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August 17, 2022 6:00 am
Habits are very powerful things. Someone has rightly observed, you are the accumulation of all your habits. I discovered six habits that allow you to go from good to great in our last broadcast.
I covered three of them. Now I'm going to cover the last three so fasten your seatbelt and we go.
Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge shipping date drew trips or Bible teacher for this international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live what Christians limited will wrap up our popular series. Good to great in God's eyes past several programs chips unpacked simple yet profound practices that can radically grow our faith. So if you been encouraged by the series would you take a minute after this message in shirt with a friend they can do that to the chipping roadmap by sending of the free MP3 zero find that LivingontheEdge.org okay. Always check with the second half of his talk from first Timothy chapter 4 as he continues highlighting the six grade habits that cultivate grace.
Notice what it says in Luke 1610 he was faithful in a very little thing is they fall so much and he was unrighteous in a very little things. Unrighteous also much that you study Luke 16 of the financial passage, but I believe it's a timeless axiom about the issue responsibility and never ever forget where I learned this, I mean this was mind-boggling to me during the summer I went with the parachurch organization. We all went to this a big city to learn how to do ministry.
We stayed in the sorority house and then we all got jobs and then at night we did evangelism we took faith trips and so were on this faith trip in route to define people we can serve and love and there's five guys in the car and my team leaders.
A guy named John, and where the gas station out middle somewhere in Ohio. I don't know where it was and it wasn't very nice and I love. I was born in Ohio, but this gas station was very nice and so I'm going to know you know wash my hands and put some gas in the car and to take this right and not trying to be too graphic or anything, but you know a guy is coming out of the stall and I notice he pulls toilet paper and you know and he wipes the seat and flushes it and comes out is my team leader. I'm thinking and then he washes his hands and he takes a couple paper towels and I noted and he wipes off the sink and it takes him about six or seven seconds, and many people have dropped junk and he just took takes another three seconds gathers up, puts it down and on the you know the mouth. The arrogant young guy hit out some thinking so John looking for work and little janitorial here. You know, and he stopped me and got real serious cenote, if not all, is that a disciple of Jesus Christ always leaves everything better than they found someone's going to sit on that seat later. I don't need to know I need to serve them someone to wash their hands and that sink later. I don't know but I know that if Jesus was here he would want it better for them.
You know what I don't know who owns this gas station, but if I owned it and it was paper all over the floor. I would certainly want someone to pick it up. So the next people coming in and I mean it was like you talk like a paradigm shift. I never thought that see what John taught me was you. Not only do your own dishes of servant you do other people's dishes. You take responsibility for your life. You take responsibility for your actions and your choices and your masses and you become the kind of person that other people can count on and I will never ever forget and and so I've I went into practicing that. So I learned when you borrow a car from someone when you return it, it's clean and you fill it with gas when you get something out of refrigerator you put it away when you take off your clothes. You hang them up.
It's amazing the number, marital problems and to be solved if you just do your own dishes, but when you began to call. It's just a habit mean I have you know I had many, many, and still have plenty of good marital issues to work through, but that my wife would work and she would do all the close and I would you know come in and I have more important things to do because I'm so important to take all the close that she's gonna put them on the dresser and they might be there for two or three or four days because you can't leave him on the bed because I sleep in the bed because that's where I sleep, and that's very important you know what I was communicating to her.
She worked for how many hours doing all his clothes. I communicated it must not be very important to me and you want to develop the habit. I will get to this one, but it's kind of do your own dishes and do it now I just I just have developed the habit when I walk in the closer they are. I put them away.
Now very simple.
Just put them away. Now that you it's as easy to do in 30 seconds. Now, as it is three days from now. But do that.
You see what I'm saying. You can cultivate habits of being kind of being faithful of being a steward and so what you want to do is hey you know what you by alarm clock you take out the trash men. Are you ready for this one. Every single one of us. You do your own dishes you own your masses you own your future you own your money.
You own your problems and your relationships, and by God's grace.
You cultivate the habit of not expecting anything or anyone. No blaming no excuses saying, Lord, I'm desperate. I need help. My Bible says that's when grace comes, I can't do this I need your help. Fourth habit is the principle of clarity. Proverbs verse 20 says the purposes of a man's heart like deep water, but a man of understanding draws it out and this is habit. Write it down, write it down and this may sound kind of crazy but this may be one of most important tools right here. I write that write it down. You'd be surprised how many people. Nothing is clear until it's written down.
