Summary: This sermon deals with the importance of spending time in God’s Word, and focuses on improving the way we listen when it is proclaimed

The Habit of Time With God’s Word

Col 3:9, John 8:31 - 32, 2 Tim 3:16-17, Rom 10:17, Mark 4:9, James 1:19, James 1:21,

Isa 55:11, Heb 2:1, James 1:22, 25

October 28, 2003

I. Last week I said we cannot be a disciple without being disciplined. There are four habits specifically that we need to look at, and we have already talked about the habit of fellowship.

A. The bible says that we are to be disciples.

B. So, how can we become a disciple? By developing disciple habits.

C. (Col 3:9 NIV) Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

D. Notice it says God is able to make us in His image when we choose to put off old habits and when we choose to put on new habits.

E. That s the way God changes us. God s number one goal is to make us like Christ. Remember that’s what spiritual maturity is, to become like Christ. He says here that it s by putting off the old habits and putting on new habits that we become like Christ.

F. There are four habits that we need to develop and replace our old habits with.

G. Time with God s Word, Prayer, Tithing, and Fellowship.

II. The habit that we are going to deal with next is, TIME WITH GOD S WORD. "(John 8:31 - 32NIV) To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

A. The Bible says that the first thing that a disciple is, is someone who continues in God s Word. So today we re going to focus on how do you get into God s Word on a regular basis?

B. We have to make getting into God’s word a habit. Let s look first at the definitions of "habit". This one comes from Webster’s Dictionary. "It is a continual, often unconscious inclination to do a certain activity, acquired through frequent repetition."

1. Or its "An established disposition of the character". What this is saying is character is simply a habitual way of doing things.

2. If you want to have a Christlike character, then you just develop the habits that Jesus had.

3. Character is simply your habitual ways of doing things. For instance, if I ve got the character of kindness, it s because I m habitually kind. If I have the character discipline, it s because I ve developed the habit of being disciplined.

4. The dictionary also defines habit as "A customary practice"-- meaning something you do over and over.

5. The fact is that all of us are simply a bundle of habits. If you were to look at your life most of the things you do in life you do by habit -- You get up, you brush your teeth by habit, you shave (if you re a man) by habit.

6. Guys I ll bet when you shave you probably start on the same side ninety percent of the time.

7. When you wash yourself in the shower I bet you habitually start with either your left arm or something like that. We are creatures of habit.

C. So, How many of you would agree that it s easier to form good habits than it is to get rid of bad habits?

D. That’s true. The way you get rid of bad habits is by replacing them. So the goal is to help you replace some bad habits with some good habits that will help you grow to be like Jesus.

E. So how do we get a handle on understanding our bible (2 Tim 3:16-17 NIV) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

1. That means that the whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives;

2. The bible is to straighten us out and help us to do what is right. It is God s way of preparing us at every point, equipping us fully to do good to everyone.

F. That s the purpose of the Bible.

1. If you would like to be well prepared at every point and fully equipped to do good to everyone? The answer is in the Bible.

2. But we have to learn to feed ourselves. There s an old parable that says, "If you give a man a fish you ve fed him for a meal, but if you teach a man to fish, you ve fed him for a lifetime."

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