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August 16, 2022 6:00 am
Do you long to take your relationship with the Lord Jesus to the next level. Are you ready to go from being a good Christian to great one yesterday. Stick around. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with your favor. The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians, the Bible thinking of chipping or nearing the end of our popular series. Good to great these last two programs focuses on the power of creating habits describe how daily routine can produce a life of lasting impact with profound action if you're looking for deeper insight into this topic. Keep listening. After this message to hear some really practical advice from ship without turning your Bible. First Timothy chapter 4 today's talk great Christians develop great habits. I love it.
Benjamin Franklin said, he gave an equation. Benjamin Franklin said, if you take all your good habits in your life. Subtract them from all your bad habits. It equals your contribution to society. An interesting thought is all your good habits, minus all your bad habits equal. Your contribution to society a definition of a habit is a behavior that is done so often, it becomes automatic or it's done without thinking. A fella here reading Ted Pollick is a expert in time management and behavioral psychology, and he says deliberately training yourself into good habits require stern self-discipline. At first, but since those habits become second nature. The payoff is considerable. Good habits save effort ease routine, increase efficiency and release power. See what you need to grasp what I need to grasp is you are today. The total of your good habits in your bad habits and who you will become the product of the kind of man the kind of woman you're going to be five years 10 years 20 years from now.
By and large, will be the habits and the habits of the things you do without thinking I'm God has made us this way.
Me, I didn't this morning. Okay, now brushing your teeth. This is a tough one to see. I think I raise my lips and then I member when you first started doing it a full member of a five-year-old learning to tie issue what what if you had to think that hard every time.
C habits are the ability to take complex functions simplify them and over multiple repetitions do them automatically without thinking, when you first learned to drive member how your your forearms would be all tight and how you look at all these mirrors. At the same time. Now you're on the cell phone you have a couple coffee drive and switching lanes and discipline a kid in the backseat. All of us have had the experience where you arrive in your driveway right and you realize I don't remember driving home that scary. Of course, but see you habitually can do a number of things.
But what I want you know you can eventually learn to be kind, you can habitually learn to think great thoughts. You can habitually learn to pursue great people. You can habitually learn to empower great people. You can habitually learn to take great risks we have to cultivate habits, cultivate a lifestyle where that can occur if the you think I'm kind of just returning to psychology. Now, instead of Scripture. Open your Bible if you will do first Timothy chapter 4, the apostle Paul will talk about the power uses a different word, but the power of habits. First Timothy chapter 4 and notice.
This is the older apostle talking to the young pastor and he wants the young pastor to be successful so he talks in the first chapter about don't be afraid. And God has given us a spirit of timidity and he wants to reawaken a spiritual gift, and he talks about leadership, and then in chapter 4 verse seven he says have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women on the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness nor discipline also translated practice go into training. It's a word that we get our English word gymnasium.
Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness for bodily discipline is of little profit but godliness is profitable for all things since it holds a promise not only for the present life but also for the life to come.
He says Timothy just like you see an athlete go into training and practice and develop the habit of running or lifting weights or getting stronger. You need to practice or develop the habits of becoming a godly person a skip over to Hebrews if you will. Hebrews chapter 5 picking up in verse 11. Very, very interesting concept.
This is a group of people that are are fading in their walk with the Lord. Persecution is coming in their shrinking back from their commitment and and the writer here is is talking about the supremacy of Christ over everything and now he reproves them in chapter 5, beginning at verse 11. He says concerning him.
We have much to say is talk about because a Deccan in this high priestly order and it's hard to explain it since you become dull of hearing, for though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God and you have need for milk and not solid food. So basically you want to be teachers by now, you ought to be mature by now, you ought to be reproducing empowering great people by now we can talk like that. Your spiritual baby for everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a babe, but solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. There's our word because of practice have their senses trained over a period of time. People who are mature have gone into hail habitual practice so that their lives are righteous.
Their senses have been trained in such a way that they know good from evil say this sounds crazy, but you have habit you're totally unaware of and major changes in your life. One of the things you need to do is you need to begin to question your habits. Some of you eat a snack before you go to bed. Somebody watch a certain TV program every week. Most of you get up in a certain way either grab a cup of coffee, eat a certain breakfast have some sort of a juice drink.
Some people take vitamins on a regular basis. Some people I mean you have habit after habit after habit after habit after habit.
You do it without thinking since they are your best friends and your worst enemies. And if you want to be transformed.
