Sunday Morning | January 28, 2024 | John C. Majors |Louisville, KY
In the final sermon in the Habits series on January 28, 2024, pastor focused on the theme of developing spiritual habits, particularly emphasizing two habits represented by the letters T and S. Pastor John highlighted the power of habits, emphasizing that small, seemingly imperceptible changes over time can lead to significant results.
The first habit, represented by the letter T, is to "Treasure the Savior in Worship." The sermon referenced Romans 12:1, emphasizing the idea of presenting one's body as a living sacrifice, a distinction from Old Testament sacrifices that were lifeless. The importance of worshiping God above all else was stressed, focusing on ascribing worth to God and engaging in true, thoughtful, and pure worship.
The second habit, represented by the letter S, is to "Safeguard Sabbath." Pastor John mentioned Mark Comer's view that the Sabbath command is the longest (30%) and the only command with a clear "why" - because the Lord rested. The Sabbath was presented as a time to recalibrate hearts and create margin for rest. The importance of making Sunday different by prioritizing worship, rest, and relationships was emphasized.
The final spiritual habit discussed was what true worship produces, represented by the letter T: "Trust His Sovereignty." The sermon explored how worship produces trust in God's sovereignty in two ways. First, it produces kindness toward enemies, emphasizing the importance of blessing and not cursing those who persecute. Second, it produces dependence on God to work all things out, with an emphasis on refraining from seeking vengeance.
The sermon concluded with practical tips for building and maintaining these habits, including focusing on one habit at a time, using tracking methods, assessing available time, and accepting imperfection while striving to do what one can. The audience was encouraged to engage in open sharing, and handouts with the ten habits and tips were provided for further reflection.
At Valley View Church we are currently studying through the entire gospel of John, verse by verse. You can join us on Sunday mornings at 11 AM for worship. We are located at 8911 3rd Street Road, Louisville KY 40272.
We've been working through this series on building spiritual habits in our lives. Ten Spiritual Habits for Life is what we've called it. And of course, the idea behind that is what we just saw on screen. How do you make small changes in your life that over time, sometimes imperceptibly lead to big results eventually? One example I've heard shared about that is take a block of ice. A block of ice that's in a room that's at 29 degrees. And you began to raise the temperature of the room just a 10th of a degree every hour or so. And at first, nothing is different. Another hour goes by, many hours go by 30 degrees. No difference. 31 no difference, 32, 33. Now, all of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, that ice begins to melt. Small, almost imperceptible changes over time. And of course, we want to apply that to the spiritual habits in our life. What are the things we do that help us grow spiritually over time? That's what we've been focused on and we've been talking through the word habit, and we're up now to the letters T and S to kind of wrap up our series today on the ten spiritual habits we want to develop in our lives. So today we're going to be looking at the letter T to start with, and we've been in Romans chapter 12. That's been our base passage as we've unpacked this, as we've pressed into this because I love having one passage to come back to over and over again. Hopefully even in your own personal spiritual growth, in your own quiet time, you're able to come back to this passage day in and day out afterwards and see some of these spiritual truths and habits that you want to build in your own life. And so today we're going to be looking at Romans chapter 12, and we're going to be in verse one, Romans chapter 12, verse one. We've looked at most of the rest of the other chapter, but I skipped over verse one to begin with because of what we're going to talk about today. And if you have a church Bible that's on page 891, if you don't have a Bible, we'd love to put one in your hands- they are free for you. They’re out in the connection corner, those page numbers on the screen tie in specifically with that Bible that we have here for you. So slip out any time, grab one, slip back in. We'll be reading from that Bible. ROMANS Chapter 12, verse one because of the topic. We're going to start by unpacking. First thing we're going to talk about is the letter T- treasure the savior in worship. That's the eighth habit you want to develop that we talk about in this list of ten treasure, the savior in worship. Let's look at Romans chapter 12, verse one and and read about this. I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, wholly and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. All right. First couple of words here to address and talk about. The first one is just the word, therefore. And if you've been in church any amount of time, you may have heard this phrase you ask when you're studying the Bible, what is the therefore, there for? Why is it there? What is it pointing toward? Usually it's the previous verse, the previous idea, maybe the previous couple of verses. But it's interesting in this passage, combined with the word appeal that only shows up a few other places. Also in Ephesians chapter four, which is a key transition verse for the book of Ephesians here, Many believe that this therefore is pointing to the entirety of the rest of the book of Romans. Therefore, because of Chapters one through 11, which walks through God's sovereignty and salvation, his greatness in salvation, his greatness in overcoming our rebellion against him, his greatness in loving us. Therefore, because of all of that, I appeal to you. And what does he say? What's his appeal? How should we live? What does it say? Present your bodies as a living sacrifice. Now that word living is an important distinction. Because if