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Logo of Michigan Camp Meeting 2018: As a Witness, Matthew 24:14

Part 5 - Changing Bad Habits into Good

Dick Bullock

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A study of practical Biblical principles that give victory in common everyday struggles.

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Conference

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  • June 22, 2018
    3:30 PM
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Father it has been a blessid week. And I thank you for the way that you have dealt with us through the blessing of fellowship the. Convicting of the Holy Spirit thank you for lifting our hearts with rejoicing in music and just seeing the magnificent goodness of God as we look at this topic today Father I again ask for your Holy Spirit to be with us let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing so you can and Lord great to us all the bread of life I learned so much in sharing these putting them together and I thank you for the reminders you've given me this week you know Lord how weaker our grip on you is. Now I ask that you would take your great big strong hand and just enclose it over arms and hold the pipes to your words we ask these things in Jesus. How many of you like habits. Anyone here that like habits got a few good every hand on a been up can you imagine what life would be like without habits. It would be there would be a lot of turmoil let me just run through some characteristic of habits because habits are your friends they're not an enemy they're a friend it's habits are a wonderful gift that God has given to us so that we don't have to give conscious thoughts to every action every time how many of you remember way back when when you were learning how to tie your shoe. That took that took fought right how many of you don't even think about tying your shoe now you're thinking about a dozen other things why you do it. Yes So habits are a marvelous gift that God has given us so we don't have to give conscious thought to everything we do every time we do it habits are learned behavior that become 2nd nature to us through continual practice I like this because when something becomes 2nd nature we do it without even thinking right it just becomes a part of us so that's also a good saying habits. Also tell us because there are learned behaviors that just as we are capable of learning negative behaviors guess what we're capable of learning positive ones right so it's not like you have to learn a whole new skill set you already have it it's just which side of that fence you want to learn it on. And number 4 we cannot avoid habitual living so just accept it that's the way God made us we can't avoid it and the last one you might have noticed this one too changing habits does not come easy for most of us right that's what we're going to did be dealing with how many have been frustrated by failed attempts to change some bad habits. Where in good company here you know we make those resolutions to do things better and for a time it seems to be working better but then we find ourselves back in that old rut again and that can be discouraging. Some people they go over that over and over again you know good intentions good struggle and pretty soon they find themselves back there over and over again and they come to a couple different conclusions that are not good and if anyone finds yourself with these conclusions I want you to erase them all right number one some conclude that it's not God's timing for them to change and they'll just have to wait until he does something to take the bad habit away anyone ever felt that way the feds may you know you just say well God I guess I guess you're just not ready for me to change I love that it skews you know it's all his faults and so I can continue enjoying my bad habits but that's all it is it's an excuse. Others. They say well it's impossible for me to change I guess this is just the way I am and I just need to accept to either one is a ditch on one side of the road or the other and don't fall into those 2 ditches it is possible for you to change and when does God want to stitch a new. Now and says today if you hear my voice do not harden your heart today is the day of your salvation I have come to set my people sorry there are 2 major hindrances to changing a habit number one is lack of real change and number 2 is lack of perseverance. How long did it take you to learn how to tie your shoe without giving it any thought it took a while right perseverance Now what do I mean by real change what is real change. Let me illustrate it by a very corny childs joke OK I'm not expecting any laughter this is so corny but it makes the point when there is a door not a door you're right you had a corny Joe Keller's Well then you know when it's and you are OK You can laugh now no I don't tell this joke to be funny because it's not but it does give a concrete example of change so let's ask that question again when is a door not a door we're going to make a slight modification here just remember the 1st answer when a door is not a door is when it's a jar right so when is a door not a joy or a door when it becomes something else. You've got that when it becomes something else this is the fundamental principle of biblical change when it comes to habits if we miss this our efforts to change will only produce temporary results and we'll find ourselves back as a door again so a change of activity is not the same as a change of a person nor is it even a change of desire right. Real change only takes place when there has been a change in the way we think about the act. And so that's where we want to focus today is on the thought process changing our thinking let's go back to the question when is a blank not a blank and fill in those blanks with whatever problem you might be