If you want to change. You got a look. I still remember when I saw the habit I unconsciously maybe my parents didn't you know but I remember growing up. The majority of my early adult life somehow always watching the 11 o'clock news and going to bed. Somehow I felt like the world wasn't okay until Chip Ingram watched the 11 o'clock news and 1130. Went to bed. Will you know even if you only need 6 1/2 or seven hours sleep. If you go to bed 1130. You can't get up until you 630 or seven and I remember thinking you know one day. What is the 11 o'clock news. I mean, I can read the headlines tomorrow and anything is really important.
I could scan and I realize that you know often I get little tired by 10 or 1030 and I remember deciding that was not a profitable habit. The names change but just different people were killing different people and different crises were upright and so I decided to break that habit and a member. Another habit we had his after dinner we would just watch a little TV. I decided to not watch the 11 o'clock news and I decided as an experiment for six weeks when my kids were young. Do not watch any TV on school nights for two or three days. It was bedlam in my house. They were what was on each other.
The fourth day were playing games. The next week there playing the guitar.
The next week were working out outside and then pretty soon we had a great family time and it's nine 915 I go to bed we go to bed at 915.
Guess what, 430 or five. You're ready role I gained 2 1/2 hours in my day every week and it begin to change everything that it some people said you know you seem to juggle a lot of balls.
I guess I do, but part of it is for the last 22 to 24 years God gave me back about 2 1/2 hours more a day because I changed one habit all my kids are musicians because we changed one habit all my children love to read books because we changed one habit to get so let's develop great habits. Here we go. How you do it six habits that cultivate grace, would you jot Titus 211 and 12.
There's a danger here's a limit to a big danger. I'm gonna give you very practical habits that you cultivate and when you cultivate them.
If you cultivate these you will end up getting all nine practices as a part of your everyday life. But if you're not careful you'll think it's about trying hard and working hard. I'm gonna do this habit. And then when I do it, then I'm gonna be holy and unconsciously on the will earn and work my way toward God that's bad that's wrong.
It never works. Titus 211 says it is the grace of God that brought us or let us to salvation that teaches us to say no to worldliness and all ungodliness and yes to upright, righteous living. It's the grace of God we think grace is over here and effort is over here wrong. Grace is over here and merit is over here at the thesis of grace is not you. Don't try. It's that you don't gain brownie points. You see, it takes great effort for the grace of God is both the desire and the ability to be righteous to follow him and do what's right and so you notice I said six habits that cultivate grace.
This isn't six habits to be a Christian self-help expert six habits so that you experience God. Realize your dependency and like these habits are. Think of him as a big white PVC pipe that connects into your heart and that PVC pipe goes all the way to heaven and you cultivate these habits so God can give you unmerited grace and favor and pour grace into your heart into your mind.
So by his power and his grace you become more and more like Christ. So get that down with that, then let's go to habit number one habit number one put God first, put God first developed the habit of giving God the very first portion and the best part of your day to the principle of priority says but seek first his kingdom command, and his righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 633 and I want to give you a visual for each one.
What I would say to you, habit number one now.
Good Christians can meet with God. Anytime they want. They meet with them now and then, often in the morning if not the catchment lunch little bit of time when their little tired and snoozing and fall asleep. Now with their prayers but they are in the Bible and their praying and they meet with God on a semi regular basis. There good Christians great Christians meet with God first great Christians meet with God first. David hungers and thirsts for the Don when Abraham was going to offer Isaac. It says and he arose early. You go through the Scriptures you study the life of great men and great women you do psychological studies on when people are most consistent working out you do the thing that matters most. First, and so what I'd say is by an alarm clock by an alarm clock without a snooze button. Okay, it's mind over mattress were talking about a habit right you need to win the very first battle of the day by an alarm clock without a snooze button put God first. What's it say the promises seek first his kingdom.
His rule, his ownership over your life.
His righteousness I want to be like you and what's the promise. Everything else you need in your life will take care of. I'd like to say that this is been an easy one for me this was the most difficult habit in the world for me. I could let me just describe my normal way of getting up all my earlier than that I'm became a Christian just before college, so I'm now in college about a year year and 1/2 and the alarm goes off and I hit it. 123 snooze. I got 8 o'clock class.
Now I see it.
Finally, it is 755 so I jump out of bed, put on sweatpants you can do this in college put on a baseball cap. That way you don't even have to comb your hair, throwing a jacket run as fast as you can arrive to class only 3 to 5 minutes late. Sit in the back feel bad for the girl you're sitting next to could you probably snake take a few notes and that's how I start my day and then later a bricklayer who was trained by the navigators met me in.
