Building Christian Habits
Dear BPCWAians, As God reminds us, what we sow, we will reap. Reaping a stronger spiritual walk begins with sowing and investing time in spiritual things. What are some things that should become a regular part of a Christian’s life?
Attending Worship. Christ did not need to increase His knowledge about God and was perfect in holiness, but He always made it His routine to go into the synagogue on the sabbath day (Luke 4:16). If we do not make the Lord’s Day Worship a priority, then we can’t say that we are serious about developing good Christian habits. Barring medical and other unforeseen emergencies, schedules for the rest of the week must be developed around this priority. Parents set the tone for their children. Are we careful that our children should be on time and attend school regularly? Then we should be even more careful that we and our children will be at worship every Sunday and other Christian Worship Services. Joseph and Mary saw to it that the twelve year old Jesus fulfilled the custom of the Passover feast, even though it meant going up to Jerusalem (Luke 2:42). Good Friday Worship Service is coming up later this month – will you build that into your regular schedule every year to come? Adults, can you always be expected to be at the house of God every Lord’s Day to worship Him?
Assembling with God’s people. Having a personal systematic study of the Word of God is a must. Yet another routine to build into our lives is to assemble with fellow believers at other church meetings as well, whether it is for the prayer meetings, or for Bible Studies, and fellowships. Even in the time of the Apostle Paul, some were already forsaking this practice and had to be reminded not just to do it occasionally, but to do it “so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Heb 10:25). At these meetings, fellow believers encourage each other in their spiritual walk, while being strengthened with God’s Word at the same time.
Ensuring Personal and Corporate Prayer. The next thing to build into your routine is prayer. Learn to be like Daniel who regularly “kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God” (Dan 6:10). Do you have a regular time of personal prayer with God? While it is good that we pray without ceasing and try to “fill in available slots” with little snatches of prayer time, and to pray “on the go”, whether it is while driving or on the train on the way to work, it must not replace a disciplined life of a regular set time to seek God in secret. Christ talks about going into our closets to pray – ie to have a set apart time and place where we are shut in to God and shut out from the distractions of the world. Christ went habitually with His disciples to the mount of Olives, away from the crowds, to pray (Luke 22:39). The Apostle Peter “went up upon the housetop to pray” (Acts 10:9). Let us build into our schedules from today onwards a regular time and place that we will go to God in our closet prayers. Together with this, make it your time of fellowship with God in the reading and meditation of His Word as you spend time with Him every day.
But besides personal prayer, we see God’s people gathering together to pray. We see how Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer (Acts 3:1). It was soon after Christ’s death, they were Apostles and so were not “leading” the temple prayer, but they went nonetheless at the hour of prayer. Have you been coming for our Tuesday Prayer meetings? If not, make it your habit to come.
Doing God’s work. Do you eat everyday? Do you eat at fixed times every day? Well, Christ taught us by His example when He said that His meat was to do the will of His Father. It meant that His aim in life is to do the Father’s work for Him on earth.
He was driven by it. If you have ever wondered how did people know where and when to gather to hear Him preach? Well, simply because whenever they came to Him, He was predictably ready to teach them (Mark 10:1). While we may say that we are often tied up during office hours, do we set time aside to serve God on a regular basis? Or when approached by the church for help in a particular area, will your reply be “I’m too busy” – but are you busy with the things of God or your things for yourself? We are often ready to take on extra load at work or school if it helps to progress in this world, but we are not willing to serve God if it costs us. Will you set aside time if approached to take up some area of service? Remember, you are not doing it for the church, but for God. Build up a habit of serving God.
But besides service in church, Christians are supposed to have “a pattern of good works” in all things (Tit 2:7). Does God’s good works characterise your life? When you “have some time on your hands”, do you even think of what good work you can do for God? Is someone in church sick or lonely that could do with some encouragement? Is someone going through a difficult patch in their life? Does someone need a lift to church or fellowships? Or you can even just go out and evangelise yourself. There is much opportunity for everyone to do this, and it need not be organised by the church.
I hope that this series will help you to take a look at your life. We do not want, at the end of our life, to look back and moan that “so little was done for Him”. You can change that, today, if you desire to. But will you?
Yours in our Lord’s service