struggling with for example. When is a liar not a liar when is a thief not a thief when I was a compulsive eater no longer a compulsive eater and you could add whatever else you wanted OK how would you answer that. You're right let's. If a liar stop lying or a thief stop stealing would they be something else not necessarily there's no assurance whatsoever that a thief who is not stealing has stopped being a thief. All the station of stealing means is that at the present time he's not stealing perhaps it's not wise for him to be stealing right now because the police are too close on his trail right perhaps he's made a good resolution to stop stealing but what will he find himself doing under economic pressure is a totally different matter right so just because you stop the behavior doesn't mean that you're something else yet. There could be various reasons for stopping that behavior. In other words since thieves do not always steal and liars do not always lie and compulsive eaters are not always eating a cessation of these activities as no indication that there has been a permanent change how many of us can testify to that personally yeah. Some of us would go for months perhaps and some of us would have a harder stiffer backbones might go even further than that but sooner or later if you're like I am you find yourself back in the ditch right so what is the right answer to the question when is a thief not a thief. When he becomes something else an honest man and you can apply that to the other examples the Bible speaks of this need of change any fees in's chapter 417 to 32 this I say that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk and notice the characteristics of how Gentiles walk the 1st one is what and the futility of their mind having their understanding darkened being a only unaided from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them because of the blindness of their heart who being passed feeling have given themselves over to lewdness to work all uncleanliness with greediness verses 17 through 19 so as you look at that description of how the Gentiles walk we could say that the Gentile life is characterized by 2 basic things ignorants of the things of God and an orientation toward desire or feeling instead of duty or responsibility you see that in their feeling oriented desire oriented instead of duty oriented on the other hand the way of life for the believer is truth oriented as he feeds ins for 20 to 24 puts it but you have not so learned Christ if indeed you have heard him and have been taught by him as a truth is in Jesus that you put off notice that term concerning your former conduct the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts and be renewed in the spirit of your mind that you may what put on the know man. Which was created according to God in true righteousness and holiness change is a 2 factor process and these 2 factors have to be in place in order for change to be genuine What are those 2 factors. You put off and you put on that's right putting off will not be permanent without a putting on and a putting on will be hypocritical as well as temporary without the putting off that makes sense feel free to raise your hand if you have any questions or just call him out Jesus spoke of the result of of one who puts off the old without putting on the new you know what he had to say about him you find it Mark or Luke 11 when an unclean spirit goes out of a man he goes through dry places seeking rest and finding on what does he say. I'm going to return to my house from which I came and when he comes what this condition does he find the Hausa. Man it swept out its put in order here is a soul that that used to be a cluttered housekeeper perhaps any through the demon of clutter out sin and he cleaned everything up and that spirit comes back and what does he find an empty house what does he do when he goes out and says Hey buddies I found a nice place for us to hang out and he gets 7 of his buddies and it says they enter and while they're in the last State of the man is what. Worse than the 1st what was the problem of this man he didn't what he didn't put on he was satisfied just to put off see that. How many of us have experienced this. We've put off but we didn't replace it. And we find ourselves in worse condition than before right and then we get discouraged and we think I've committed the unpardonable God's not with me and you know what was me I guess I'd better just give up why try. I told you a little bit my experience with that years ago. And it was a same reason I was trying to to put on all kinds of right behavior garter dames things but it didn't last you know why because I hadn't put off the old man's You are right. Too often we focus on getting the things we shouldn't be doing out of our lives but we don't spend very much time sailing the void with the things we should be doing God tells us we need to be renewed. Put this in the spirit of our mind all that was any fees ins and put on that new man created according to God in true righteousness and holiness Now if Eason's chapter $425.00 through $32.00 gives us a list of very specific put off put on. Things that we should practice and I'm just going to list them. By the nugget here instead of quoting the whole verse but you can go home and look at this verse 25 he says put offline What do we replace it with telling the truth verse 26 put off saying or what do we replace out with resolve problems daily Don't let that resentment build up don't let the sun go down while you're a very So deal with it. And verse $28.00 we are to put off stealing what are we to put on. Get a job for what reason and it does say find something useful to do with your hands you know but do you know why it says to do that so that we have something to share with others not just so I can take care of myself that's still selfishness isn't it the