He began to teach me how to have a quiet, never heard a quiet time and it was just 15 minutes and I love to say it was great and I started to spend 15 I hit about twice a week at best that you come on Tuesday morning and knock on my door for six months.
I would pretend I didn't hear it about half the time very very slow learner and then little by little by little, I begin to see put God first, nice all-you-can-eat with him anytime and you know I love God will be legalistic. It was about being legalistic as I just found when I didn't meet with them in the morning. I don't know about you maybe are better me. I usually did meet with him very well rest the day and I decided I really wanted to do that and saw a first output that alarm clock across the hall.
You know my bed and so when it rang. I had to get out of bed and I thought I could get out of bed, turn it off and go right back to bed. I was amazing.
Later I had a roommate who was disciplined a big wrestler. He was a heavyweight wrestler and I told him you know I'm sullen discipline. I need help I need help I just bobbled to help me to chipmunk and help you you really want up.
Yeah, no matter what. Yeah, I mean it's nighttime you want to get up like for you to bed.
It's when the alarm goes off. It's hard and so very next morning and this guy help me and he said ships Thomas not forget it.
He said you member you asked me yet he goes down in my bed and he grabs my ankle is very good about 63. Who knows, 240 250, built like a rock just pick me up and I'm upside down pop like this exist you us.
He said you even learn to get up yeah yeah okay and he opens a door and member of the community showers used to having and colleges he'd swing me in front of me on that. I am so hot if I was bigger stronger and better taking them out. I didn't do a thing and he came down and threw me back my bed. He said now and so what you got to get up now and I just want to tell you that my journey was very, very difficult, and it took a long time.
Easy habits take 6 to 8 weeks to develop some people say three months and it becomes pretty automatic. Some very difficult things can take months and even longer and I am not gonna say to you that you know.
I then did that every morning but it got to be for five mornings a week and and a lot of times it was duty. I just did it because it was right and I'm looking at say that the words jumped off the page and the skies opened and I met with God. Everything was wonderful like a lot of breakfast.
I don't always remember what I eat for breakfast, but it does a lot of good for my body but I can tell you that over that period of time. It went from 15 to 30 minutes to an alarm, and went from duty and then it went from duty to you know what I am to be diligent and it's good and that I just put set an alarm so the Lord wake me up whenever you want to wake me up and the first hour, sometimes hour and 1/2 or to my day are the best, most glorious, I like meeting with God. It is been the most powerful habit that is shaped my life and and and I will take not not out of self-discipline.
It's it's like get to go on a date with your wife are going to a great restaurant or doing something that you love to do the habit has been meeting at least an hour or so with God talking to him, listening him jotting of the things my journal reading to the Bible year after year studying some things hearing his voice sharing my needs opening up on my frustrations and I gonna tell you it is been fundamentally the most powerful change agent in my world you know it's during that time that I read great books. It's during that time that I pray great prayers. It's during that time the God brings great thoughts. It's during that time that he moves me to pursue great people is during that time that I'm actually pursuing great people right out of his word, put God first habit number one. Great Christians develop the habit of putting God first habit number two is take out the trash ready yeah do that periodically you take out the trash.
It's the principle of transformation. The first is a principal priority. Romans 12 to says and do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is that which is good and acceptable and perfect. A look at that verse carefully. There's a negative command literally Greek stop being conformed to this world or molded stop allowing the world system the world ideas. The world images and the world's values took to mold you positive command start, literally. It's in the passive tense allowing God's word to renew and transform metamorphic size. That's a member, the Transfiguration and Jesus and it says he was transfigured.
That's the word allow by the renewing of your mind you, to be transformed from the inside out. Is it a bad thing what so that you can be a person who tests or proves were experiences the will of God and your actual lifestyle begins to demonstrate what God's will is that which is good and acceptable and perfect. We pastored in a tiny tiny town in Texas. Great great experience and a guy came to church and he look like you know what he'd been through it and sure it's all dirty and looked like he had had a bath about six or eight months and he needed some food after and I gave him some food and then next week he needed some food and he brought his wife and she looked in the same kind of situation. So I said no we really need some money for electricity and some other things and I had this little fun that I can help people with so I said will you let me come out and visit US at three so would you mind going with me so we get in the car we drive out to the country and and we come to this place actually doesn't doesn't look too bad at all and is a couple horses out there. We pull and there's about five or six dogs that bark all around us and and then we we go inside and this is no exaggeration. But first, the stench I almost almost threw up. It just smelled so badly. I thought what could that be. I looked and there was garbage on the floor there was in two open cans of cat food. There was something open that was spoiled. I counted 19 cats. I counted 19 cats just in the kitchen in this area all the shades are down. It's dark in the role older lady sitting over in the corner and he sit in front of you. We need some money you know and I sat there and I thought, let me see your horses are eating okay you at least five dogs look fairly healthy. These 19 cats are okay. What part of this don't you get mad you need food and you know and this is God's money.
