Introductory 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 (listed below), solitude, submission, study, and worship.

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.

Renovaré Team

Excerpt from Life with God Spiritual Formation Bible
SIMPLICITY/FRUGALITY: The inward real­i­ty of sin­gle-heart­ed focus upon God and his king­dom, which results in an out­ward lifestyle of mod­esty, open­ness, and unpre­ten­tious­ness and which dis­ci­plines our hunger for sta­tus, glam­our, and luxury. 

*Deuteron­o­my 17:16 – 17

He must not acquire many hors­es for him­self. … He must not acquire many wives; … also sil­ver and gold he must not acquire in great quan­ti­ty for himself. 

*Eccle­si­astes 5:10

The lover of mon­ey will not be sat­is­fied with mon­ey; nor the lover of wealth, with gain. 

*Daniel 5:17

Let your gifts be for your­self, or give your rewards to some­one else! 

*Hag 1:2 – 11

You have sown much, and har­vest­ed lit­tle; you eat, but you nev­er have enough; you drink, but you nev­er have your fill. 

*3 Mac­cabees 6:36

They insti­tut­ed the obser­vance of the afore­said days as a fes­ti­val, not for drink­ing and glut­tony, but because of the deliv­er­ance that had come to them through God. 

Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 

Matthew 6:22 – 24 

You can­not serve God and wealth. 

2 Corinthi­ans 11:3

I am afraid that… your thoughts will be led astray from a sin­cere and pure devo­tion to Christ. 

Philip­pi­ans 3:13

I do not con­sid­er that I have made it my own.

*Philip­pi­ans 4:11 – 13 

I know what it is to have lit­tle, and I know what it is to have plen­ty. … I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hun­gry, of hav­ing plen­ty and of being in need. 

Colos­sians 2:20 – 23 

If with Christ you died to the ele­men­tal spir­its of the uni­verse, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? 

Colos­sians 3:1 – 2

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 

*2 Tim­o­thy 2:4

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

Hebrews 12:1 – 3 

Let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so close­ly, and let us run with per­se­ver­ance the race that is set before us. 

James 1:8

The doubter, being dou­ble- mind­ed and unsta­ble in every way, must not expect to receive any­thing from the Lord. 

James 4:8

Cleanse your hands, you sin­ners, and puri­fy your hearts, you double-minded. 

*Rev­e­la­tion 3:17

You say, I am rich, I have pros­pered, and I need noth­ing.” You do not real­ize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 

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.

Pho­to by Sarah Dor­weil­er on Unsplash

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