same principle behind stealing I'm only looking after myself so put off stealing and get a job so that you have things to share with others. Verse 29 put off corrupt talk and replace it with what words of edification that build up put off corrupt communication but only what is helpful for building others up that it may benefit those who listen did you catch that definition of corrupt communication didn't say anything about swearing get anything that does not edify those who listen or build up those who listen according to the Bible is corrupt communication it might be true did you hear when I heard about the that's were it is true but if it's not edifying or building up what kind of talking is a corrupt human unification spend some time on verse 29 you need seasons and then it says put off bitterness wrath and anger and replace it with. Kindness tenderness forgiveness. Now if Asians for here has a neat little lists where they're very close together put off put on but that's not the only place we find the same put off put on council and other places of the Bible start reading your Bible with that concept looking at what we get read out of what we replace it it doesn't always say put off but it's still there 1st Peter $39.00 do not return evil for evil that's what we should get rid of and put on what but bless those who revolve you that's not going to be the easiest habit that you'll establish but I will guarantee you probably have a lot of opportunity to practice it if you wanted to establish it right bless those Romans Chapter 12 verse $21.00 Do not be overcome by evil that's the put off what do we put on overcome evil with good you'll have plenty of practice or opportunity to practice at 12 3rd John 11 Don't imitate what is evil but imitate what is good the Bible is full of counsel like this that we can put off things that we should put on not always in the same verse or the same passage but as you read it you will find what God says I don't really want you to do that let's do this instead now changing habits this is a BAD NEWS takes work. What did it take to establish the habit work. You're going to have to use some work to change it 1st time of the 478 says exercise yourselves toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little but Godliness is profitable for all things having promise of the life that now is and have that which is to come how many of you have a regular exercise program. How many wish you had a regular exercise. All right. Why don't you I mean if you wish it why don't you it take for does it feel good. Not at the beginning it doesn't feel good I. Have always been pretty active person and I I thought I was in pretty good shape and could hold my own and what not and I I was starting with a guy who had a dog in an upstairs apartment and it was a key to. Border Collie mix the best we could come up with and the poor dog didn't get any out exercise and was rarely taken out of the apartment it was just a corner of the living room where his bathroom and it needed changed and so I adopted the dog and because it's a dog that needs exercise I said OK let's go running and I live halfway are that in a country where you go around the block and you've gone 4 miles. And so I live in the middle and I said OK this won't be hard you know you have taken for jogging a morning I found myself looking forward to the stop sign at the half mile mark. More than I thought I would and that was a wake up call I said Nan You need to get yourself in shape so I started that dog started me because he like those runs and we began to run and then it was you know 2 miles and then it was around the block and I thought wow that the about killed me but after that the block wasn't enough than it was to block and you know then my daughter called to say dad you want to do a half marathon with me she was sitting over there out of Chicago and I said half marathon How long is that and. 13 miles I said oh OK I'll train or you know on. And you know if I don't go jogging in the morning. Now it's best about 6 o'clock sun's coming up or it's still dark not much traffic and it's just cool the birds are singing and you get you get God symphony you know where you go and so that that help me understand happens it's not easy to get started. But once you do you miss it. And so exercise yourself. Yes it's not fun but once you establish that new routine it becomes routine 2nd nature so I have settled and I don't have dogs anymore I had one that we probably ran 2500 miles together over the 5 years to about 20 miles a week and he just loved that start run with me when he was about 5 or 7 months old and the border collie came out of the Ikea kida. Border Collie mix then you know even without the dog. You gotta get out there it's just not the same I've missed it this week it can't me because there's no time to get out there and I'm with Jay too and we're running back and forth across the field but I've found out that kind of run in is totally different. I'm feeling it in a few spots that I didn't think I would after you know regular jogging but yeah exercise prepare your mind for action because that's what it's going to take 2 things are necessary for us to be obedient so that verse there and 1st Timothy The 1st one is learning the truth of God. We need to get that down before we start exercising Otherwise we might be doing the wrong thing right so Learn what God wants us to do and where's the best place to go to learn the truth of God His word all scripture written by the inspiration of God and it is profitable for what doctrine for rebuke for correction for instruction and righteousness so that the man of God may be what come plates anyone interested in that one what's the next one complaint and thoroughly equipped for every good work can you imagine your life being like that complete thoroughly equipped throw at me whatever you want would