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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Learning How to Remove and Replace Old Habits

In review of 1 Timothy 4:15 it says, “Practice these things. Devote your life to them so that everyone can see your progress”

Bottom Line:
Practice and devote yourself to what you’ve learned, let others see the difference it has made in you.

What this means to me:
I’m to put into practice what I’m learning. I am to devote my life to them so that everyone can see how it has made a difference in my life.

Today's verse comes from the last part of 1 Timothy chapter 4 and is where Paul is instructing Timothy (and us) about how to be a good servant of Christ Jesus. We are to explain what we have learned to others and thereby become worthy servants of Christ Jesus, continually nourished by the message of faith and the good teaching we follow. Don't waste time arguing over godless ideas or old wives tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. We do this because our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all.

So we are to teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. Don't let anything think less of us because of age or other differences. Be an example to all in what we say, in the way we live, our love, our faith and purity. Focus on reading and reviewing the Scripture to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.

We are to not neglect the spiritual gifts we have received. We are to give our complete attention to these matters. Thoroughly engage yourselves into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.  Keep a close watch on how we live and on our teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of our own salvation and the the salvation of those who hear us.

While I was given a brand new nature at my moment of conversion, I still had lots of old habits, patterns, and practices that need to be removed and replaced.

So, I need to let go of the fears that keep me from growing. It is the truth that sets me free, even though it can make me miserable at first. It’s the fear of what I might discover if I honestly faced my character defects which keeps me from living in the prison of denial. As I allow God to shine the light of his truth on my faults, failures, and hang-ups that I can begin to work on them. I suppose this is why I cannot grow without a humble, teachable attitude.

Good habits take time to develop. So I’ll keep in mind that my character is the sum total of my habits. I won’t be able to claim to have integrity unless it is my habit to always be honest. My habits define my character. So I will need to practice every day the habits that will make you more like Christ. “Devote your life to them so that everyone can see your progress” (1 Timothy 4:15b GW).

Today, I should consider what I need to change about my life or schedule, how I spend my free time, etc., so that I can work on developing better habits.