Editor's note:

This selective, topical index is designed to help readers get a picture of the with-God life presented in the Bible and the role of the Spiritual Disciplines in fostering that kind of life toward its fullness. The passages listed either contain a specific reference to a topic serving as a discipline (e.g., the word “meditation”) or are about that topic without using the specific term. Because this index is selective, it does not list every passage in the Bible on each topic, and the entries are restricted to the topic’s role as a Spiritual Discipline. Some of the entries are negative examples of the practice of a particular discipline.

The list of disciplines chosen for this index also does not include every practice or situation that could actually serve as a discipline in the process of spiritual formation. The disciplines under consideration here include celebration, chastity, confession, fasting, fellowship, guidance, meditation, prayer, sacrifice, secrecy, service, silence, simplicity/frugality, solitude, study, submission, and worship. Since the central focus of Christian spiritual formation is the with-God life, that topic begins the index. It is followed by sections containing scriptural references for the various disciplines, in alphabetical order. Those references for which there are spiritual formation exercises are designated by an asterisk.

No doubt some passages may have been omitted that might be very useful for understanding spiritual formation. What is given here is intended to provide only a substantial introduction to the presence and importance of Spiritual Disciplines in the Bible. For further study on disciplines and how they are to be practiced, please see Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline, and Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines.

We are releasing this Bible in two editions—with and without the Deuterocanonial Books. (See the Foreword for a general statement.) In the Spiritual Disciplines Index, you will see some references to passages in the Deuterocanonial Books. These references will be in italics to differentiate their status from the New and the Old Testaments.

—Renovaré Team

Excerpt from Life with God Spiritual Formation Bible

SERVICE: Loving, thoughtful, active promotion of the good of others and the causes of God in our world, through which we experience the many little deaths of going beyond ourselves.

*Gen 18:3-7 My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant.

Gen 24:14 Let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac.

Gen 29:20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.

Gen 32:10 I am not worthy of the least of all the steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant.

*Exod 35:21, 29 And they came, everyone whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and brought the Lord’s offering to be used for the tent of meeting.

*Num 4:24,27 This is the service of the clans of the Gershonites, in serving and bearing burdens.

Num 8:11 Aaron shall present the Levites before the Lord as an elevation offering from the Israelites, that they may do the service of the Lord.

Num 12:7-8 Not so with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house.

*Num 14:24 My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me wholeheartedly, I will bring into the land.

*Deut 3:24 O Lord God, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your might.

Josh 22:26-27 Let us now build an altar … to be a witness between us and you … that we do perform the service of the Lord in his presence.

*Josh 24:15 Choose this day whom you will serve, … but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

*Ruth 2:11-16 May the Lord reward you for your deeds, and may you have a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel.

1 Sam 1:11 O Lord of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child.

1 Sam 2:11-26 Samuel was ministering before the Lord.

*1 Sam 3:9 Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”

1 Sam 12:24 Only fear the Lord, and serve him faithfully with all your heart.

*1 Sam 16:16-22 And David came to Saul, and entered his service.

1 Sam 18:5 David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him; as a result, Saul set him over the army.

1 Sam 22:14 Who among all your servants is so faithful as David? He is the king’s son-in-law, and is quick to do your bidding, and is honored in your house.

*1 Sam 25:41 She rose and bowed down, with her face to the ground, and said, “Your servant is a slave to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.”

2 Sam 7:8 Thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel.

*2 Sam 7:21 Because of your promise, and according to your own heart, you have wrought all this greatness, so that your servant may know it.

*2 Sam 11:11 The ark and Israel and Judah remain in booths; … shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? … I will not do such a thing.

*2 Sam 16:1 When David had passed a little beyond the summit, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him.

1 Kings 3:9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil.

*Neh 5:15-16 The former governors who were before me laid heavy burdens on the people… . Even their servants lorded it over the people. But I did not do so, because of the fear of God.

*Ps 8:6-8 You have given them dominion over the works of your hands.

Ps 35:27 Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of his servant.

*Ps 113:1 Praise, O servants of the Lord.

Ps 134:1 Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, who stand by night in the house of the Lord!

*Prov 3:27-28 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due.

*Prov 31:15 She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and tasks for her servant-girls.

*Isa 49:6 It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations.

Isa 58:3 You serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers.

*Jer 29:7 Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf.

Jer 45:5 I am going to bring disaster upon all flesh, says the Lord; but I will give you your life as a prize of war in every place to which you may go.

*Dan 3:17-18 If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him deliver us.

Dan 6:20 O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you faithfully serve been able to deliver you from the lions?

*Amos 2:6-8 They sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals—they who trample the head of the poor into the dust.

Zech 3:8 I am going to bring my servant the Branch.

*Mal 3:17-18 Then once more you shall see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.

*2 Macc 4:33 When Onias became fully aware of these acts, he publicly exposed them.

Wisdof Sol 10:9 Wisdom rescued from troubles those who served her.

Sir 35:20 The one whose service is pleasing to the Lord will be accepted, and his prayer will reach to the clouds.

Tob 4:14 Do not keep over until the next day the wages of those who work for you, but pay them at once. If you serve God you will receive payment.

Matt 6:24 No one can serve two masters. …You cannot serve God and wealth.

Matt 12:18 Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased.

Matt 20:26 Whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant.

*Matt 20:28 The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Matt 23:11 The greatest among you will be your servant.

*Mark 9:35 Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.

Mark 10:45 The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Luke 1:48 He has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.

Luke 12:37 Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; … he will come and serve them.

Luke 16:13 No slave can serve two masters. .. . You cannot serve God and wealth.

*Luke 17:7-10 Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded?

Luke 22:26-27 I am among you as one who serves.

*John 1:48 I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.

*John 9:3 Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.

John 12:26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.

*John 13:1-17 If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.

John 15:15,20 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends.

*Acts 6:1-6 Select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task. 

*Acts 20:19 [Serve] the Lord with all humility and with tears.

Rom 12:11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.

Rom 13:6 For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants.

Rom 15:16 [God gave me the grace] to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God.

*1 Cor 16:16 I urge you to put yourselves at the service of such people, and of everyone who works and toils with them.

*2 Cor 6:4-7 As servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities.

*Eph3:7 Of this gospel I have become a servant according to the gift of God’s grace that was given me by the working of his power.

Eph 6:7 Render service with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to men and women.

Phil 2:30 He came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for those services that you could not give me.

Col 1:23 I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.

Col 3:24 You know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ.

*2 Thess 2:17 Comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.

1 Tim 3:13 Those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and great boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

1 Tim 6:2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful to them on the ground that they are members of the church; rather they must serve them all the more.

*2 Tim 2:4 No one serving in the army gets entangled in everyday affairs; the soldier’s aim is to please the enlisting officer.

Heb 1:14 Are not all angels spirits in the divine service, sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

*Heb 6:10 God … will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints.

1 Pet 2:16 As servants of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil.

1 Pet 4:10-11 Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.

Rev 1:6 [Jesus Christ] made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father.

*Rev 5:10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God, and they will reign on earth.

Rev 19:10 I am a fellow servant with you and your comrades who hold the testimony of Jesus.

Starting Soon: The 2018-19 Renovaré Book Club

How do we read for transformation, not just information? Choose books that stir the soul and have an enduring quality. Then read with God and others at an unhurried pace, attentive to what the Holy Spirit wants to teach. The Renovaré Book Club is designed for transformative reading. It runs October 2018—May 2019.

Learn more >

Excerpted from the Life with God Bible (New Revised Standard Version), with special thanks to HarperOne and to the late Dallas Willard who compiled the Index.