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January 15, 2021 7:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ where you are at this moment spiritually is exactly where your habits right where you are right now you see, God has supplied each believer with the spirit of God, indwelt by the God has given each believer, the grace God has given each believer access to the word of God. The difference between us is not the power of God is not the grace of God is not the word of God. What is this our own house joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor really apart fellowship of the words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana. Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us God's word meets Franklin's that if you take all your good habits and subtract from them all your bad habits. The result will be your contribution to society that Bolick expert in time management, behavior psychology, said the training yourself in good habits require stern self-discipline. First, but once those habits become second nature. The payoff is considerable. Good habits save effort ease routines, increase efficiency and release power. The sum of your good and bad habits dictates not only who you are but what you will become your modest development good habits several weeks ago I said the victorious Christians think great thoughts they think great thoughts about God, they think great thoughts about themselves they think great thoughts about others. They think great thoughts about life. They think great thoughts about the past anything great thoughts about the future that I said that victorious Christians enjoy the great moments in life there is a prevailing joy that they have in last week victorious Christians give great thanks to a great God coming to tell you that maybe perhaps for you. The most important part is this Victorino's Christians develop great habits are world things that habits are developed from a psychological profile you should have to make up your mind to do and that's only part of it. The word of God says something different. The word of God says that great habits are developed, what the Bible calls discipline. Would you open your Bibles to first Timothy chapter 4, a personal letter written by the apostle Paul to young Timothy. Timothy is a young pastor who was in Ephesus at the time Timothy has a lot of giftedness but he struggles with one area we would call it backbone Timothy has trouble because he is been intimidated, especially by the believers in Corinth who sorta ran him out of town and he's in Ephesus now and Paul writes this letter to him to encourage him in one of the most important things that Timothy can do is Timothy's going to be responsible for making sure that the church stays the course that it believes the truth that if somebody is teaching air needs to be pointed out and so in first Timothy four in verse six, Paul picks up that line of thought and says in pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of sound doctrine which you been following. He says don't Timothy looked God pointed out that he got to do on the basis of sound doctrine which means simply sound teaching. The teaching that is grandmother and his mother and Paul had given him and then he says this but have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women on the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness habits determine outcome. That's a Paul saying victorious Christians discipline themselves for the purpose of godliness. What's interesting about this and I have to say something about it is that in the context Paul said he said have nothing to do with worldly fables that word fables is more gossip we get the English word myth from it worldly mess have nothing to do with that.
And then he says something, that in our culture is very politically incorrect fit only for old women. I got to read commentaries. It is said that Paul was a big it was not.
Paul was using a phrase that is common to the culture. The phrase is an idiom, a method for an old woman now you understand that phrase. By the time Paul showed up was about 4 to 500 years old in the Greek culture and especially three or 400 years prior to Paul, but even at the time of Paul. Great women were not educated. Only Greek boys were educated, you sent the boys off at school you sent the girl off. Nowhere. And so whenever Greek philosophers who thought a great deal of themselves whenever they would be in a debate with another Greek philosopher and one of them made a point that was not a very good point. All not valid. The other would say that was a move thoughts fit for an old woman.
In other words, that is an uneducated non-distinguished. Not good argument and some Paul uses the phrase here is not really talking about, they would've understood in their culture is not necessarily saying anything against old women, so no emails, please. He says that when the other hand, discipline yourself. There's a habit. Discipline yourself.
The word discipline is a word we know Jim nozzle. It's the word gymnasium in every Greek city in Ephesus earmarked with what is today modern-day Turkey. In every Greek culture city. There's a gymnasium.
The Greeks loved athletics.
They were more involved with athletics and we are as Americans and selling the center every time there's a gymnasium you went there and all all the wonderful work. Eventually, the Olympic Games, but the idea was you trained all the time.
That's the word discipline and he says notice you discipline yourself.
And isn't that the most difficult part of this whole thing if you develop a good habit you can have to develop it on your own. It really comes down to you and nobody else but you discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness godliness UCB on the idea of godliness will why is that so profitable I mean, that seems a little ambiguous, but Islam explains he said for bodily discipline is only of a little profit but godliness is profitable for all things since it holds promise for the present life and also the life to come see what he says about godliness. Godliness is good for the promise he said what promise it's good for today. It's good for tomorrow. It's good forever. You see contained in the promise that if you want a life of promise.
