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Developing Habits Of Righteousness Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
June 9, 2021 1:00 am

Developing Habits Of Righteousness Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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June 9, 2021 1:00 am

When it comes to replacing bad habits with good ones, it's important to have the mindset of “out with the old, in with the new.” Running life’s race at top speed means having a mind filled with the word of God. In this message we discover how scripture meditation is the key to overcoming bad habits.

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Erwin Lutzer
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Don Green
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Dr. Michael Brown
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Erwin Lutzer

One reason for us. Jesus phone number for its always good to have the old with the new, especially when it comes to replacing bad habits with good ones running lights race at top speed means having a mind filled with the word of God today discovered the key to overcoming bad habits Scripture meditation church in Chicago this morning to win with Dr. teaching helps us make it across the finish line after leaks or some may see meditation as a form of Eastern religion. What's different about the meditation or advocating Dave.

That's a great question and I think that I can answer that with a great deal of clarity. Middle Eastern meditation emphasizes emptying the mind, you're not supposed to be thinking about anything and when you empty the mind. You and I know that it's a tremendous danger because there are spirits out there who would like to take advantage of the emptiness.

Jesus even gave a parable about that and warned about the fact that a demon left a man and he was empty, that is to say the man was, and worse demons came to him in the Bible. Meditation is entirely different.

You always meditate on content.

He meditates in the law of God day and night and that person shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water.

We read in Psalm one. That's why meditation is so incredible this morning I woke up I read a passage of Scripture and I did not put my Bible down until I received something from God that I could meditate on during the day. That's part of the transformation that God intends to bring about. I've written a book entitled how to break a stubborn habit. It talks about meditation biblical meditation. It also talks about a lot of other disciplines that are needed in the transformation process for a gift of any amount. It can be yours.

Here's what you do go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now let us listen to God's word. Let us better understand all the changes that God wants us to make so that he can meet our deepest emotional and spiritual needs. God wants you to re-adjust your values that you might see that the important things are the things that are not seen in the unimportant things are the things that we work for every day the things that are seen necessary in this life, but not the important things now. You'll begin to see then that God has something much broader and much more important in mind.

You know what God's will is for us, don't you, you know, sometimes we quote that verse Romans 828 we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. And I've heard so many people say well we know that God has some good in it but we don't know what it is but someday we'll know know you should know right now what the good is right now right now what that good is in Romans 828 you want to know it right now you know it says in the next verse, whom he did for no he did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son. That is the good that is referred to in the preceding verse and you say God works all things together for good. That is to say, he takes all of the struggles of life wife, that we might be conformed to the image of his son. That's what God wants to do in your life. It's not just a matter of giving you victory over a sliver of your existence is that he might be able to begin old much larger work you have to readjust your values and say do I really have my priorities in life straight. Have I really allowed God to show me what is important if you want to find out what is important. I like to give you a little assignment sometime this week when you have a spare moment, take a sheet of paper and write down all of the things that you would do if you were told that you had only two years to live.

Oftentimes that's a good way for us to really focus our priorities. It's amazing what happens when people discover sometimes that they may have a terminal illness. I wish that upon no one.

I certainly dread it myself. I don't know how I would handle it, but I've known people who have said that in moments like that. You finally can distinguish much more clearly.

The important from the unimportant, the things that are above from the things that are of the earth and goddesses. That's what you should do readjust your values. Second, refocus your thought life. Notice this set your mind on the things above it says in verse two, not on things of the earth. You see when we are readjust our values which I mentioned a moment ago. In doing that, that answers the question that I raised a few moments earlier about those who can't break their sinful habits because they misunderstand the purpose of the struggle when I tell you now that we should refocus our thought life. This is the answer to the principle of replacement that I spoke about a moment ago.

It is not enough simply to renounce sin. What we must do is we must begin to consciously and deliberately set the focus of our minds directly upon the Scriptures and it is through the process of the meditation of the word of God that the works of the flesh are literally squeezed right out of our life as a young man I call them young.

He's about my age was the pastor of a church and he lost his wife two years ago because of terminal cancer and I have never seen a man so radiant and with such tremendous ability to have taken that even though he was left with two small girls children and I asked him I said how is it that your experience is so different from so many others that I know why was it that you and your wife were able to handle at all the way to the bitter end. I said weren't there times when you were in deep anxiety. Oh yes, he said. He said we had our times of deep anxiety. But we wouldn't tolerate anxiety. I said well how did you not tolerate it.

He said I would read my wife.