This is it my money. I want to help you, but in what I realize was when you live in trash you get so accustomed to the trash.
You think it's normal. The stench and the smell was nauseating. But if you hang around stench and smell long enough you know what you think it smells normal and many many a Christian has their minds so filled with the junkyard of this world, their lives never change and I can't figure out why because what God calls trash what God is called unholy what God says is unrighteous.
What God says will take you down a bad path and ruin relationships has become very acceptable. Many, many Christians and what we do is when we try to figure out what's true and what's right and what we ought to do God says is very very easy to tell you what I put my spirit within you, and if you don't quench it, and I've given your conscience and attain what you just read through here and I'll give you a clear line but what we tend to do is find who we think is a Christian that either.
We sort of respect or maybe is not doing quite so well and will they watch that or they read that or they do that in. I guess it must be okay and we like were like on this great journey of how we dumb one another down how we dumb one another down and that's why when you read those many many statistics by barn by Gallup Christians, especially in America are morality or honesty. Our marriages are fidelity our time on Internet porn sites is not really Nichol's worth of difference then the average unbelief and you know why because unconsciously were being conformed to this world and not transformed and I just learned you have to develop the habit and the habit is you know what my viewing one of my reading what relationships I'm involved in. What people do. I hang around what books and romance novels and soap operas in prime time TV what what are the things that I'm putting in my mind what advertisements, where do I go when I have free time where it is my my mind gravitate to what what thoughts that are impure or am I allowing to live there and build a nest in my heart and my mind you at some point in time. You kinda get us you get you get away what I usually have to do not is I have to do a media fast. We only look is what happens is like the frog in the proverbial you know in the water and heat up the stove. Gradually, that that frog will stay right there and burned to death, and what I found is the world system is so seductive I just have to stop and say for the next three days or seven days or 10 days, not to listen to the radio on the go watch any TV. If there's a crisis.
Obviously I can turn it on and figure out what's going on and what it does is like 10 days later I watch a TV show and then out, obviously my lands. I can't believe how the girls dressed and look what they're trying to do their making me believe if I drink that beer had that thing that you beautiful blonde and a jump in the back mine. I'm going you know lie lie lie lie and you watch one of these reality shows and you use begin to see what in the world am I put in my mind, you will be a product. All change begins with your thinking. All change begins with your thinking and so people who are great Christians understand the principal transformation and they periodically stop is not like you not to get trash in your life will do and they take out the trash and the question I ask for you what what trash is in your life. What thoughts, what habits, what you put in your mind what you mull over that if Jesus was inside your mind, as he is and you just have a conversation you said, Lord. So what what what you think about the stuff going in my mind. Which ones do you know without even thinking it say I'm not real comfortable here this and he doesn't love you Disney's down on you.
What's the was the whole point of passage that you might prove that you can test you can experience God's will that which is good, acceptable and perfect number three.
These habits and by the way, when you when you take out the trash. What he do you think great thoughts take out the trash you pursue great people because you want to rub up against people who think in a way to mold you and transform you in different ways. Third is do your own dishes. Do your own dishes. The principal principal responsibility. Take responsibility for yourself your messes your life. Your future stop blaming other people and stop making excuses. It's a it's a habit. Okay, it's not. I'm not topminnow relax.
I'm not down on you with people we just learn this happen. Well, it was my parents fault is educational system so it was my kids felt it was the government's full well I wanted to do that, but the light turned red.
I really wanted and I want and got I'm really sorry but and we have people who have developed the habit unconsciously with God and in every relationship you either blame something or someone else will make an excuse when you blame someone else.
You don't change.
When you make an excuse.
You don't change this. Do your dishes list part one of Jeff's message develop habits will be right back with his application for the stitching from a series good to great in God's eyes.
Are you tired of living the status quo Christian life. Are you looking to get a fresh infusion of faith and spiritual passion will join Chip in this 10 part series as he shares 10 specific practices. Every great Christian has in common and how you can put these attitudes and routines into action. If you're ready for a genuine spiritual breakthrough.