Jesus called the abundant life.
If you want a life of joy, a life of peace, a life of hope. You have to discipline yourself and develop good habits when he says, disciplining yourself for godliness. In other words, the approach that you take your spiritual life has to be exactly the same kind of approach that an athlete takes to his life. I remember reading biographical sketches of phrases like Tiger Woods, Larry Bird and I'm stunned by the hours they put in Tiger Woods since time is three or four years old, talks literally about the thousands upon thousands upon thousands of hours he logged in the golf course before he was 18,000 of hours. Larry Bird talks about the countless hours as whole life since he was a little boy shooting a basketball day in day out day in day out day in day out know what the Bible says about that is notice bodily discipline is only a little profit she labors careers over in Tiger Woods one day soon will be in by the way, even if you are a real fitness freak how much profit do you get from we can befit that's true and you can befit for longer.
But then you'll be dead just like someone is not fit. You see, it's just that kind of thing Paul wasn't against the idea of disciplining yourself these four but he said if you have disciplining your life you really need to have this one about something spiritual in your life more than something even physical in your life but you have to approach it. He said exactly the same way.
Good habits make great people. That's what he is saying. Victorious Christians develop great habits. Timothy, you need to do this, but if that's true, something else must be true and that is defeated.
Christians must have bad habits you see.
Because what happens to us is that if you don't actively develop good habits you will passively develop bad habits. We should an illustration of that turn to Hebrews chapter 5 the writer of Hebrews writes his epistle because he's trying to warn Hebrew Christians. Hebrew Christians are being persecuted not only by the Greeks and the Romans, but also by the Jews in their thinking about going back into Judaism. Maybe it be easier for us if we did, he's writing a warning and says no, that would be disobedient to God. If you do that you be like the Exodus generation wanted to go back to Egypt to die in the wilderness, but God wants you to enter the promised land.
What he calls here the faith rest life and he says nothing in Judaism is nearly of the same substance of Jesus Christ is he is superior to everything and so pursue him. So we get the chapter 5 he's talking about Jesus Christ as this great high priest at priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, not an erotic or Levitical priest, and he says I want to tell you whole lot about him but notice what happens in verse 11, he said concerning him. We have much to say and it is hard to explain now because Paul that I mean the writer of Hebrews doesn't understand it, he says, since you have become. Now here's the bad habit dull of hearing, that's what they did, they would all hearing.
That's the bad habit.
I don't think that's gone away. Christians are notoriously dull of hearing.
See you think about that right now you might be fighting it. Trying to just pay attention to the word of God. You might think about lunch of the Saints game get on the ideas that you might be trying to do some look at another place in the Bible. Writing a note to yourself about something else you dull hearing. I don't really not only want to listen and by the way, if you want that way spiritually. At least I know you might've been that way academically because I certainly was. What did he say what when's the exam did you ever sit in classrooms all hearing mind wandering away in what they call those people below average students in what they call Christians your Dolby hearing below average Christians notice. Would Paul mean the writer of Hebrews goes on and says he sues for though by this time you are to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, you will be, you have come to need milk and not solid food for everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the work of righteousness, for he is an infant. That's the assessment, the writer of Hebrews, so the habit of being dull of hearing, and I can tell you what you will reap spiritual infancy.
You will stay a babe in Christ. That's the way to be. You'll never grow old chronologically, but you'll never grow up spiritually. You're never going to get the promise life that he talked to Timothy about this, like the promise is not going to be yours because you so the habit.
In this case of just being dull, hearing notice the contrast verse 14 but solid food is for the mature, who, because of the watch practice have their senses trained. Notice the discipline here because of practice. In other words, when they hear the word of God and the word of God says stop, guess what they do.
They stop the water said to go they go the word of God says honor.
They honor the word of God says say thank you they say thank you. They practice the word of God.
If they hear God saying they say I'm going to privatize my life.
Notice he said because of practice. They have their senses trained to notice the advantage they have in their majority to discern good and evil, right and wrong was a waste of time or what's worthy of time to the mature believer has that these are immature believers. They don't what's the difference habits oneness on the habit of being dull, hearing the other practices.
The word of God.
