sought” (224).  As Whitney points out, the silence is not for mere quietness alone, but for the purpose of reaching goals in Bible reading, prayer, and journaling.  Don Whitney goes on to write, “Solitude is the Spiritual Discipline of voluntarily and temporarily withdrawing to privacy for spiritual purposes” (224).  No matter if the period of solitude is for a few minutes or a few days, the purpose is always centered on a God-glorifying goal as opposed to a fleshly desire to be self-serving.

Valuable Reasons for Silence and Solitude

  1.  To Follow Jesus’ Example
  2. To Minimize Distractions in Prayer
  3. To Express Worship to God
  4. To Express Faith in God
  5. To Seek the Salvation of the Lord
  6. To Be Physically and Spiritually Restored
  7. To Regain a Spiritual Perspective
  8. To Seek the Will of God
  9. To Learn Control of the Tongue

Don Whitney writes, “One reason why the dual disciplines of silence and solitude can be so thoroughly transforming is because of how they help connect us with the other Spiritual Disciplines” (236).

Suggestions for Silence and Solitude

Don Whitney writes, “Here are some practical helps for making silence and solitude less a mere longing and more a reality and a habit” (238).

  1. “Minute Retreats” – Prioritize small segments in a day where silence and solitude can be achieved.
  2. A Goal of Daily Silence and Solitude
  3. Getting Away for Solitude and Silence
  4. Special Places
  5. Trade Off Daily Responsibilities

In the memoir of the first missionary from America, Adoniram Judson, we find this story:

Once, when worn out with translations, and really needing rest, he went over the hills into the thick jungle, far beyond all human habitation. . . . To this place he brought his Bible, and sat down under the wild jungle trees to read, and mediate, and pray, and at night returned to the “hermitage” [a bamboo house he’d built at the edge of the jungle].

Don Whitney writes, “Why would he [Adoniram Judson] break his routine for this prolonged period of silence and solitude?  His biographer says it was ‘as a means of moral improvement by which the whole of his future life might be rendered more in harmony with the perfect example of the Saviour whom he worshipped'” (246).

Catch up in this series:

Opening Article
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9

Questions to Consider:

  1. Will you seek daily times of silence and solitude?
  2. Will you seek extended times of silence and solitude?
  3. Will you start now?
  4. Will you commit yourself to the Disciplines of silence and solitude?

Next Week: Next week, we will turn to chapter 11 and look at the subject of journaling. Read ahead and think through the content of that chapter, and we will gather here next week to discuss what we’re learning.

Discussion: Post your comments, thoughts, and questions in the comments section. I will engage with you at times, but the purpose is to allow everyone to have a conversation regarding what we are learning and considering through this book. I do hope you will be encouraged.

Fasting . . . For the Purpose of Godliness

Fasting . . . For the Purpose of Godliness

This summer, we are reading Don Whitney’s book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life together. With certain goals for us as individuals, we all desire to grow in grace and personal holiness. The purpose of this study is to help us make necessary adjustments in our spiritual lives that will enable us to achieve such goals by incorporating the use of spiritual disciplines.

In the previous chapters, Don Whitney has outlined the specifics of Bible reading, meditation, prayer, worship, evangelism, and service to the Lord. What exactly is taking place when we read the Bible, meditate on Scripture, and pray? Essentially, these disciplines should lead us to godliness and a life that reflects the glory of God.  In this chapter today, we look at the subject of fasting.  As Don Whitney makes clear, “fasting is the most feared and misunderstood of all the Spiritual Disciplines” (191).

Fasting Explained

Fasting is the voluntary abstinence from food for a specific period of time.  The purpose is always God-centered and has a spiritual foundation and eternal value.  Although it is appropriate to suggest that a person can fast from other activities, hobbies, and interests – the way fasting is addressed in the Bible is clearly related to food.  Don Whitney writes, “So while it’s appropriate to speak of fasting from any legitimate freedom, technically the Bible uses the term only in its primary sense, that is, abstinence from food.  In this chapter, I will limit my remarks to that kind of fasting” (193).  In the Bible, there are several types of fasting mentioned:

  1. Partial Fast
  2. Absolute Fast
  3. Supernatural Fast
  4. Private Fast
  5. Congregational Fast
  6. National Fast
  7. Regular Fast
  8. Occasional Fast

Don Whitney writes, “The most common fast among Christians today would probably fall under the categories of normal (abstaining from food but drinking water), private, and occasional” (195).

Fasting Is Expected

One of the most interesting things about studying the spiritual disciplines is that in most cases – they are expected disciplines.  It may be a shock to some to discover that Jesus expected His followers to fast (Matt. 6:16-17).  Jesus often used the phrase, “when you fast” indicating the fact that they would be fasting.  Jesus didn’t say, “if you fast.”  Don Whitney writes, “It’s interesting that Jesus gave us no command regarding how often or how long we should fast.  Like the other Spiritual Disciplines, fasting should never devolve into an empty, legalistic routine.  God offers to bless us through fasting as often as we desire” (198).

Fasting Is To Be Done For A Purpose

It’s vital to look at fasting through a biblical lens.  Don Whitney writes, “There’s more to a biblical fast than merely abstaining from food.  Without a spiritual purpose for your fast it’s just a weight-loss fast” (198).  We desire more than the loss of weight, and so we must have a God-centered view to our fast that will bring about lasting spiritual growth.  As with any other discipline, if we approach it through the wrong motive it can be used to increase pride or feed a legalistic motive.  We must avoid both of those evils.  Don Whitney reminds us:

Having a biblical purpose for your fast may be the single most important concept to take from this chapter.  In real life, here’s how it works:  As you are fasting and your head aches or your stomach growls and you think, I’m hungry! your next thought is likely to be something like, Oh, right—I’m hungry because I’m fasting today.  Then you next thought should be, and I’m fasting for this purpose” (199).

