“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
1) Habits (R.J. Evans)
2) Avoiding Bad Habits (R.J. Evans)
It has been said that, “habits are like comfortable beds, easy to get into, but hard to get out of.” It has also been said that “habits are like cable, each day as we do something in a pattern, we intertwine one thread with another.” And, of course, as the threads are woven tightly together, a cable is formed. Using this analogy, we need to realize that on any particular day, the thread we added was probably too small to gain much of our attention. But, after many threads have been woven in, we discover that together they have become a practically unbreakable cable or rope.
So it is with habits. There are good habits and there are bad habits. Daily practices over the course of time become habits that are practically unbreakable—so be careful what you weave.
To illustrate the above, concerning a bad habit, ask someone who has developed a bad habit and has attempted to break it i.e. the person who uses profanity, drinks alcohol, or takes drugs. It is my understanding that chain smoking is one of the most difficult of all habits to break.
But on the other hand, think of developing good habits. Think of how much good and positive results that are produced from these daily practices. Here are some suggestions or examples of good habits that we need to be incorporating into our daily lives.
DAILY Bible Reading. “Also day by day, from the first day until the last day, he read from the Book of the Law of God” (Neh. 8:18).
DAILY Bible Study. “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
DAILY Prayer. “Lord, I have called daily upon You; I have stretched out my hands to You” (Psa. 88:9).
DAILY Cross Bearing. “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Lk. 9:23).
DAILY Meditation. “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night” (Psa. 1:2).
DAILY Exhortation. “But exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:19).
DAILY Teaching. “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ” (Acts 5:42).
DAILY Growth. “So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily” (Acts 16:5) “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).
Do you want to become more like Jesus? Do you want to consistently grow and become stronger in the Lord? Then consider carefully the good daily activities just mentioned, and begin a life filled with good habits.
— via church bulletin for the Southside church of Christ, September 9, 1018
Avoiding Bad Habits
by R.J. Evans
(Editor’s Note: In last week’s article we focused primarily on good habits; this week we are focusing on bad habits. rje)
Whether we are aware of it or not, our actions in life consist mostly of habits that we have developed. Both good and bad habits play a huge role in our lives. How often do we stop and think that God is interested and concerned about the habits we have formed as we live from day to day?
Have we seriously considered any habits in our lives that are displeasing and not glorifying God? If we are honest with ourselves, we must confess and admit that there may be a number of habits in our lives which are actually sins. God, through His word, has something to say about this—He identifies them for us. In this article, let us note some bad habits that all Christians need to break.
Putting other things before God. If we aren’t careful, we allow our lives to become so cluttered and busy and full of worldly activities that, before we realize it, less important things are taking God’s rightful place in our lives. Our jobs, hobbies, recreation, entertainment, times with friends all have a place, but they should never come before our time with God in prayer, Bible study, and worshiping Him with other saints. Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). God assures us that we will have all we need and have a full life if we put Him first. (See also Lk. 8:14; 1 Thes. 5:17; Heb. 10:24-25)
Laziness. We do not have to read far into the book of Proverbs to see that laziness or slothfulness is a big problem (there are over a dozen passages in Proverbs that address this sin). It is so easy to become lazy and to slack off from our duties as a Christian. Some of our “duties as a Christian” such as homemaking, working diligently at our secular jobs, rearing our children, and, of course, Bible study, teaching, and worship require time and effort. The Apostle Paul tells us to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:15) and “whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Col. 3:23). Laziness is a bad habit that must be overcome!
Poor stewardship. God has entrusted us with the responsibility of caring for our bodies, our souls, our money, our relationships, and our use of time. Are we responsible in these areas? We are not to allow bad habits of poor stewardship to hinder our lives. The Apostle Paul has instructed us to “walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time” (Eph. 5:15-16). He also tells us that “you are not your own…For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
Murmuring and complaining. These are two things that can destroy our good influence for Christ, even as far as dividing a congregation. Proverbs 6 tells us that God hates “one who sows discord among brethren” (v. 6). So, be very careful about what you say to and about other Christians. Why would the world want what we have if we aren’t contented and joyful? If we are constantly complaining and grumbling, then we give the world the wrong picture of what a Christian should be. We must rid ourselves of complaining habits if we are going to be happy and have a positive influence on others. The Apostle Paul plainly said, “Do all things without murmuring and complaining” (Phil. 2:14).
The list above is just a limited number of bad habits (or sins) that we must get rid of. Cultivating good habits in these areas will help us have fuller and more meaningful lives as Christians, and also enable us to have a good influence on all those who observe our lives. Let us “put off the old man” with his bad habits and “put on the new man” with his good habits (Col. 3:9-10). By so doing, we can show all those in our world of friends and associates what it is like to live a faithful, contented, joyful life in Christ. Yes, we need to live our daily lives AVOIDING BAD HABITS.
— Via church bulletin for Southside church of Christ, September 16, 2018
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)