Today we are looking at creating habits that can up us, but also habits that can make a difference in the world. We tend to think of making changes in our life as things that help us be better, but it is more than that. You have been given a mission to make a difference in this world and the habits that you form either help or hurt that.
So to get things started lets play “I Never”
(I never is a game where everyone sits in chairs in a circle. There is one less chair than students so the person without a chair has to stand in the middle. The middle person says something they have never done (I have never jumped out of plane, I have never eaten green beans, etc). The students who are sitting down have to get up and find a new place to sit if they HAVE done what the person in the middle HAS NOT done. When people start to move the person in the middle tries to find a seat and then there is one person left out again who continues with the game)
There are some things that you have never done and others that you have. One of the big problems with our world right now are some of the I Never’s of Christians. There are lots of church people who have never shared their faith, who have never reached out to help someone who was in need, who have never seriously considered what it means to follow Christ.
So tonight we are going to look at what it means to go from I Never to Always
OK, let’s have a third of you to look up
Philippians 3:12–14 (HCSB)
12 Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, 14 I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
The next third can look up
2 Peter 1:5–8 (HCSB)
5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, 6 knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, 7 godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The last third check out
1 Corinthians 9:24–27 (HCSB)
24 Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. 25 Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a crown that will fade away, but we a crown that will never fade away. 26 Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. 27 Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
You see we have a mission, that is greater than a simple race. We are not running for a prize that will fade, but for a prize that will never fade away. The things that we are doing for God’s kingdom here will impact not only now, but also eternity.
So we need to practice disciple and adopt habits that help us to pursue the goal.
But let’s start there: What’s the goal?
The goal is to be more like Jesus
Why it is important to know the goal?
I need two volunteers
We are going to have a race. OK, GO!
What do you need to actually race? You need a destination right? OK, first one to the other door gets a free drink. Go!
You can’t race without a goal and you can’t grow closer to Christ without getting an idea of the goal which is ultimately to be ore like Jesus.
So what are some habits that you can adopt to help you to pursue this goal?
Bible reading, quiet time, prayer, sin management
Learning to see people, reaching out to the needy, having a heart for others
Those are all habits that we know we need to do, but they are hard. So how do we help impliment those? Well they start with right choices.
We are going to play a game here about choices.
Play 4 on a couch (sorry this is hard to explain, but I think you can search for it)
In this game you had to remember what had gone before and use that information to make wise choices. In the same way you need to remember that you have a mission and you need to make choices that help fulfill that mission.
Turn in your Bible to Hebrews 12:1-2
Hebrews 12:1–2 (HCSB)
12 Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, 2 keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.
We need to keep our eyes on Jesus.
So let’s get practical for a moment. It doesn’t take long for a practice to become a habit, it just takes some daily remembering for a while and then it becomes like second nature.
I want to challenge you to 30 days of a new God habit. You can choose what that habit will be. If you pray only for 5 minutes then pray for 10. If you don’t read your Bible at home then commit to read it. Maybe you need to find someone to be kind to every day. Whatever it is find a way that you can 1) do it easily and 2) keep track of it (like in a journal) and do it for 30 days. If you can come back to me next month with a journal or record of what you have done I will give you a prize.