The Principle of Specificity

Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness (1 Timothy 4:7, NASB1995).

We know the disciplines of prayer and Bible study are important for growth in holiness. But what is the principle of specificity?

Specificity undergirds the effectiveness of all scriptural disciplines. Yes, without practicing “specificity” in prayers, Bible application, fellowship, and disciple-making — these disciplines will be ineffective.

Agreed, the “principle of specificity” is never mentioned in the Bible, but I haven’t crossed into false teaching. Keep reading . . .  

Specificity and Prayer 

Parents — if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? . . . How much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him? (Matthew 7:9, 11, NLT)

In Matthew 7, children asked for bread.

Effective praying asks for specific things. We know when these prayers are answered and are encouraged to pray even more. When I found that my earthly father would answer my specific requests (within godly reason), I kept asking.

God wants us to keep asking specifically.

Specificity and the Bible 

Get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls (James 1:21, NLT).

Have you read a verse of Scripture and knew it was for you?

Did you memorize the verse and live accordingly? Out of the entire Bible, specific verses impact our lives personally. 

The second verse of the Bible that I memorized was Matthew 6:33, which taught me to seek first the Kingdom of God. For decades, I’ve asked every time that I make a big decision, “Is this seeking first the Kingdom of God?”

Specificity and Fellowship

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another (1 Peter 4:10, NLT).

We experience effectiveness within the body of Christ when we serve with our specific gifts.  

Most preachers should not sing, someone with the gift of organization should help with administration in the church, and those with the gift of healing need to pray often for the sick.

The church needs unity of specificity for a great witness in the latter days!

Specificity and Disciple-making

Therefore, go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19, NLT).

Disciple-making is discipling someone specifically. There is no greater joy than God working through us to impact the life of another.

We can’t say we are obeying the Great Commission given in Matthew 28 unless we are discipling an individual.

The four foundational disciplines of the Christian faith are activated when we practice the Principle of Specificity.

HHHHMMMHHM . . . I’m speaking at Fellowship Church in Springfield, Ohio, on November 5. Perhaps I should begin my sermon by singing Amazing Grace.

What do you think?

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