not be marvelous that's what God wants us to be now the 2nd thing is what exercise or training that's putting the knowledge we've received into practice so a build spiritual muscle it becomes a part of our every day routine now between these 2 which is the hardest part and the 2nd. You know Timothy 2nd Timothy tells us that chapter 3 says there will be perilous times in the last days right men will be lovers of themselves lovers of money boasters proud that goes on whole list of things unholy without self-control it's the next verse verse 7 that is important. They have a form of godliness they don't know the power of it why they are always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth and that describes. Than a smoking gun always learning and I'm this is not a criticism it's an appeal you've had a week of feasting here at Camp. And you can buy all the C.D.'s and you could listen to them over and over again and it won't do you know a whole lot of good unless you get into the gym and start training and exercise OK You've been a camp meeting before and it was a mountaintop experience and about 3 weeks later back home where were you back down in the balance right what was the problem you didn't go to the gym you didn't get your weights and start working out. The spiritual gym I hope you understand. Our problems as 7th Day Adventists. Our problem is not a lack of knowledge we know so much more than almost anyone else. Of the Bible that's not our problem it's a lack of discipline a lack of exercise and there's just no simple easy way to godliness we must train ourselves to godliness more much knowledge of truth won't do us any good if we are not exercising the knowledge we have already received does that make sense Paul uses the Olympic Games as an example of how we ought to train ourselves and I warn you this is not my favorite verse but misery loves company. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run but how many receive the prize one receives a prize so rotten in such a way that you may obtain it and everyone who comes Pete's for the prize how many. How many of you here are competing for a price I hope so everyone who competes for the prize is what temperance and all things now they do it to obtain a perishable crown a laurel wreath that would be faded before long but Paul says we do it for what an imperishable Crown who has the greater motivation to run the Olympian or the Christian the Christian has a greater motivation there's more at stake for us goes on Therefore I run thus not with uncertainty Well I'll try this and I'll try that well I didn't really get into that and I'm not that and and this one didn't seem to work no I run not with uncertainty Thus I fight not as one who beats the air but I discipline my body and I bring it into subjection last when I have preached to others I myself should become what's disco and I can't be I am a 7th Day Adventists I am part of the room the church I'm even. In that room. How could I be disqualified. Because I'm not exercising and I spend all my time in my study preparing marvelous messages to stir the hearts of the saints and make them think I'm such a great preacher but if I'm not exercising what I am learning. Would I be disqualified for the proper. Yeah we need to take this seriously. Discipline living requires for things and knowledge of God's standard of righteousness self-examination to see if we are in harmony with that standard we don't like that it's good to get a buddy with you we'll talk about that little bit. And daily denying ungodliness and worldly losses Titus. How often day late and number 4 practice and following Jesus in new ways of godly living is it always safe to follow Jesus. Is following Jesus the same thing as having faith in Jesus. If it's genuine say yes but so often we say oh I believe in Jesus I've given my life to him but have I if I'm not walking in his example and I really don't have faith in Him I'm fooling myself so this we need these 4 things in place there are 7 elements of biblical change that I'm going to run through with the. Number one becoming aware of the problem this might be the most difficult step you know why. Because it forces us to take a good look at ourselves and we don't always like what we see. But we must see the problem for what it is if we're going to be successful in overcoming it any excusing Well it's just a little thing oh I don't do it very often is is not going to be helpful pride is the biggest hindrance at this point how many of you like to be reminded of how often you do a sinful behavior. Why not think about this why wouldn't she like to be reminded. At how often you do a sinful behavior. Because of what it annoys you because of guilt what's the real reason What's that. You know I'm comfortable with where I'm at. I may know better where I mats not write about the guilt thus the irritation when someone reminds me but the reason is I really do like where I match and I have convince myself it's not such a big issue right how many of us should like being reminded how often are the frequency of arson problem we ought to say thank you right. So pride is a big issue here and we need someone outside to tell us why because it's a habit and what is a habit something you do without thinking so of course others are going to notice it more than you because you're not even thinking about it it's just 2nd nature you need someone that notices it to remind you so if we're going to be successful in changing a habit it's important to become fully aware of the nature and the frequency of the problem and the occasions that trigger it I think this is one reason why God created marriage. And you know what here's a way if you don't want someone. Following month in month out reminding you then get serious and give somebody who's going to be honest with you who knows you well not a distant friend in another city someone closer to home a husband a wife a child will be brutally honest with you and you say for the next 2 weeks I want you to let me know every time I say or do whatever needs it you're wanting to change 2 weeks have an open hunting season 2 weeks. Then you know there's an M. bright and you just carry a lot around a little piece of paper morning afternoon evening you write down how frequently this comes up think that would be helpful after you got your hands maybe you wouldn't like the process of getting it but do you see what we're doing here I mean if you're going to go into training if someone wants to run a half day with me I mean a half a half marathon with me half to. Half Marathon with me what are you going to do would you show up today and say let's go if I was your trainer what would you want me to do we'd have to spend some time together we'd have to identify the strengths the weaknesses right so this is the same thing God tells us to do in our lives train yourself to godliness. Second one is discovering biblical alternatives after identifying the habit that needs changed go to the word and find Biblical behavior to replace the bad habit where that's the put off the put on concept there was a pastor I I heard about he was convicted because when something wasn't going right to the way he wanted to say oh great you know and he became convicted that that was a form of complaining against God for what he allowed to happen was he right yes he was. And so he went to some exercising to change that and you know we can be pretty courageous creative he knew from scripture that God calls us to give thanks How often. And all things so the oh great wasn't really matching up to that you know what he did he simply added 3 words he'd say oh great is that I faithfulness. And whenever those words came out of his mouth he added registered oh great and he had come up with this after a while it wasn't just a cover up or a slip it was an expression of gratitude Oh great is your faithfulness Lord and here's an opportunity to work again. Sometimes it can be just simple little things like that number 3 structuring for change. When we pray for change of some sinful habit in our lives we need to help answer that prayer true or false yes we've got to direct our faith into works that are consistent with our prayer and structure our life our activities our associates our friends our behavior or toward a behavior that we want to put on Romans 134 speaks to this code on what. The Lord Jesus Christ for what reason had how make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lust what is I mean. Don't plan on failing make no provision make sure that you have ordered your surroundings so that it's harder to find access to whatever it is that you're trying to overcome structuring for change. Will often include changing your friends. What is a Bible say By be holding we become changed we ought to surround ourselves with people who are what we want to become. 1st Corinthians Chapter 1533 says Do not be misled and bad company does what it corrupts Good's character we're going to have to structure for change. If that's a bad temper anger issues that you have and you structure for change don't hang around with others who have a similar problem Proverbs 2224 and 5 says make no friendship with an angry man and with a furious man do not go why lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your own soul there may be some people in your life that you're going to have to say you know I'd like to just put our friendship on hold for about 2 months I'm working on an issue and I'm no good for you during this time and you're not any good for me either but let's reconnect. Until that change and take place. Structure for change Psalms one o one is also a great verse to ponder. I will walk in my house with a perfect heart and I can't walk in the world and arrange everything but in my house I can I will set nothing wicked before my eyes I hate the work of those who fall away it will not cling to me a perverse heart shall depart from me I will not know wickedness my eyes will be on who the faithful of the land that they may dwell with me he who walks in a perfect way he shall serve me he who works deceit shall not dwell within my house he who tells lies shall not continue in my presence how many of you think that's a pretty good Psalm a minister stepping on toes. For a moment. We let a lot of these evil people dwell continually in our homes through the television and Internet. But because they're not real we call it entertainment a way to relax and unwind this goes back to the conscience. And say they're all connected here we cannot follow Psalms 101 and be a subscriber to cable or if you live in an area where you don't need cable I'm grateful I grew up in a home without a television you don't have to have a television now though with the Internet you have anything you want but don't expect. To change bad habits into good habits if it's the wicked who are ministering to. My eyes Shelby on who the faithful while there are some Christians in Hollywood. We're talking about high school right give that some serious thought we wonder that with our kids you know in J 2 I am just shocked that all these kids have their own i Phone than anything all these computer games. All this stuff if we if we really want. To run that race in a way that will gain the prize friends we could trim off a lot of dead weight in our lives if we're serious. You won't be running very well if you don't trim all that dead weight. Structuring your life for changes is a very important step. I heard of a man once who was addicted to donuts and hate and every morning on his way to work he drove by his favorite Don't shop and he would pull in and he would order some Doenitz or some pastries and he was very generous It just wasn't for his lunch he would take several boxes