Don't miss a single message. For more information about the series oral resources go to LivingontheEdge.org Chip Ingram up or call us at AAA 83336003 trips back with me in studio now and Shapiro Living on the Edge. We believe small groups are absolutely vital to have real power.
I mean, they don't just change lives.
They help all of us grow spiritually to but I'm sure there are some out there looking at all of our small group resources and aren't sure which one to choose or where to begin.
What advice do you have will Dave. We all have special times in our life where there's either crisis or we know we need to improve our parenting are married you are there some emotional issues and his people go through. There's plenty of small group resources like that. But what I think is missing is what the historically has been called a catechism, a catechism is a well ordered process of truth, by which you go through it systematically and intentionally in order to become more and more like Jesus and to fulfill more and more what Jesus has called us to do and so if you follow Jesus life is actual chronological life.
The first thing is, he defined what a disciple is and so the very first study I encourage people to do his true spirituality becoming a Romans 12 Christian it a lot of note this is what it means to be a follower of Jesus. The second thing Jesus did his he took him through various experiences to reveal who God was like, what is God really like and so our second study is called the real God.
And in that we studied the attributes of God and how to get them from your head into your heart. The third thing that Jesus did Izzy help them understand how does life change really occur. How do you put into practice. We have a study from Ephesians chapter 4 called transformed the miracle of life change and then the fourth will give you because I don't want to lay it all out is that when you take these kind of steps, all hell breaks loose.
I don't mean that as a cuss word. What I mean is it's challenging, it's difficult. There's spiritual warfare. And that's our study from Ephesians chapter 6 is called the invisible war.
What every believer needs to know about Satan and demons and spiritual warfare.
So let me encourage you unless there is a critical need. I high felt need consider studying in order to catechism the way Jesus taught his disciples. Thanks strip will to learn more about the study strip mentioned or any of our other small group resources go to LivingontheEdge.org or call us at AAA 333-6003.
Let me tell you, these materials are so easy to use chip provides the teaching, then you'll have time to discuss what you've heard with our helpful study guides. So if you're not in the small group you reward sure what to study. Next, let me encourage you to check us out and for a limited time. All of our small group resources are discounted again visit LivingontheEdge.org or call AAA 333-6003 hapless nurse Special offers chip as we wrap up this program. I was wondering if you would take some time and review a couple of those important habits you talked about today flush about force of you will explain how we can practically make them a part of our day-to-day lives while be glad to Dave. Few things have impacted me more than cultivating and developing these habits and the first one is literally carving out time with God first and just so people know this did not come easy for me.
I was challenged I tried I failed.
I tried I failed. It is not about legalism, God loving us more if we make time for him, but I will just tell you this, there is no way that you can experience God's power have discernment and make the kind of decisions that lead to being a follower of Jesus that is the kind of follower you want to be apart from meeting with God, and I personally believe by the example of Jesus and how busy life gets you have to do that first and second as you do have to take out the trash I mean were in a battle we all are and so you have to pause and say you know you know what I'm I watching what are my Netflix habits.
Where do I go to online. There's just certain things. We all know they're not moving me toward becoming more more like Jesus. They constantly are pulling me away and just a quick story. This isn't like for young believers I was doing a leadership group at our church and I asked them you know about their story and then I asked him tell me about your time in God's word and these are leaders okay busy people while I get up real early and I have a high tech job and you know I've got these kids and I've got that I've got that out of the 10 leaders. Only two of them spent any time in God's word to speak of and I got so discouraged I went home to my wife.
I don't think I'm going to I'm not can do this group. I mean, these guys are never to go anywhere and she encouraged me not to do that and we probed and we probed and I went on a journey with them to say if we do nothing else. Men you have these dreams about your family and your career in the kind of man you want to be in none of that will happen if you don't spend time with God and make that a regular part of your life and that was a number of years ago and I have to tell you I'm glad I didn't quit because I can go around the table now every single one of them got into God's word and they started taking out the trash realign their schedule and it was hard we hold each other accountable and none of them regretted. Believe me it will change your life Encouraging Word ship fax in case you missed some of the points chip just reviewed the pulled straight from his message notes, which is a tool available for every program. So let me encourage you to get this resource before you listen to us again. Chips notes include his outline all of the Scripture references and lots of fillings to help you remember what you're learning that will really help you get the most out of every program, chips, message notes are a quick firstname.lastname@example.org under the broadcasts tab hapless nurse. Just Fill in the notes until next time, this is Dave Drury saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge