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Synopsis of Healthy Habits for Spiritual Check-ups
We are about to slice a piece of the Bread of Life, the Word of God. And today’s slice comes from: Mark 12:30 Love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
The title of today’s message is: Healthy Habits for Spiritual Check-ups. You know, to detect health problems before they become serious, doctors recommend a routine personal exam. We can do the same for our spiritual health by asking a few questions rooted in the command Jesus just referred to in today’s slice of the bread of life.
Today’s message will cause us to draw corollaries between physical and spiritual health. To do this we will ask ourselves the following questions.
• Which is stronger, my desire for the earthly gain or the treasures that are mine in Christ?
• Do I listen to God telling me who I am, that I may move away from self-centered desire?
• Do I focus on my relationship with His Son or do I let my mind wander wherever it wants to go?
• Am I willing to be seen as weak so that God can show His strength on my behalf?
Let’s begin with Talking with God in prayer as a daily habit……
Prayer is one of those things you learn by doing. I can give you Bible promises on prayer and share with you some of my own experiences with prayer, but I can’t do your praying for you. Until you begin to pray yourself, you will never understand prayer. This reminds me of my being the Scoutmaster of the young Weblo Scouts between being Cub Scouts and graduating into a full Boy Scout. Beside teaching camping skills I taught them to handle hand tools like hammers, screwdrivers, etc. I first told them the rudiments of holding the tools, proper positioning the tools, the arc of the swing, etc. But telling was not enough they bent more nails and lost more screws than you can imagine. It got better and better each weak as they improved their hand skills by doing.
Back to the rudiments of prayer. Most folks prefer the early hours of the day best to pray. Evangelist D.L. Moody said, “ We ought to see the face of God every morning before we see the face of man. I you have so much business to attend to attend to that you have no time to pray, depend upon it…. you have more business on hand than God ever intended”
Our first healthy habit seems to be to make room in our schedule to begin each day alone with God, in Prayer. On the other hand…. Prayer is something that should be take place during the entire day. The Bible says “Pray continually. Thessalonians 5:17. At any moment, whatever the occasion we are free to speak with our Father. It is surprising to see how much time Jesus dedicated to prayer. Why shouldn’t we form a similar habit?
1st John 5:14 tells us “This is the confidence we have in approaching God. That if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. And if we ask anything in His will, And, we know that we have what we asked of him.”
But, Bro Dick; what do we do if we do not know His will. Very helpfully God has revealed much of His will in the Bible. By better acquainted with God’s Word you will learn many things about His will for your life.
I suggest that you read again 1st John 5:14 and 15. If you are not sure a prayer request is according to God’s will, ask Him about it. I’ve been there… He will tell you. Ad don’t worry about making mistakes when you pray. Do you think the sovereignty of God can be shattered because one of His children makes a mistake while praying? Isn’t it a bigger mistake not to pray at all? If the answer to your request is “no,” the Lord will communicate with you by the internal witness of the Holy Spirit. When God says “no” to a request you make, trust His goodness.
Another thought! Keep a note book of your prayer requests.
• Think of you need to ask for,
• Write it down and date it,
• Study passages that subject in your Bible
• Specifically tell the Lord your request
• Record the answer when it arrives,
• Marvel at how God answer your prayer request.
• Share it with others. It will keep it fresh in your mind and help others with their prayer life.
Next, let’s discuss the reading of God’s book and the authority of Scripture. The Bible clearly states “All scripture is God-breathed.” According to 2nd. Timothy 3:16. The words of Scripture are inspired by God. So, as His children we need to submit to His will. So, because Scripture reflects the perfect character of God, it is the standard by which we measure everything else.
Memorizing Scripture is another way to grow closer to God. Pick out your favorite verses or passages, memorize them. It will be handy when you need to be reminded to follow what you believe in.
Research shows us that we accurately, after a time period of 24 hours, we can remember 5% of what we hear, 15% of what we read, 35% of what we study, but 100% of what we memorize.
Need assistance in memorizing? Try these 5 tips:
1. Read the verse out loud at least ten times.
2. Write it out on a 3 X 5 card
3. Practice quoting it out loud
4. Meditate on it during the day
5. Share it with other people as you converse with them.
The next challenge is: Cultivating dependence on God when claiming God’s promises for yourself.
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