and bring them to the office and and share him with his coworkers though he did make sure to get more than his share Well one day he decided he needed to break this habit and lose some weight so he announced to his coworker when he arrived one morning that he was laying off don't it after this mornin won't be any Don't it not for me and it was a major battle for him because he had done this for years he even went so far structuring for change that he mapped out a different route to work so I wouldn't have to drive by the don't IT shop even though it took him further around to work and everything was going fine for a month or so he has a coworkers noticed he was dropping a little weight and encouraged him and they encouraged him but and that in their surprise when one morning he showed up at work with an arm full of donor. They were surprised and I said well what happened and he says well I decided then while I decided to drive my old route to work and as I came to the donut shop I prayed Lord if you want me to have some donuts today let the parking spot right in front of the door be open and he said you know what on the 8th time around the block it was. Now was he structuring for change. You know anyone identify with our donut man. Yeah lard if you want me to do ya know. Structure for change number for breaking the earliest link in they chain of sand when we think of changing a habit we often think in terms of full blown results of the how but instead of the smaller steps that lead to those results right and that can be overwhelming when we try to you know it the whole pie at once. So here's what we need to do just as James Chapter One says noticed a progression here that takes place in James 114 and 15 but each one is tempted when he has drawn away by what his own desires and he's enticed and then when desire has conceived you've started spending time where that conception is a pregnancy term that desire conceived. And it gives birth to what to send How long does it take to give birth to send Well if we're going to use the conception model that James uses you say Well 9 months there are some that conceived real quick there are some may not conceive for years. You ever heard of a midlife crisis or those come from people always dream some day I'm going to have some day I want. And that has conceived that desire and it may take a long time but it will give birth to sin and sin when it is full grown brings forth death where is the easiest place to stop that reaction right there at the beginning right. Resistance at the point of temptation leads to rejection of the central course of action you catch that. Above all else guard your thoughts your heart out of it are the issues of life so resistance at the point of temptation when I'm tempted before the desire has conceived that will lead to a rejection of the sinful course of action let me. Give you an example here of a husband and wife try real hard to follow this one it doesn't happen very often OK. The husband makes an unkind remark to his wife the wife 3 X.. How with the remark up even more cutting and that leads to what the husband responding with a harsher comment and each adds fuel to the other as the whole thing deteriorates in the gap widens between them can you really imagine that situation with me and then a plunges into hopelessness where is the easiest point of resistance with the 1st unkind remark should be met with biblical action rather than send full reaction. It's much harder to stop this conversation at the 3rd or 4th again his and. What scriptures might be helpful for us in stopping this decline what could we put on and exercise with that would stop this can you think of any aha a soft answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger proverbs 15 verse one what's another one proverb 1714 the beginning of strife is like letting out water so abandon the quarrel before breaks out if we go to work out I'll guarantee all of us will have plenty of opportunity before the weekend is over to start exercising on this one right. It's a frequent one but this is an example of exercising but you have to identify not only the problem identified the scripture high God's word in your hearts what is Psalms 119 verse 911 say how can a how can a young man how can an old man young woman young older woman keep their white pure by living according to your word right verse 11 your word have I hid where in my heart for what reason that I might not quarrel with my husband my wife or Senate against you that's right it's number 5 getting help from others because habits are things we do without conscious thought how many of you find out the behavior takes place before you're even aware of it. How many times has happened to us and this is where we need someone who is thinking to point out what we do when we're not. A good friend as adults we struggle with this one because we don't like to be held accountable for our negative behavior we think well I'm old enough I'm not a child I don't need someone telling me what to do or reminding me what to do next Pride's speaking. If we do those things without thinking how can we bring them to conscious thought before we do them without the help of others or even when we do this is an accountability partner friends those who won't humble themselves in Excel accept help from others usually fail in making any lasting change to that. You just start looking around them that start asking do some surveys and you'll find those who are too proud to take this step don't get very far very long. Mary had a bad habit of interrupting her husband whenever he was talking on the phone. She wanted to break the habit because it was a source of frequent quarrels between them but she knew to know she needed some outside help because she found herself interrupting before she even thought of doing it it had just become 2nd nature. So who would be