The Bible chapter after chapter after chapter and then he said I bought records with the whole New Testament on records and he said I would put those on in the morning and they would just play all day and she would listen to those records of the Scripture, and he says it was in times like that, that God's peace, just overwhelmed us. You see, that's the answer to simply have said all God please deliver us from anxiety and then to get up from off your knees with a blank mind open and ready for anxious thoughts once again will not work you can say all God deliver me from this sinful habit, please, please, I yield to you and your mind as you get up from that chair is empty and its receptacle and open the ready receptacle for all sorts of angry, difficult, confusing and sinful thoughts once again and it will never work God's principle is never to have you simply renounce sin. It is always to step by step feel your vacuum with habits of righteousness.

And when that happens the others have no room look at what Paul says here he says put off these things he says. But put on the new man.

I could show you in the book of Ephesians and elsewhere uses the very same thing is is put off the old man with his deeds but also put on the new man and do these things you see. He says not only don't be drunk with wine. What does he say in the very same verse but be filled with the spirit you see the way in which you break a sinful habit is not only to renounce it, but it is to fill your mind with the word of God, so that in your life, new thought patterns can be developed now. I think that what you want to do is go home and find verses of Scripture that relate to all of the specific problems that you face.

Whether it is anxiety or anger. Regardless of what that sinful habit is learned verses of Scripture and begin to memorize those verses of Scripture, or else take them and put them on 3 x 5 cards and have them in your car or at work where you can glance at them, and constantly be filling your mind with the word of God relating specifically to the problem is that you face and suddenly you'll discover that your thought patterns will begin to change and you'll be able to think righteous thoughts rather than evil one. You know there's that old sermon illustration that everyone uses, but I've got to use it again because it's so good. You know the best way to take air out of a bottle is not to invent some sort of a huge vacuum pump. Though I suppose that's possible simply to pour water into the bottle does the job much better and if you think that your mind it can somehow be delivered from the sinful habits that you have by simply living in a vacuum. You are wrong you will return to those sinful habits and your latter state will be worse than your former because God wants to change us and he does it through the renewing of the mind. You know that verse in Philippians, Paul doesn't say now, folks don't think evil thoughts. He says that many, many more times.

Often he says things like this, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are righteous, whatsoever things are good whatsoever things are of a good report, if there be any virtue or, if there be any praise, think on these things, so it is not a matter of renouncing only. It is a matter of putting on the new habits of righteousness and the new thought patterns that God wants to give you.

There's 1/3 thing in this passage, and that is this we should reckon ourselves reckon ourselves to be dead to sin. Notice this, it says in verse five. Therefore, consider the members of your earthly body is dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, greed, which amounts to idolatry.

You see, when we face temptation. We must recognize that Jesus Christ has already won a legal victory over the sin that plagues you legally that sin is been broken because he took you from being in Adam and he put you into Jesus Christ and in the process of breaking that old relationship in forming a new there is no jurisdiction that sin no longer can have over you legally years ago when slavery was abolished in Jamaica. I understand that there were many slaves in the remote areas who did not know that there day of emancipation had gone. Consequently all over Jamaica in some of the areas there were still people who are operating in living like slaves and being obedient to their masters and all the rest simply out of ignorance. They did not know that slavery had been abolished now in the very same way if we are ignorant regarding the totality of the work of Jesus Christ.

We will have a tendency in our lives to keep obeying the old master when really he has no right to rule us when Jesus Christ died on the cross, he won a legal victory so that we no longer have to be slaves to sin. But the Bible says here consider yourselves to be dead to the works of the flesh, and you can do that you can do that now this is the answer to the problem of self effort that I told you about a moment ago. It is not a matter of me saying I determined no longer to do this sin.

At best, that can only be the first small step in the right direction, but what you must do is say, I determined to visualize. I don't mean physically visualized by determined to visualize myself as being victorious in Jesus Christ and I have decided to shift the focus of my attention. Not so much to the struggle that is going within my heart as the victory that was accomplished on the cross and I keep focusing my attention to that and I will determine to do that, you know, I have found sometimes that when I face temptation. I don't have the strength to be able to say I turn from that temptation.

But it's an amazing thing.

This is just a personal experience, and you might find it to be different but I do have sometimes in the moments of facing temptation. I do have the strength to say Lord Jesus. I look in your direction now in looking at the direction of Jesus Christ and considering him in reckoning myself to be dead. I am turning from sin but it is not merely at air turning from iniquity is a positive turn towards Jesus Christ, and Christ helps us to do that and that's why our will become stronger as we develop as a habit of righteousness looking to Jesus Christ in the victory that was settled there. Remember the 17th chapter the book of Exodus, Joshua was in the battle with the Amalekites and the Bible says that Moses went on to the mountain and he began to pray and he began to intercede and Moses had his arms raised and as long as Moses had his arm is raised. Joshua prevailed and when Moses had his hands down Amalek prevailed. In fact, her and Erin who were up on the amount they help Moses keep his hands in the air. Where was the real battle taking place.

The real battle was taking place on the mountain.