It's a habit. It look what it says. The purposes of a man the thoughts the dreams the purposes the things that are in a man or woman's heart there like deep water. How do you get things that are of great value out of Deepwater you have to draw them out. How do you know in this complex world but yet whether she said you could do this school or that school you know whether you got to do. Plan a or plan B. How do you know whether you need to respond to this person now or wait and give God some room work. How do you know whether the issue is really them or the issue is you and your own arrogance in your own pride.
How do you get clear about life. You know I'm in a bind alarm clock on the site got them to put you first. And I want to take out the trash and deal with that so that you can transform me and then Lord what I want to do is take responsibility for my own life will then proactively where you go when you do, how do you know I'm to suggest that when you get in the habit of writing things down and let me give you some very specific examples I found very helpful and I wish I could deliver them but the first is the 3 x 5 cards. The power of clear cut objectives the power of clear cut objectives. Who do you want to be where you want to go, what you think is important. I was in a prison sharing Christ with a guy named Bill glass and we were in the prison and around and we had a dinner and Bill just off-the-cuff shared how he wrote the desires of his heart or some specific goals on 3 x 5 cards. I said don't try memorizing.
I just want to keep them out there so the my mind and my heart can gravitate toward them, and in 1986 I begin to do that and I thought I would write things down that I know for sure I want so I wrote on a card I want to be a man of God, and walk before God integrity, all the days my life.
I would like to love Teresa in a way that makes sense to her each day in some specific way. I would like to help each of my children discover their spiritual gifts in God's will for their life. I like to work out on a regular basis and not feel guilty about it and stay in good shape.
I like to pray for extended times and learn to become habitually thankful about all things because of God's goodness and sovereignty and you know what I did of the super five cards I just read them over couple, three times a week in the early years I did it every day. I didn't try memorizing. I didn't try and work something up, but you know something it got clear. This is who I want to be.
This is where I want to go.
This is what I want to do is a kind of man I want to be the kind husband. I want to be the kind of father I want to be the cut person I want to be and if you write it down it. You will unconsciously gravitate. How many of you have gone out and look for car before and decided that you can decide on my I'm gonna get a Jeep or I'm gonna young to get one of those new Volkswagen types.
Whatever it is, but the moment you decide that that's the kind of car you can look for what begins to happen on the road they're everywhere right yes what they've been there when you begin to write down what you really want your mind and God's Spirit will begin to move in gravitate you toward those goals. The second pet power of writing it down is and I hate these. I'm a very spontaneous, undisciplined person by nature and the calendar is the freedom of structure and what I mean by that is that what what I understand why need a calendar and I don't think the method is all that important that you not. I know that I really want to do my heart of hearts I want to do whatever I want to do whatever I want to do it and so I don't like writing things down because then I feel him then anybody else you like it. Now some of you don't.
Some of you just love you put color-coded and you know tomorrow 1111 I'm going to brush my teeth and 1114 is you and you write those down so you can check them off different personality is good, but the the freedom of the calendar is what I begin to do is I took these cards and I said to myself okay you know what I've been living a long time with the to do list and then you know I got had this amazing moment. I never get my to do list.
Do you mean just keep adding to it goes longer longer longer longer and then I thought well let's see do I want to be a doer or a beer. What's more important is that the Beatitudes of the do attitudes and you know what I did is it so simple is I transform do I make it to do list yet talk about it but I write it down, but I took the goals that I knew were God's will and I put in my calendar first. Okay so you want to have a good marriage okay. I wrote down meet with Teresa every Friday on my day off for three hours.
You have good relations.
I would be this kind of that. Okay I wrote in my calendar time with my kids you want to work out stay in shape.
I wrote my calendar before before I wrote my to do list. I wrote my to be list and I put my two bees in my calendar and and I decided, you know, with a lot of struggle. They were just as important as all these important meetings and phone calls and urgent things that are so important today and then three months later I can figure out what they were and if you will put your two bees, who do you want to be you want to be a woman of God you will be this kind of single person. This kind of mother this kind of ministry and you write in the structure and then I write a to do list and I do as many of the two dues and I prioritize them as best I can still get done you know it's neat for 20 some years have been worked out couple, three, four times a week for 28 years of and have an update with my wife. Now I'm not to say that we had three dates in this wonderful relationship, but because it's been built in as a habit.
Guess what's happening 28 years of having three and four hours alone together. Were you really process life build a really good relationship.
You know it was like taking a string and put through that pearl, and little by little by little.
See the problem with habits is you never reap in the same season that you so and so what we tend to do is we want the quick fix and it works both ways. You know you put some junk in your mind and your life and you wake up five or seven years later, and you begin to reap what you were selling is painful or you meet and put some good things in and you know sometimes I am seeing the fruit of some things for five, 10 years, but I'm very very grateful in the finals a to do list of the calendars of the freedom of structure the to do list for me is a necessity of focus and not to how you live without of SI you not this is my journal because I can put it all together. I just make my to do list and is beginning of every week I write in my nones that I write my two dues put stars by the ones that are, you have the greatest impact that I know I really want to do benefit stars next to the ones that you know him to get in big trouble if I don't get done and you know that I prioritize them and I die right out and ask God for help and in the final thing in terms of writing it down is journaling and this is the need for reflection.
I just went when you begin to write things down you get clear you get structure the produces freedom it gives focus about what you gonna do and then you need to write out your dreams and your thoughts and your fears. If I you know I pray that no one ever reads any of my journals every lease like 50 years after I die because people would be just, you know what, how many times are you gonna start your journal with Lord I'm really tired today. I feel really overwhelmed I don't know how I'm going to do it. I get six things on my mind and I can tell, I must be angry about something, but I don't know what it is you how to figure out what it is I keep writing until he shows me, but I got a dream in my heart last night. This thought came to me and I don't know if you'd ever allow me to do it.
But as I think about this.
If there's anything you could ever give me as I was sitting around the table with my kids. Lord, would you please and you begin to reflect. We get so busy doing doing gullwing going clarity purposes of a man or woman's heart are like deep water, but a man of understanding, a woman, and of understanding drawls it out. Habit number five is do it now. I've never had a coach and I Randall tracked one very good so I change sports as other guys were way too fast, but when I ran track into the coach has this thing and you line up for race and everyone gets right like here okay on your mark now get set and get the stopwatch and I've never heard them go later in other certain things we need understand is do it now notice what it says this is that the principle of inertia. A lot of things don't get done because you never get started is a power tremendous power in getting started with things.
Listen what it says in Proverbs 24, 30 to 34. I passed by the field of the sluggard that means the lazy person.
That's one of those Bible words and by the vineyard of the man lacking sense so easy walking by and he sees the field of the lazy person and behold it was completely overgrown with thistles, its surface was covered with nettles and its stone was broken down stone wall. What are all those things. A sign of neglect right. I went by the field of the lazy person and I can tell, no one's done anything here as evidence. When I saw it. What he do, I reflected upon. I pondered to got to speak to them from this picture. I looked and then I received instruction by way God wants to speak to all of us every day beyond just the Bible reflect receive instruction and hears his instruction a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest then your poverty will come as a robber in your want like an armed man. Notice a little a little. I just can't take a little nap.
I'll do that later. This is just a little thing. I think a watch just a little bit of this game. All will will discipline the kids later will do our bills later. Anything that's hard anything to difficult.
The great majority of people to walk on this planet and their life filled with good intentions and broken promises. The great majority people they intended to be this man tended to do this someday.
They were gonna go here. There we can invest in their kids this what they were in a someday someway somehow you know what, do it now.
Do it now stop procrastinating life that sound crazy attack life build into the habit of certain things do the hard things now have the unpleasant conversation. Now do the most difficult unpleasant.
I hate to do it early in the day. The only way I made it through the languages and in seminary. As I got up at 4 o'clock in the morning and if I did get my Greek done by seven in the morning I met I didn't have it in me, and I'm glad I learned all that stuff but I mean the Hebrews like chicken scratch backwards in Greek was like my lands and had three years of it and I'm thinking I've got a wife. I got three kids. I got a job I get to read all these books are supposed to learn this language and the only window of time I could okay but I get up early.
There was only coffee shop I get there about 430 and for next two and half hours.