best to ask in a situation like that her husband she asked him to help her come up with something that would remind her not to do this and so husbands listen up this was a pretty creative guy he made a little sign that he kept in his desk drawer near the phone and whenever he was using the phone he set it on his desk where Mary would see it and it simply said please do not interrupt remember honey you're working on this problem things. Is that offensive No not if Mary wants to change right that's right and so. Guys and Gals. When someone asks you don't pull out the celebs hammer that's not always necessary a little card a little note or something written I mean that that written statement doesn't have any verbal tone to it does it so if we spoke it we could say Please don't interrupt honey. Remember you're working on this now that's that's not going to help so be creative and some of these things. It wasn't long before Mary had overcome or habit cooperation on the part of her husband had in a few weeks enabled her to stop a habit that had been a source of irritation between them for a long time number 6 stressed the whole relationship with Christ. What I mean by that our motivation for changing bad habits is not to get something we want but to glorify God in the life let that sink in. I shouldn't quit smoking because I don't want to get cancer I shouldn't stop arguing with my light wife because I want more peace in the home I shouldn't control my diet because I don't want to get obese or contract some disease. Whether I experience the side effects or not is not the issue I should do those things for what reason so on are gone and represent him more fully to those around so stress the whole relationship with God and that relationship includes the regular discipline of Bible study of prayer of fellowship of Nemesis tree in the church these things are essential get yourself involved in these things and doing it for the glory of God Whatever you eat whatever you drink whatever you do do all for what so that you can live 10 years longer than as an Adventist and the average population no for the glory of God. And finally number 7 practice the new pattern patterns do not develop automatically if you discovered that one. They become a part of our life through practice we live in an age where we want everything instantly you can make minute rice you can have instant putting instant mashed potatoes but you cannot make instant godliness. That's done the old fashioned way. We must discipline ourselves to be doubly but don't become discouraged because it takes a little longer than your Minute Rice when our lives are oriented toward godliness everything will revolve around that goal. It's constantly on our mom and so it's we're aware of things and it will build and sometimes it builds without us even noticing it how many of you had someone you know come up to you a friend and say you know I've I've noticed you've changed over the last few months I don't know what it is but I like what I see and the ever had someone say that I mean you may not have seen it yet because you're still aware of how frequently use still do it but they don't see it as frequently as it used to be so allow back growing in grace and knowledge. Keep your eyes on the prize and run in such a way as to get the programs going to close with an example of a true life example a kind of summarizes all these steps almost as soon as he began to drive Bill developed a hatred for traffic like. He enjoyed driving on the open roads out in the country but whenever he drove in town he would experience tension even headaches he develops the habit of trying to beat the red lights and whenever he failed he would set there impatiently gripping the steering wheel rocking the car back and forth like hurry up let's get go on. And then he even got to the point of talking to the lights telling him off for not cooperating with him and keeping green or yellow just a little longer if the driver in front of him did not immediately respond to the green light well let's just say you didn't want to be that driver and from the bill. He would make his disgust known for blocks honking on the horn or yelling at the guy he had a problem in time he so learned to hate traffic lights and it didn't matter whether they were red or green he hated them anyway. He began to get tense and angry whenever driving in an area that had them and Bill became more aware of the intensity of the problem when he moved from the country because of the job to an urban area driving became distasteful the tension the headaches were becoming daily occurrences he was arriving at work nervous tense when he got home he was irritable upset. And this had an impact on his relationship with families coworkers this had become a deeply ingrained habit of years of practice so finally he sought help and in about 5 weeks he had not only conquered the problem but he had come to the point where he enjoyed driving in traffic and actually look forward. To red traffic lights How long did it take 5 weeks so I'm sharing this story because it's encouraging can we survive something you know hang on for 5 weeks how in the world did he do it number one he determined to change because he knew his attitudes and behaviors were unbecoming as a Christian. Motivation to all to the glory of God Number 2 he was repentant over the problem which made him willing to change no excuses he recognized it acknowledged it repented number 3 his friend or counsellor encouraged him not only to stop his impatience but also to use stoplights as that for a good purpose instead of then considering them barriers they ask God to turn them into blessings. And number 4 rather than becoming tense over each redlight he determined to look on them as relaxation brakes in his driving and to thank God for them he would come to a stop light he would let his hands drop from