HABITS

What’s the strangest habit you’ve ever seen? Or the weirdest habit you have?

We all have habits. Some of them are cultural, others are gender related, but a few of them are all our own. And many are — let’s face it — strange when you stop and think about them. For the most part habits are rather benign and don’t have any long term impact on our lives one way or the other. But some habits are worth developing.

Before we start delving into habits, I have a habit of beginning our times together by saying “Welcome to ‘Mornings with Bishop Robert,'” just like I’d say “welcome” if you visited my house or my study. I want to make you feel at home here, because my goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! So – even if it’s just virtually – kick off your shoes, pull up a chair, grab a coffee or some other beverage and let’s spend a few minutes together. If our time today speaks to your heart, share it with a friend !

Some habits are quite common. Most people, even if their bed isn’t against a wall, will get out of bed on the same side every morning. Whether they’ll admit it or not, pretty much everyone you know will occasionally (if not often) bite their nails. (Most won’t wash their hands before they do.) People pick their noses. Not when others can see them, usually. (Most won’t wash their hands after they do.) Speaking of noses, why do people look in the tissue or handkerchief after they blow their nose? You pretty much know what’s in there, right? Continuing with our nasal focus, do you hold your breath and try to move away when someone sneezes around you? I do, and so do lots of folks. Do you sniff your fingers after eating with your hands? Men often sniff their fingers after scratching themselves, for reasons that elude everyone.

None of these habits will kill you. Most of us cup water in our hands in the shower and then pour it out like a waterfall. Or think of the perfect comeback reply about three hours after the argument is over. Or pretend to be asleep when our spouse comes into the room. But what about habits that are valuable? Habits that can save your life.

Today’s verse says I HAVE HIDDEN YOUR WORD IN MY HEART THAT I MIGHT NOT SIN AGAINST YOU.

You may have read Steven Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People,” but he didn’t list this one. MEMORIZE SCRIPTURE. And I’ll tell you why you should.

Because God’s word is powerful. Its flexible nature allows it to be used as either a shield or a sword. When things get tough in your life, having a verse of scripture that you know by heart can be a BIG help. When a friend has a need or a concern, you can speak the word of God into a situation. Like any powerful tool or weapon, the person doesn’t even need to know you’re using it for it to be effective. It just works.

If you have a specific need in your life, a quick internet search for “Bible verses about …. whatever” will give you a lift to review. As you read through them, one of them will speak to your need. Then all you need to do is find a way to get it from your head and into your heart. Maybe you’re the kind of person that finds a post-it note or an index card the best way. You may want to make an electronic note on your phone. If you’re the creative and visual type, you might find an image with that verse and make it the lock screen on your phone. The method is not important, do what works for you. But DO something.

When you’re in a fight, having a working weapon can make a big difference. The best weapon against the lies of the enemy is the truth of the word of God. His word IS truth. His word is the final answer. When the judge has spoken the case is closed.

If you struggle with a particular sin, God’s word has the answer. If you have a specific fear that needs to be overcome, God’s word has the answer. If you need wisdom in a specific circumstance, God’s word has the answer.

In fact, no matter what your question, God’s word has the answer. Because He knew your need before you did, He provided the answer before you even asked.

Much of what I share with you each day is straight from the word of God. I’m not leading a seminary class or preaching a message from a pulpit, so I seldom quote book, chapter and verse. I just speak the word of God, and let it work in you, on you and through you. His word is living and active, and so it has the power to deal with every need, situation and doubt we face. God’s tools are not dull and useless, His word is sharper than any two-edged sword. A physical sword can cut flesh but His word is able to pierce our hearts, and even reveal deep things in our soul and spirit. His word will reveal the thoughts and intentions of your heart so that you can see them plainly and deal with them properly.

The psalm writer says I HAVE HIDDEN YOUR WORD IN MY HEART THAT I MIGHT NOT SIN AGAINST YOU.

His word has the power to free us from sin, because it is the power of God for the salvation everyone needs.

His word has the power to keep us from sin. We can fight back against the temptations and lies of the enemy with power and authority … if we have hidden God’s word in our heart.

His word has the power to cleanse us from sin when we have fallen. We can stand up, clean up and renew our purity … if we have hidden God’s word in our heart. His word cleanses us from all sin. His word sanctifies us in truth.

So pick an area of need in your life. Find a Bible verse that speaks to that need. Then get that verse placed deep in your heart. Think about it, and let it speak to you. Then watch what happens.

I HAVE HIDDEN YOUR WORD IN MY HEART THAT I MIGHT NOT SIN AGAINST YOU

Doing that over and over again is a habit that can save your life. And it will certainly change your life.

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