It was not taking place in the Valley what was being done on the mountain was being translated into personal victory in the Valley. But the real issue was being settled on the hilltop were Moses was interceding for his people. Now, the more clearly we are able to see that it is at the cross, that the issue was settled the real big issues of life were settled there.

The more easily we will be able to embrace that victory for ourselves and say I take that as mine. Despite the struggle that is going on within me. I keep looking to the cross and thanking God that sin was defeated.

There and then by means of the Holy Spirit.

The victory that Jesus Christ accomplished will be translated into the personal experience of our own lives.

What am I saying tonight if I could summarize this sermon in a single sentence.

It would simply be this walk in the spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh I meet so many people who don't want to fulfill the lusts of the flesh. People who cry up to God for deliverance or they might be free from these things and they don't seem to be delivered because there's only one way to do it and that is to positively, actively, consciously, deliberately walk in the spirit refocusing your whole values in life and recognizing that what God wants to do in your life is to conform you to the image of Jesus Christ in the yard temptation North habit is but a step in that direction he wants you to change your whole thought patterns through the assimilation and the meditation in the word of God, and he wants you to constantly see the greatness of Jesus Christ victory on the cross. I'll tell you I get a little weary about preachers and I know that Pastor Weathersby isn't one of them who tell people that all that they have to do is really yield to God. And that's the end of it. All you have to do is yield to God I was brought up in a church that believed in a second blessing you don't want the problems I had with the second blessing was that it didn't seem to be around when I really needed it. There is no one experience that will decisively and your temptations. In fact, you gotta learn to live with temptation were gonna talk about that next week. You gotta learn to accept it as a way of life but you gotta learn to handle it the way in which God wants.

But once we begin to establish a systematic program of applying the Scripture to our lives. We will see that some of the habits that we have struggled with so long will sort of fall by the wayside. Like leaves in the spring when the new life of the tree begins to break forth, not one isolated act. Though it begins there but a whole different direction and a whole different pattern of the way of life. Psychologist tell is that it takes 21 days to break an old habit and to begin a new I hope it won't take you that long though, for some of you it might take that long. Might take a long time to lay aside the garments of the flesh and begin to establish patterns of righteousness there.

Some of you here if you're really really really fed up with your sin and one of the problems I have with people is that sometimes they aren't really fed up with her sin, they still aren't sure whether they want to get rid of it. But if you're really desperate. Some of you could stop your losing streak tomorrow. If you began each day affirming your position in Jesus Christ, meditating in the word and asking God for wisdom to see what he'd like to do in your life he will take that sinful habit and it will be broken but in its place there will be righteousness. There will be habits of godliness and great spiritual maturity. Look at that habit as a steppingstone, not a stumbling block, but a steppingstone toward knowing the Lord God walk in the spirit. Paul says and then you will break those sinful habits. Let's pray together showing our father, we thank you that your word says that you have given to us everything that is necessary for godliness.

We thank you father that there is no sinful habit that anyone is involved in. No matter how many years they've been involved in it that you cannot break and father we know that sometimes you do not break it because you wanted them to see a much larger picture as to what you would really like to do in their lives and how you would like to use this and we pray for ourselves. Father, many of us have sinful habits. Many of us have patterns of behavior that we think we cannot change and we know that you want to and we pray Lord that you might make us open and ready to respond to what you would like to do in our hearts through the cross and through your word. In Jesus name, amen.

What my friend, this is Pastor Luther.

I've written a book entitled how to break a stubborn habit that I need to tell you it's not just for those who are struggling specifically with stubborn habit. It's a book that applies to all of us. It's a book where I need the very same principles because really it's a book on spiritual growth.

How do I get from point a to point B, and in that sense we are all in progress. Nobody has arrived, not even the apostle Paul said that he had arrived. I haven't, you haven't. The question is how do we move forward.

The title of the book is how to break a stubborn habit and for a gift of any amount. This book can be yours. Here's what you do go to RTW Of course RTW offer is all one word RTW or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337 now I have to say that in life we have many different struggles and I can't think of a time in our culture, where there's been so difficult for us to concentrate. I don't know about you, but because of tablets because of cell phones, computers, and the like. We are constantly distracted. This book emphasizes the need to meditate in Scripture, but it also answers questions such as is victory over sin. Does that mean that I always have to feel good for the answer to that is no Jesus didn't feel good in the garden of Gethsemane.

Did he but he was doing the will of God. So ask for the book how to break a stubborn habit and once again that contact info RTW or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337.

When you call us make sure that you remember that this ministry exists in order to help many people.

Thousands upon thousands make it all the way to the finish line. You can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 running to win is all about helping you find Bob's roadmap for your race of life, a life filled with patterns of righteousness has no room for bad habits. One loser has now concluded developing habits of righteousness, the third of four messages in his series getting to know next time don't miss breaking the chains of bondage were Dr. Erwin loser this is Dave Callister running to when you sponsored by the Moody church

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