I'd study my Greek and I mean by 8 o'clock if I had to do one more assignment in the day minutes is not in the attack.
The hardest things first and then cultivate the habit of doing it now.
It is silly as it sounds, it's, it's just a habit and we do it in little things.
It carries over my life and in the laundry I had Mike my bag of ice that now my bad.
I took the things I put in the drawer. I then went into the closet opened it up and I've done a lot of different ways is, I took off my clothes and guess what it takes seven seconds I hung up my pants. I took the dirty clothes here put them here. It's just a habit I will think about it you know what happens. You cultivate the habit and little things do it now is.
Isn't it a different world to come in and have two or three days of clothes lying on the floor of having a dresser that has a pile of papers over here six calls to return over here. It's completely demotivating and what was it, so out I get depressed right I get discouraged about so when you depressed and discouraged when you do watch TV and eat that will solve the problem. So then you gain weight you don't want to put stuff in your mind, it is more develop motivating menu go look in the mirror and say I don't like this person I'm becoming. So what are you gonna do what you eat some chocolate and watch more TV call go out to eat. Now take vacation.
And guess what you doing your creating and developing habit patterns about how you face difficulty how you face rejection how you face hurt how you face disappointment and you just play out that habit. For the next 10, 15 or 20 years and that is a person you become. And it's a small little thing to say, do I feel like doing it now see were into the feeling feeling feeling if I did what I thought I never get anything done. Feelings of the caboose, not the engine today. What you do it now. You make the hard conversation you take initiative. Guess what you feel. Don't you feel better is a nice exit. Have a you know and this is not, by the way those of you little person perfectionistic than obsessive take this in stride.
Okay some of you yet color-coded hangers all the shirts go the same way you know you you know you know this is low balance here do it now. Finally turn it off. This is the principal of restoration.
Turn it off. Hebrews chapter 492 11 says for the remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God for the one who is entered his rest has himself also notice rested from what rested from his work as God did from his. Therefore let us circle the phrase be diligent, this does not come easy, especially for us.
Let us be diligent what to enter that rest why so that no one will fall through following the same example of disobedience you study that passes carefully what you find is is that the Sabbath with was always a faith issue know what it was that there's that feeling all we can stop all those other people are working another opens, seven days a week were only open six days a week.
This could never work right Chick-fil-A. This could never work to the Sabbath was all about trusting God. The Sabbath was like a ring on the on Israel to say they belong to me and you know what I take care of them, and they learn to trust me that Jesus will come back and say the Sabbath is a gift to man is not a list of rules and regulations in Colossians 2 will learn that hey you know what it's it's the principle that's in practice and in New Testament believers you and make your Sabbath on Monday.
You can make it on Friday. Different people have different days, but you need to honor the Sabbath principle the early church would begin celebrating on the first day the week.
On Sunday, and so there's no law for the Sabbath, but the principle of rest. 1/7 days to do what you ready this. This is can be scary sort whole slingback slingback. This is gonna hurt 1/7 days a ready watch this, it does turn off my cell phones off, I'm not indispensable.
The world can go on without me.
I can turn off my mind. Turn off my gifts not have some religious set of rules but to stop and look back like God did on his work and say Lord what what have you done this week to reflect to go outside and let the sun hit your face to take a walk with people that you love to be refreshed to spend additional time with God if it works on Sunday.
Great. Is there an occasional day. An emergency will course. Jesus said if you if an ox gets in the ditch. You know you don't get legalistic about it but I gotta tell you that it it has saved my life in a and some of you can probably imagine, I was a workaholic in my early years at NC.
There's a huge difference between having drive and being driven and the only way to not be driven is to stop and develop the habit. Go home and be a man be a woman be a husband be a mother. You don't have to be on call all time, and turn your gift off turn your gift off and don't always have to produce something be restored and renewed and refreshed and are you ready enjoy great moments you say you don't have time. God command you to take. You know, 1/7 of your life and enjoy great moments enjoy him enjoy others enjoy a great meal, enjoy the beauty of nature. Enjoy a little trip, how to write it down planted in application for use very, very simple to this. I like you to identify the one bad habit that you think carried out over a number of years is really can come back and bite you and I like you to get that written on a sheet of paper and say I get a break. This meant I like you to take one of these six not all. Six if we can one of these six with the spirit of God says to you this is the one I want you to develop.