It's a habit where you are at this moment spiritually is exactly where your habits are brought you where you are right now you see, God has supplied each believer with the spirit of God, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, God has given each believer, the grace of God. God has given each believer access to the word of God. The difference between us is not the power of God is not the grace of God is not the word of God. I can tell you what it is. It's our own habits. We can either follow this route the dull of hearing habit or the route that Paul was imploring Timothy to follow that sin surprises me is a life like that what Paul wrote to the Galatians, God is not mocked. Whatever a man or woman so what's that mean habits so shall they reap results. You are the result of your habits. If you want to lead a victorious Christian life. If you want your spiritual life. The change you have to develop solid spiritual habits polity young Titus and said to him that you need to learn to deny ungodliness and worldly desires in the live sensibly and righteously, and godly in the present age. Again, the idea of developing habits so this morning I want to give you five habits just five basic habit you need to develop the first one is found in Matthew chapter 6 Matthew chapter 6 the sermon on the Mount. The context for this habit is Jesus speaking to an issue in his day.
That is kind of an issue in our day. Guess what, people were in his day, anxious they actually worried the people in his day were anxious and they worried. And Jesus said please don't do this in verse 25 of chapter 60 says. For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life as a what you will eat or what you will drink knowing your body is the what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing.
The please understand the difference.
Their problem wasn't worrying about what on the menu. They liked is not to be the problem somewhere you have a lunch today. Why don't know whether to get the fish to get the steak I'm not sure what it is I'm gonna work know it's not that there will promise are they going to eat there worried about will be enough food for them to eat. When a dog about clothing not allowed saying how does this jacket make me look. You know it's not that kind of thing for them. Do I look good in this color that is needed. Clothing. Jesus told them, don't worry about that stuff. Why are you worrying about that he said love flowers don't worry about the way they look. Look how they look, the birds of the air, don't worry about eating, and guess what God feeds him. How much more will God do that for you. One of his own children, but you have to develop a habit. Verse 33 but seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.
First habit put God first. That's the habit of priority put God first couple places you might be able to see that your daytime or your checkbook see is God first put God first to see the priority is always the priority is that how you influence other people is that you teach your children for passing our church when Richard was with us for 10 years and he and Sarah went the medicine Lodge, Kansas, and he's a senior pastor of their of the church in medicine Lodge has three boys and their three active boys and are very active athletically and one of the issues that he's had a face when he's been up there is that in baseball season basketball season different seasons to come, but especially baseball whenever they get to the important things like the All-Star games in the playoffs and all that they schedule games on Sunday morning and so Duane and Sara said sorry but our boys don't play on Sunday morning got first. His first is the priority.interesting thing. The biggest problem they had was the people in her own church were kids on the team. We need him to play first base. You see the ideas I never really gave it a 5C is wanting to sing God's first and everything. It's another thing to make God first in everything. How many people go through something like this.
I really would've liked to worship God. But I didn't get out of the LSU game to late last night and I drove all the way down my goodness, you know was so mean by time I got to sleep I got organ of the saints have a noon kickoff.
I got a get there and if I want to go and have to go to the 8 o'clock service not have to get up really early to do that.
I get the CD anyway. I just a proceeding, you understand what you're saying seek God first see what happened if you develop I think the habit is that the first most important thing to me is to do things I really enjoy and if those things come in conflict with worshiping God that I'm going to what I enjoy.
God understands he does not understand this, God gave us all things to enjoy that even includes the Tigers in the saints. He gave them to us to enjoy. Think it was all things to enjoy, but remember this, he said I am the Lord God, and will be no other God or idle before me. See, that's how it works in your life. What is the message is God first C is not a matter when I come to my checkbook is not a matter of numbers not gradually norm necessity and you'll never hear us talk about that, but the ideas it should always be a member. It's hilariously God loves a cheerful giver.
But the ideas it's gotta be first, it can't be after everything else is done.
I'll decide is never an amount with God.
It's always a priority with God. My first seek God first. That's a habit, develop, you know, I think of the song. Psalm 42 says as the deer pants for the water so my soul pants for you, will God and I just realized we were singing this morning. You realize we were singing to God. I hunger and thirst for you. You are the year I read it when you're singing your first make sure that your life accepts on its wanting to sing. I hunger and thirst roots. Another thing to really hunger and pastor Bill Gebhardt on the radio ministry fellowship Lord, if you ever missed one of our broadcasting or maybe you just like to listen to the message one more time.
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