We will never get anywhere in life without discipline, be it in the arts, business, athletics, or academics. This is doubly so in spiritual matters…. discipline is everything!R. Kent Hughes
The first time I met Kent Hughes was several years ago in a loud burger pub in Indianapolis during the Gospel Coalition conference. Although at times it was hard to hear Kent over the rumbling of hundreds of other pastors crowded in for a quick dinner before the evening plenary session –– not an ideal setting to get to know someone –– thankfully, his voice was not too unfamiliar. I had once heard him preach at CHBC, but became most familiar with his voice by reading through one of his NT book commentaries, which was simply his manuscripts from a sermon series published into a book. As Malcolm Pettigrew and I picked his brain about being a pastor, a father, and a husband, the wisdom he passed along was effortlessly attached to fun, adventurous, and meaningful illustrations from his life, which sounded a lot like his sermons. Upon finishing the burger and pint I realized the man sitting across from me was the same man that fed me biblical insight through those manuscripts. In other words, Pastor Hughes lived his life as a godly man and that overflowed into a personal testimony of his daily walk with Jesus, whether speaking in a pub or the pulpit.
A year later I was required to take quite possibly the most formative class during my time at Western Seminary, “Practicing Prayer and Other Key Spiritual Disciplines.” On the recommended reading list was Kent Hughes’ book, Disciplines of a Godly Man. This class was already challenging enough on ways to intentionality follow Jesus, both as a future pastor and a man, but my mind kept flashing back to our conversation in that Indy pub and I was compelled to order it and experience Kent’s voice again on these matters of spiritual discipline. I ordered a copy for the men in my life group and we began working through it, one chapter a week. So every Thursday at 5:45 am, over a cup of masterfully crafted specialty coffee, we spent half of our time reflecting on the wisdom of this seasoned vet in the faith and the other half praying over the areas where we needed more discipline. Looking back after completing the book, it is no surprise why this man’s testimony rang so true –– he disciplined his life for the purpose of godliness (cf. 1 Tim. 4:7b).
Kent breaks down discipline within four categories: Relationships, Soul, Character, and Ministry. Including the introduction there are 19 chapters, which gives you 19 weeks of focused discussion with your fellow brothers in Christ. AND, one of the best features of this book is the study guide, which includes questions for discussion after each chapter. So everyone will know what to talk about when they show up!
I pray as you seek to discipline your life around Jesus, that His grace, strength, and power may abound in you!
I have several copies available for purchase for only $10. Please email me if you would like a copy.