  When fasting, we should engage in this spiritual discipline for one of the following reasons:

  1. To Strengthen Prayer
  2. To Seek God’s Guidance
  3. To Express Grief
  4. To Seek Deliverance or Protection
  5. To Express Repentance and the Return of God
  6. To Humble Oneself Before God
  7. To Express Concern for the Work of God
  8. To Minister to the Needs of Others
  9. To Overcome Temptation and Dedicate Yourself to God
  10. To Express Love and Worship to God

Catch up in this series:

Opening Article
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8

Questions to Consider:

  1. Will you confess and repent of any fear of fasting?
  2. Will you fast as the Holy Spirit directs?
  3. Will you plan a fast of dedication now as an expression of your willingness to fast from now on?

Next Week: Next week, we will turn to chapter 10 and look at the subject of silence and solitude. Read ahead and think through the content of that chapter, and we will gather here next week to discuss what we’re learning.

Discussion: Post your comments, thoughts, and questions in the comments section. I will engage with you at times, but the purpose is to allow everyone to have a conversation regarding what we are learning and considering through this book. I do hope you will be encouraged.

Stewardship . . . For the Purpose of Godliness

Stewardship . . . For the Purpose of Godliness

This summer, we are reading Don Whitney’s book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life together. With certain goals for us as individuals, we all desire to grow in grace and personal holiness. The purpose of this study is to help us make necessary adjustments in our spiritual lives that will enable us to achieve such goals by incorporating the use of spiritual disciplines.

In the previous chapters, Don Whitney has outlined the specifics of Bible reading, meditation, prayer, worship, evangelism, and service to the Lord. What exactly is taking place when we read the Bible, meditate on Scripture, and pray? Essentially, these disciplines should lead us to godliness and a life that reflects the glory of God.  In this chapter today, we look at the subject of stewardship.  As Don Whitney makes clear, both time and money are to be spent for God’s glory.

The Disciplined Use Of Time

In this section, Don Whitney outlines ten biblical reasons to use time wisely.

  1. Use Time Wisely “Because the Days Are Evil”
  2. Wise Use of Time Is the Preparation for Eternity
  3. Time Is Short
  4. Time Is Passing
  5. Time Remaining Is Uncertain
  6. Time Lost Cannot Be Regained
  7. You Are Accountable to God for Your Time
  8. Time IS So Easily Lost
  9. We Value Time at Death
  10. Time’s Value in Eternity

Don Whitney writes, “Godliness is the result of a biblically disciplined spiritual life.  But at the heart of a disciplined spiritual life is the disciplined use of time” (159).  How often do we waste our time and how soon will we all regret it?  Consider the fact that Jesus prayed in John 17:4 confidently that He had kept the Father’s will and accomplished the work given to Him.  Can we pray with such confidence?  What hinders us from doing the Father’s will and glorifying Him in all of life and worship?

As Don Whitney makes clear, if time were like pebbles beside the road, it wouldn’t be very valuable, but since it’s scarce, it becomes like diamonds or gold and the value greatly increases.  We must remember this as we seek to make better use of our time, for it will soon be gone.  Whitney quotes the famous infidel Voltaire who once said to his doctor, “I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six-months life.”  What lessons can we learn from men like Voltaire who was trying so passionately to cling to life?

The Disciplined Use Of Money

Don Whitney writes, “The Bible relates not only the use of time to our spiritual condition, but also our use of money” (169).  In a similar manner, he then outlines ten reasons for the biblical use of money.

  1. God Owns Everything You Own
  2. Giving Is an Act of Worship
  3. Giving Reflects Faith in God’s Provision
  4. Giving Should Be Sacrificial and Generous
  5. Giving Reflects Spiritual Trustworthiness
  6. Giving—Love, Not Legalism
  7. Give Willingly, Thankfully, and Cheerfully
  8. Giving—an Appropriate Response to Real Needs
  9. Giving Should Be Planned and Systematic
  10. Generous Giving Results in Bountiful Blessings

According to Whitney, “A surprisingly large amount of Scripture speaks to the use of wealth and possessions” (169).  He makes it clear that if we are going to grow in godliness, we must learn the biblical principles of giving.  If we are mere managers (stewards) of all that we possess, that should change our perspective on our use of wealth.  We can’t take our wealth, possessions, and land with us when we leave this world.  Someone else will one day own everything we possess in this life.

Therefore, it’s essential for us to look at our possessions through a proper and balanced lens.  Don Whitney writes, “Regardless of your interpretation of these passages, regardless of how much God rewards you here for your giving and how much in heaven, the bottom lie is clear:  God will bless you bountifully if you give generously” (186).

Catch up in this series:

Opening Article
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7

Questions to Consider:

  1. Are you prepared for the end of time?
  2. Are you using your time as God would have you use it?
  3. Are you willing to accept God’s principles for giving?
  4. Are you giving like you mean it?

Next Week: Next week, we will turn to chapter 9 and look at the subject of fasting. Read ahead and think through the content of that chapter, and we will gather here next week to discuss what we’re learning.

Discussion: Post your comments, thoughts, and questions in the comments section. I will engage with you at times, but the purpose is to allow everyone to have a conversation regarding what we are learning and considering through this book. I do hope you will be encouraged.