Saturday, June 24, 2017

June 25, 2017

"Since you became alive again, so to speak, when Christ arose from the dead, now set your sights on the rich treasures and joys of heaven where he sits beside God in the place of honor and power. Let heaven fill your thoughts; don’t spend your time worrying about things down here. You should have as little desire for this world as a dead person does. Your real life is in heaven with Christ and God. And when Christ who is our real life comes back again, you will shine with him and share in all his glories. Away then with sinful, earthly things; deaden the evil desires lurking within you; have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires; don’t worship the good things of life, for that is idolatry. God’s terrible anger is upon those who do such things. You used to do them when your life was still part of this world; but now is the time to cast off and throw away all these rotten garments of anger, hatred, cursing, and dirty language. Don’t tell lies to each other; it was your old life with all its wickedness that did that sort of thing; now it is dead and gone. You are living a brand new kind of life that is continually learning more and more of what is right, and trying constantly to be more and more like Christ who created this new life within you." Colossians 3:1-10
Wow, we are born with a lot of harmful habits!
So when God gives us a holy heart how do we dump those harmful habits and develop holy habits?
Here are three keys:
1) Submit
2) Surrender
3) Substitute
Submit yourself to the Lord along with your harmful habits. Confess your weakness and inability to overcome these habits. Express your disgust with these habits and your desire to develop holy habits.
Further, don't attempt to overcome all your habits at once! Submit them individually and attack each one with undivided devotion.
Surrender the source of your harmful habits, your selfish will. Early on this may be an hourly process. But when your will is surrendered and consecrated to His will the battle gets much easier. How can you hope to develop His habits without being led by His will?
Substitute His holy habits for your harmful habits. I am convinced that the best way to rid yourself of old habits is not to stop them but to substitute new habits in their place. To do so with take intentional focus and determined faith. 
Be realistic and allow for some hits and misses early on. Celebrate your wins and allow your losses to make you more determined. 
Prayer will be an essential and prayer with fasting might be necessary in some cases.
Here are five habits we are recommending this Summer. They form the acrostic "BELLS" and will greatly assist in making you much more effective reaching people for Christ.
1) Bless - develop the habit of blessing at least three people every week. It may be a gift or a visit or a phone call, but do something to be a blessing. Work at making one or two of those people non-believers or new believers!
2) Eat - since you already have the habit of eating three times per day, this one should be easier. Make sure you plan a meal with at least three people during the week. Make sure at least one of those meals is with an unbeliever. Use these meals for either evangelizing or edifying.
3) Listen - perhaps when we think of witnessing we think in terms of what we need to say or we get intimidated because we don't know what to say. Well, try listening. If you listen well to others you will get to know them well and how to connect with them effectively. And, more importantly, listen to God!
4) Learn - make time regularly during the week to learn from Jesus and about Jesus through prayer, His Word and meditation.
5) Sent - live daily with a missional mindset. As a Christ-follower your life has a purpose, so act like it and live like it! Don't live your life - invest it!
Paul is very clear in this advice to believers, a holy heart demands holy habits. It won't be easy. It will be a battle but you will be on the winning side!
Make sure you have holy habits to go with your holy heart!
Make your new habit making new habits!