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Category Archives: habits

J.I. Packer on Forming Holy Habits (Time for a Great Quote)

J.I. Packer writes, “By the Spirit’s enabling, Christians resolve to do particular things that are right, and actually do them, and thus form habits of doing right things, and out of these habits comes a character that is right.”

He later adds, “Holiness teaching that skips over disciplined persistence in the well-doing that forms holy habits is thus weak; habit forming is the Spirit’s ordinary way of leading us on in holiness.” J.I. Packer, Keep in Step with the Spirit (Old Tappan: Fleming H. Revell, 1984), p. 108-9.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2019 in habits

 

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Ten Holy Habits — My Sermon for the New Year! (a bit late)

Friends:  I preached this message at Cedarcroft Bible Chapel as the New Year (2018) unfolded.  Let me know if you find it useful.

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2018 in habits

 

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IF GOD’S WORD CAN BE TRUSTED, THEN, (Part 7) . . .

In our recent series from the book of Philippians in our church in South Carolina, I preached on the highlights of the book of Philippians for me.  I entitled the series, “If God’s Word Can Be Trusted, Then . . .”

We’ve noticed six of our seven conclusions in our study.  We’ve noticed —

IF GOD’S WORD, SPECIFICALLY THIS BOOK OF PHILIPPIANS, CAN BE TRUSTED, THEN . . .

I.  My prayer life will be revolutionized (1:3-6).

2.  My view of life and death will be revised (1:20-24).  

3. My perspective on suffering will be matured (1:29-30). 

4.  My self-image will be challenged (2:1-5).

5.  My System of Values will be recalibrated (3:1-9).  

6.  My Perspective on Circumstances will be brought into line with God’s Word (4:4-7).

We now want to look at our SEVENTH conclusion from the book of Philippians and it is this —

7.  IF GOD’S WORD CAN BE TRUSTED, THEN MY SENSE OF CONTENTMENT WILL BE STABILIZED IN THE LORD (4:10-13).

There we read:

10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Here we learn that —

A.  Contentment is something we learn (v. 11).

B.  The Christian life involves times of plenty and times of want (v. 12)

C.  The strength to be content comes through Christ! (v. 13)

Discussion Questions:  Would you describe yourself as a CONTENTED Christian?  Why or why not?  What steps will you take this week toward a biblical contentment?

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2011 in CHRISTIAN LIVING, freedom, habits

 

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IF THE BOOK OF PHILIPPIANS CAN BE TRUSTED . . . THEN . . . (Part 6):

I recently preached on highlights from the book of Philippians in our church in South Carolina.

For the purpose of this blog, I’m approaching the highlights as conclusions to a proposition:

IF GOD’S WORD, SPECIFICALLY THIS BOOK OF PHILIPPIANS, CAN BE TRUSTED, THEN . . .

I.  My prayer life will be revolutionized (1:3-6).  I will learn to pray with JOY for others, pray for our partnerships in the gospel, and pray for God’s continuing & maturing work in the lives of others.

We next saw that IF God’s Word can be trusted, then

2.  My view of life and death will be revised (1:20-24).   There Paul says he wants to exalt Christ in his life or his death:  “for to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

The third truth that leaps out at me from Philippians is this:

3. My perspective on suffering will be matured (1:29-30).  There we see that it is a GIFT to suffer for Him (a gift which property preachers don’t want to receive!).

The fourth truth which we saw in the book of Philippians relates to how I view myself.  IF the book of Philippians can be trusted, then . . .

4.  My self-image will be challenged (2:1-5).  There we learn that we are to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but to put others’ needs before our own.

The fifth truth is that —

5.  My System of Values will be recalibrated (3:1-9).  In discussing that passage, we saw that —

A.  Knowing Him might lead to the loss of everything else!

B.  A relationship with Jesus Christ is more important than anything else life offers!

We move now to the SIXTH truth that jumps out at me, in trusting God’s Word, is that —

6.  MY PERSPECTIVE ON CIRCUMSTANCES WILL BE BROUGHT INTO LINE WITH GOD’S WORD (4:4-7).  There we read:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

We see in this passage that anxiety is replaced by peaceful, protective prayer!

Discussion Questions:  How do you view your circumstances?  Do you see them as opportunities to show your faith in Christ to a watching world?

 

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IF GOD’S WORD CAN BE TRUSTED . . . (Part 5)

In our church we’ve been going through the fantastic epistle of Philippians.  Because I am a member of our preaching team, I was given an opportunity to share a kind of summary-message on the highlights from Philippians that stand out to me.

For the purpose of this blog, I’m approaching the highlights as conclusions to a proposition:

IF GOD’S WORD, SPECIFICALLY THIS BOOK OF PHILIPPIANS, CAN BE TRUSTED, THEN . . .

I.  My prayer life will be revolutionized (1:3-6).  I will learn to pray with JOY for others, pray for our partnerships in the gospel, and pray for God’s continuing & maturing work in the lives of others.

We next saw that IF God’s Word can be trusted, then

2.  My view of life and death will be revised (1:20-24).   There Paul says he wants to exalt Christ in his life or his death:  “for to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

The third truth that leaps out at me from Philippians is this:

3. My perspective on suffering will be matured (1:29-30).  There we see that it is a GIFT to suffer for Him (a gift which property preachers don’t want to receive!).

The fourth truth which we saw in the book of Philippians relates to how I view myself.  IF the book of Philippians can be trusted, then . . .

4.  My self-image will be challenged (2:1-5).  There we learn that we are to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but to put others’ needs before our own.

Let’s move on and notice the FIFTH TRUTH from Philippians — assuming it can be trusted!  That FIFTH TRUTH IS:

5.  MY SYSTEM OF VALUES WILL BE RECALIBRATED (3:1-9).  Those verses tell us:

1 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. 7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

We see from this text that, first of all, knowing Him might lead to the loss of everything else.  This could involve a literal loss of all things or a mental loss of all things.  The latter would be true when we count everything loss for the sake of knowing Christ.  [for an account of our losing everything in a house fire in 2003, see my book When Temptation Strikes].

We also see from this text that, second, a relationship with Jesus Christ is more important than anything else life offers!

Discussion Questions:  How have your VALUES been changed since coming to Christ?  What values do you presently hold that appear out of sync with Christian truth?

 

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