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Summary: 7 specific ways to break old habits and change for the better

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Outline from "First Impressions."

How to Break Out of a Rut!

Do you want to get out of the rut you’re in? Is your life predictable? Do you do the same thing, day after day? Has the excitement gone? Do you feel as though 2005 will be just as dull and monotonous as 2004? Are you just going through the motions?

There’s a wonderful Biblical passage in Mark 10:46-52 that demonstrates the steps one man took

Jesus had been preaching and teaching in the area around the Sea of Galilee. On his way to Jerusalem, he passes through Jericho, where he encounters a blind man named Bartimaeus.

Here are seven steps to change your life!

1 – YOU are Responsibile For Your Own Life! (v-47)

“When he heard it was Jesus... he began to cry (shout) out.”

A. Own up to your own responsibility.

1. When you listen to people talk about their problems, that it’s always someone else’s fault?

2. Teenagers blame their parents,

3. Parents blame their children 4. Workers blame their co-workers or their boss.

ILLUST: Get ready to play the "Blame Game":

You driving 100 mph in a 45 mph zone, you lose control, flip your car on a sharp curve, and critically injure yourself, who is at fault? No, not you, It’s the HIWAY Dept. for not making the degree of banking on the curve great enough to keep you on the road at 100 mph.

You are wearing a shirt that needs to be ironed. Instead of taking it off, you try to iron with it on and guess what? That’s right, you get burned. Shame on you right? No, it is the company who made the iron --they should have warned you that ironing clothes while they are on your body is dangerous.

McDonalds for hot coffee…trying to drive car, eat your Egg McMuffun, you spill hot, hot coffee all over yourself. You’re moron right?

 No, it is McDonalds fault for making that coffee too hot!

OK, one more. You decide that you need to fix your TV. Without unplugging it, you begin your work. Uh Oh! You guessed it. You get fried! Dumb -- right? No, RCA should have told you that you were at risk for electric shock!

B. Things happen you can’t control – but you can control your response. Let me say that again. Things happen you can’t control – but you can control your response.

1. I hear people say all the time, “He makes me so mad” or “She makes me so mad”.

2. Nobody can make you mad. You’re the only person

who can make you mad.

3. People can do things that upset you, but you decide

how you’re going to respond.

C. What did Bartimaeus do and not 1.He didn’t blame someone else 2.He didn’t think that God or anyone else owed him something. 3. He did go to Jesus. He humbled himself and sought help and deliverance.

2 – Believe You Can Change (v-51)

“Lord, that I might receive my sight.”

A. Bartimaeus believed he wouldn’t walk away the same. He believed that he’d be DIFFERENT. 1. So often people pray, “God, if you’ll just change my employer"; “if you’ll just change my husband -wife ...children-- my friend--co-worker--my relative...”

ILLUST: railroads were first introduced to the U.S., some folks feared that they’d be the downfall of the nation! Here’s an excerpt from a letter to then President Jackson dated January 31, 1829:

As you may know, Mr. President, ’railroad’ carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles per hour by ’engines’ which, in addition to endangering life and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside, setting fire to crops, scaring the livestock and frightening women and children. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed. Martin Van Buren Governor of New York

B. God never promises that he will change your situation. God does promise that he will change you.

1. He’ll change your attitude.

ILLUST: Both the hummingbird and the vulture fly over our nation’s deserts.

All vultures see is rotting meat, because that is what they look for. They thrive on that diet.

But hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals. Instead, they look for the colorful blossoms of desert plants. The vultures live on what was. They live on the past. They fill themselves with what is dead and gone.

But hummingbirds live on what is. They seek new life. They fill themselves with freshness and life. Each bird finds what it is looking for. We all do.

2. He’ll Change your attitude--your perspective, your outlook.

3. Then you can change your attitude toward your situation.

3 – Be specific-what do you need? (:51)

“What is it that I should do for you?”

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