This is the one for where you're at in your life right now with the issues you're facing, you know, and just sit quietly, Lord, show me and then and then you need to find a person that will help keep you accountable and the need to come up with a little plan and then don't get discouraged is can you have been working on these bad habits for a long time there hard to break right so get discouraged but begin to arrange your life to break the most difficult one and then go into training to develop these habits and as you do them just one at a time. Whatever one that you think will help the most. You know what you find. I have developed a lifestyle I'm meeting with God will as I meet with God. I pray great prayers and I think great thoughts on reading great books and you not taking out the trash and as I take out the trash.
You know what I do see God is beginning to help me to make great sacrifices and pursue great people and I'm doing my own dishes and you'll just find all the things we talked about will become a reality. A part of just the rhythm of your life. It won't happen overnight. Great Christians are oak trees, not weeds takes time takes purpose takes intentionality takes discipline and it's all comes from God's grace is application for this message.
Develop great habits of his series go to great in God's eyes. In the gospel of Mark, Jesus said whoever wants to become great among you must what through the series trip explores what great this means to God by highlighting 10 crucial practices he says are vital know if you're looking to dive deeper into the subject. Let me encourage you to check out Chip's book or small group study. These are perfect tools to help jumpstart your faith. To learn more about these resources go to LivingontheEdge.org that your bedroom up or call AAA 333-6003 Bible teacher Chip Ingram is with me know and Chip as you know, the series is one of our more popular ones receive a ton of emails and calls about how good the grade in God's eyes is really changing people's lives. So if you would take a minute and churros series like this one fit into the broader mission of the ministry sure Dave at Living on the Edge we do three things for three groups for one purpose, one we teach God's word to his many people as possible through radio, small group resources online tools like our ab and in partnerships internationally all around the world.
Second, we train Christians go deeper with teaching resources and small group studies and three we developed tools for leaders for pastors and business leaders to help them impact their worlds and beyond. We do all these things for one purpose to help Christians live like Christians. Here's my question. If you were impacted today by the ministry of Living on the Edge. Would you be willing to partner with us.
We can't do this without the support of partners like you and as you do. We will change lives will spread God's truth around the world and we will help Christians live like Christians. Here's my question. Would you join us fix Chip well of Living on the Edge is ministering to you and you've not yet partnered with us financially. You prayerfully consider doing that today. It takes a team to do what God called us to do and were inviting you to help us help Christians live like Christians to send a gift or to become a monthly partner go to LivingontheEdge.org or text the word donate 27 4141. It's that easy text donate to 741 41 or visit LivingontheEdge.org Listeners just up donate. We greatly appreciate your support Chip as we wrap up this entire series award you say to those people really want to go from being a good Christian to a great one, but are a little overwhelmed with all the practices you laid out will day. Let me review the habits and then give a word of caution and a word of wisdom, the habits are great Christians think great thoughts read great books pursue great people dream great dreams pray great prayers take great risks make great sacrifices enjoy great moments in power, great people and develop great habits. This is a profile if you will. These are step-by-step, taking these things in order and different people were coming into the series at a different time.
Some of you are thinking great thoughts and reading good things and you need a person in your life or you need to pray work.
Some of you are workaholic Christians, and you're going like crazy. You need to enjoy great moments and so what I would encourage you to see is these habits are means of grace. These are tools that God has given us not to prove that we love him not to get ahead of other people.
These are ways or means that God is provided to shape our hearts transform our minds that calls our character, our love and peace. Our relationships to improve first with God and then with others. This is not a new bar that you have to jump over to become a great Christian. This is the grace of God.
This is Jesus calling out to you coming to me all you that are weary. Let me show you a pattern of living a rhythm if you will in in ancient times it was called a rule of life. Get involved in living out these practices in a calm, loving way to develop intimacy with Christ and love for others, and you're going to find a very gentle Savior that will change you from the inside out will, as we close you know a great way to get plugged in with our resources zero Living on the Edge is through the chipping remap. There you can listen to past series sign up for daily discipleship and much more. Let us help you experience God in a new personal way. Starting today with the chipping remap well for Chip and the entire team.
I'm saying thanks for listening to this edition of living all the