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.

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.

Join the 2020-21 Renovaré Book Club

An inten­tion­al way to read for trans­for­ma­tion. Cur­rent­ly under­way and runs through May 2021.

Learn More >