the wheel into his lap he would lean back he would smile deliberately take a big breath and just relax. He even posted a little card on his dashboard right there that said remember at relaxation brakes thank God mile and relax put it right there on his that board as a reminder after 1st he frequently found himself slipping into his old pattern but each time the card reminded him and he would act upon it and soon relaxation became the rule rather than the exception in a short time 5 weeks driving became not merely tolerable but a pleasure and guess what part he enjoyed the most. The traffic light. That's right now does that sound like a hard exercise routine. Some of you may be overwhelmed with all the things that need to be changed in your life don't be don't get bogged down in where to start just choose one area and go to work some of you may need to read yesterday's handout about worry well should I start with this one or this one with this better result so that one now just choose one and go to work on it confess it before God commit that area of your life to him create a plan to follow Be Consistent be convinced that in Christ you are what more than conqueror that was a weak word for you but say that a little more gusto let me suggest that the Church the Body of Christ is a best place for us to learn to grow in righteousness the church is God's gymnasium and I know churches can be some of the most hurtful places. But it's God's gymnasium in which training is to take place the work of counseling building up training disciplining its members to cycling its members from the tour in Christ has been given to the church not to outside into the. I'll put that on the screen in case you think I'm just making that up if Eason's for speaking of Jesus he gave himself up or gave he himself gave some to be apostles some to be prophets some of Angelus some pastors teachers for what. Equipping of the WHO saints for the work of ministry for the edifying of the Body of Christ to we all come to the unity of the faith the knowledge of the Son of God to a perfect man to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ that we should no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine but speaking the truth in love may grow up in all things on to him who is the head that is Christ you know it's my desire to see every shirt turned into a gymnasium where spiritual training takes place every week. Would not be wonderful not just on Sabbath but during the week church members teaming up to be prayer partners accountability partners working together in the power of God to develop that spiritual muscle of putting off what needs to be put off and putting on what needs to be put on and I want to close this week we've talked about several different things I want to close this week with one of well how do you say favorite and there are so many favorite quotes in the spirit of prophecy but here's one that I want you to chew on it comes from testimonies to the minister ministers page 18 and take this personal the Lord Jesus Christ is making experiments on human hearts through the exhibition of his mercy and abundant grace anyone open to be an expert on experiment for the Lord Jesus Christ. All right he is affecting transformation so mazing that Satan with all his triumphant boasting with all his confederacy of evil united against God in the laws of his government Satan stands viewing them as fortresses and prayed in a bowl to his Sophos trees and delusions. I mean that just boggles my mind on it that you could stand there and that all with all his wicked angels around and saying there's no way to get in there impregnable they are to him and in comprehensible mystery the angels of God Sarah from an cherub of the powers commission to cooperate with human agencies look on with astonishment and joy that fallen men once children of wrath are through the training of Christ developing characters after the divine similitude to be sons and daughters of God to act an important part in the occupations and pleasures of heaven to his church Christ has given ample facilities that he may receive a large revenue of glory from his redeemed purchased possession the church being in doubt with the righteousness of Christ is His depository in which the wealth of His mercy His love His grace is to appear in full and final display the gift of His Holy Spirit rich full and abundant is to be to his church an encompassing wall of fire which the powers of hell shall not prevail against in their unintended purity and spotless perfection who the angels do you see your face in that statement in that incredible untainted purity spotless perfection Christ looks upon his people as a reward of his suffering his humiliation and his love and it's this next sentence that just brings tears to my eyes and a supplement of what what's a supplement. Something that's added to the already there how much glory does Christ. And he calls us to be a supplement to his glory someone explain that to me. Supplements an addition so his glory that just boggles my mind Christ the great center from which radiates all. Is it worth it friends it is lets her father in heaven thank you for your word this week thank you for the reminders Oh father please one request for myself and each of my friends here that you will not let us leave this camp grounds and go home and continue life as you take us to the gym see just how to work out and still Lord we can be what we just read the supplement to your glory because of your great loss you know us each one you know what we struggle West Father thank You for the fortification you've given us this week teach us how to become experts in using your weapons against the enemy and when we meet again may we meet. As different people. Can form to the image of Our Lord Jesus Christ and his name with. 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