you look at the history of sacrifices, that wasn't usually the case. We go back to the Old Testament. What was the role of a sacrifice? It was to die. So what's a living sacrifice? How is that different? It's an important distinction. We want to know that that's what we're called to do, is to live in a way that is sacrificially. We're giving our lives to Christ in a way that our life is not our own. We're living it for him as we live. We live in a way that honors him. And all of this here leads us to this treasure of the Savior in worship, this phrase he uses as a living sacrifice wholly acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. We need to talk about that phrase a little bit, because those those two words are interesting to use together, and it seems a little redundant to call something spiritual worship. I mean, isn't that what we were doing this morning worshiping? Isn't all worship inherently spiritual? Well, yes, at one level maybe. But you've certainly heard some of the quotes out there about our nature. The nature of our hearts is that if we don't worship God, you will worship something. We are hardwired for worship is how I've heard it said and understanding that word worship really just the English word worship. You could break it down into worth ship assigning worth to something, ascribing value to something. And so that's kind of what we're doing here in the mornings when Andrew leads us in worship. That's one aspect of how we worship as we sing. And when we're doing that, we're ascribing worth to God. We're telling him how great he is over and over again in dozens of different ways. And and of course, we also talk about ourselves. We say, Here's what we need, here's what I'm feeling. But overarching above that is how great he is. Here's how great you are. Now, we don't do that because he needs to hear it. He knows. Who needs to hear it more than God? We need to hear over and over again how great he is. That's why we worship. That's why we cry out, God, you are the greatest. But our temptation is to worship other things. If you've read the story. Picture of Dorian Gray. It's an old novel, over 100 years old. Oscar Wilde wrote it. In that story Dorian has his portrait painted. Young man, attractive, well-known, well-liked, kind of aristocratic, moving in those circles, has his portrait painted, and the artist finishes, turns it around, and he sees his own portrait and he falls in love with his own portrait. He begins to worship his own portrait because he sees in that moment the beauty and youth that he so longs for and he recognizes I will not always be this way. This is a snapshot of just a moment in time, and from here on out, it's all downhill. And so what he does is he vows to himself, I will do whatever it takes to stay in that state, to stay just like that picture. I'll do whatever it takes and the story goes to some dark places and really ultimately, absolutely decays his soul. We're called to worship God alone. Other things vie for our affections, but he's the one we're called to worship above all else. There is nothing else we're called to worship. That's a daily battle. That's a daily struggle. One of the things that helps us understand what it means to worship is that word spiritual worship. If you look back at verse one, living sacrifice wholly acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship, that word for spiritual, there's not our normal word you would see for spiritual the word behind it in the original language. It's not the normal one. You see for spiritual in fact, it only shows up in Scripture one other place. And prior to this it was mainly used by philosophers in Greek history. Greek philosophers would use this to mean something like, That's a true argument, That's a worthy argument. You made a valid point, a logical point. In fact, where it shows up in Scripture, The other place it shows up, it says the pure milk of the word.1 Peter 2:
2 It is the pure, the spiritual, the right, the accurate, the trustworthy word. And so when we think of our act of worship as true, as right, as pure, all of this is pointing to the reality that worship is not just the words we say or the words sing, but it's really part of who we are. It's part of what's going on in our heart. And ultimately it's how we live sacrificially, as it says here in this passage. So letter T, the first habit, spiritual habit we want to develop today. And by the way, you should have got a handout when you were coming in today. This has all the spiritual habits we've covered and are going to cover today, plus some of the habit building tips, plus a couple of questions for you to process. I'm going to talk about this more at the end. But over four weeks, you may not have remembered everything we've covered. That's okay. I might not either, but it's on here for you to refer back to. And so the first one today that we discussed was treasure your savior in worship. Now the next spiritual habit, actually the other two to wrap up the series that we're going to address flow from that. If we're called to worship, if we’re called to treasure the savior in worship. I want to talk about two things related to that. How do we do that? And then what does worship produce in us? How do we worship? What does worship produce? So what we're going to address as we deal with the other two spiritual habits we want to develop. So first, how do we worship? I'm just going to talk about one aspect of worship that I think is underutilized in our age. Yes, we gather here. Yes, we sing. Yes, we worship through God's word. Yes, we worship also through giving and serving. But I think we need to embrace safeguarding the Sabbath.How do we worship:
Safeguard the Sabbath. That's letter S in our habits words, safeguard the Sabbath. Now, why is that important for worship? The Sabbath, interestingly enough, I read in a, John Mark Comers his name, He wrote in-- he was talking about the Sabbath and he said the Sabbath command in Scripture. It's longer than any of the other commands. You know, some of them are just three or four words, whereas this one's 130 words, long command, one of the longest it is the longest command. And it's interesting, this command is the only one that gives you kind of the reason why you should-- not the results, but the reason why the basis for why you should observe the Sabbath. And it simply says because the Lord rested. Now, we don't view the Sabbath as a legalistic thing, as New Testament Christians. It's not a legalistic thing, but to deny the need for rest based on the pattern that was set with God when he created the world in six days and rested on the seventh to ignore that. That's a dangerous thing. So it's not a legalistic thing, but it's an important thing. What does observing the Sabbath, safeguarding the Sabbath, keeping the Sabbath look like for you today? One thing's for sure if you don't make it a priority, it won't happen. We've got too much else screaming for time and attention. How do you make it a priority? I want to give you three things to prioritize on the Sabbath. Three things and this will help set the tone for how you spin the Sabbath. Go and put those up on the screen. Three things to prioritize on the Sabbath, rest, worship and relationships. Start by just asking the Lord, Lord, how can I prioritize rest, worship and relationships? Too many times after church on Sunday, we fill up the day with all the normal activities of life. But pick just a window of time in your life and, look-- again, not a legalistic thing. I don't know what your life looks like. I know some people have to work on Sunday. I get that. I don't really. I promise I don't look down on you for that. I work on Sunday. Okay. So do what you can, but carve out the time. What does your Sabbath look like? Be intentional with it. How can I be more intentional to rest, to not just be driven along by all the needs and desires of the world, to say no to some things that I might normally say yes to to rest? How can I be intentional to worship, to turn off some things that might distract me from worship, to read things that draw me toward worship? How can I focus on relationships? By connecting with my loved ones that we've probably neglected each other throughout the week, and rightfully so. We have busy lives. We have things we have to tend to. How can I focus on rest, worship, relationships on the Sabbath? Begin to just ask him, Lord, what? How can I safeguard the Sabbath? What would you have me do? Just start by simply asking him and see what he says. You don't have to change everything all at once. What's just one simple change you can make to begin safeguarding, observing, keeping the Sabbath. I'm not going to list out a bunch of things for you to do because we really don't want to make it a legalistic thing here. We don't have a list of TV shows you can or can't watch or places a TV can't be, or whether you can own one or not, or what devices you can have or or can't. We don't. We don't do that. Now. I have strong feelings about what I think you could do, but it's my opinion. It's not a legalistic thing. Rest, worship, relationships, safeguard the Sabbath for worship. That's one of the ways we begin to keep the Sabbath. And actually, I heard one guy say it's an act of resistance against our culture. I love that phrase. All of the world says, Do more, be more active. Go, go, go, go, go. And everybody's burned out and anxious and tired and frustrated and disconnected from one another and disconnected from the Lord. Safeguard the Sabbath. We all need margin in life. Look, even at a secular level, studies have shown if you work more than about 50 hours a week, productivity goes down, errors go up. We're not above God's created order. When we served as missionaries in the South Pacific, we lived in this harbor town and it was kind of the main port city for all of the South Pacific. Many people would come there and there was a number of different places that would work on ships, repair, restore, So they would come park there, enjoy the island area and have their ship worked on. But you couldn't really see what was going on in the shipyards from the main road that passed them all. You just see these big buildings. One day we take a boat out on the trip into the harbor and we go past all these buildings on our way out of the harbor and you could just see, here's one boat up out of the water on stilts. Here's another up out of the water, another up out of the water, boat after boat after boat after boat, up out of the water, because, yes, they were having repairs made, but every once in a while you got to stop. You've got to shut that thing down and have all the barnacles cleaned off the bottom of your boat, because if not, it literally can make your boat almost useless, just the animals growing along their boat. And if you don't pause and stop and clean that stuff off, eventually you won't be able to go. And I think some of us have been there. I went til I couldn't go no more, but the daily, weekly activity of Sabbath will restore your Soul. So that's how we worship. One way we worship, safeguard the Sabbath. And then now what does worship produce in us? What does worship produce in us? For this last habit, when we think about worshiping and what it produces in us? The letter T, the final thing we're going to cover is trust. When I am worshiping God, I learn to trust His sovereignty more and more and more. Now, I think that plays out in two ways in this passage that we're going to look at, at the last section of the chapter versus last eight verses 14 through 21 sets up this whole idea of how worship produces trust in his sovereignty two key ways. In fact, the first one is it produces kindness towards our enemies. Look at this here in verse 14, when we're trusting in his sovereignty, it produces kindness towards our enemies, Verse 14 Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep, live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable on the side of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you live peaceably with all. When we worship, we trust in God's sovereignty and that produces kindness towards our enemies. I love this opening verse. Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse them. You know, it's one thing to bless someone who's just difficult. I mean, you've probably had that angry neighbor, crotchety old neighbor who is hard to love on. By the way, not any of my neighbors. I'm not talking about my neighbors. But you know what I mean. You've lived in some other neighborhood where that's happened and it's hard to love on that person. But you figure it out. You maybe do go out of your way to do something for them, something small. But how do you bless those who aren't just difficult but are persecuting you? They aren't just hard to be around. They hate you, they hate the sight of you. They would never be happier than if you didn't exist. Bless those? It's sad to say, but we lived almost 20 years in Little Rock, and I never I'd heard of the story of the Little Rock Nine. Are you familiar with that? The first group of African-Americans in Little Rock who were integrated into the school system, 1957? I'd heard that that happened. I'd seen pictures. I've shown photos of that of white people yelling at the black one black woman as she's walking in. But I'd never actually read their story until this week. I read the book of one of the ladies who went through that and what she endured every single day as a 15 year old black girl, every single day show up to school and someone sprays ink on your clothes every day between every class, someone is behind you stepping on your heels till they bleed and someone is in front of you tripping, you stepping on your feet between every class, every day and every time you go down a stairwell, someone is pushing you, trying to get you to tumble down the stairs every time, every day, every hour, and in every class. Everyone is calling you lovely names. You can imagine many of the words that were used all through class. Teachers aren't standing up every day. The author of this book in particular said it was her family that continue to say to her, bless them, bless, bless, but you don't know what I'm going through. Bless be a peacemaker. And reading her story, how she became the best actor of all time in terms of being able to say thank you. When someone throw a golf ball at her. Thank you. I've never had a golf ball before. Thank you. As someone shoves the door on her, she can't get out. She's stuck in a room. Thank you. You've caused me to exert extra energy and thus strengthening my arms. I needed that today. Thank you. Who does that? Bless those who persecute you. That's the call When we worship him that rightly orders our lives. Bless those who persecute you. Here's how else this looks. Look at the next verse. Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep. Now, this is a hard one because how many times is it the opposite? Even with some of your closest friends? How many times? Well, that good friend does just a little bit better in school and you're upset about it because they're doing better than me or that other friend maybe gets the boyfriend or girlfriend that you really wanted and you really want to see him fail. You want to see that relationship fall apart instead of rejoicing with those who rejoice, weeping with those who weep, sharing in their joy together and weeping with their sorrow. And the hard part of this, the context here is even with your enemies. Tim Keller talks about this. He, I think, a helpful word to summarize this is the word envy. In fact, here's how he defines envy. Envy is being unhappy at other people's happiness. Someone else has joy. Man, how dare they be so happy? Why didn't I get that? It's also the flipside of that and being happy at other people's unhappiness. You ever had that moment. Something doesn't go well for someone and you get happy about it. I was driving down the road one day. College student, this annoying high school girl was on my tail inches from me. I just gave her a nice little tap, just the lights out, just enough to say, Hey, back off. There's a kind of Christian tone to it. I think just enough. I wasn't worried. I was in my dad's car. It was okay, right. The LTD we nicknamed it the Valdez because of how much oil it spilled. And I'm pretty sure it had an I-beam for the rear bumper. It was so enormous she didn't like that. Rushes back up on me again. Another little tap, just a small one. Just enough. The road opens up. We go from one line to two. She comes flying up beside me. By the way, if you're here today, I'm sorry. I apologize in advance. That was 30 years ago. Comes flying up beside me and I'm thinking, oh no, what's going to happen? She is looking at me, not at the stop lane, the traffic ahead of her. And the last thing heard was a large crunching sound as I continued on straight ahead with just a hint of a smile in that moment. It felt good to see that happen. Unfortunately, it felt so good. Bless those not just who annoy you. Bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice. I rejoiced with those who were weeping in that moment. How do we rejoice? How do we weep with those who weep? That's what we want to be moving toward. There is so much in this section. We could spend forever on it. One word I want to highlight here is the word harmony in verse 18,16, Live in harmony with one another. Live in harmony with one another. That's such a good word. It sums up the meaning behind that, which means actually what it says is think the same thoughts to one another. Work to align your thoughts together. But the interesting part about harmony, it doesn't mean conformity. In fact, I'm going to give you an illustration of harmony. Just listen to this illustration of harmony. We're going to hear it right now. I've got a couple of people who are kind of outside of this room or on the edge of this room who are going to sing us a little bit of harmony. Go ahead. Why did you stop? You know, I'm kidding. Big breath. Actually, I prerecorded that. Those are all me. No. Harmony, Here's the interesting thing about harmony. Each person sings a different note, but it's actually more interesting. That is, they all sing the same note. But to do that, you really have to work together. You have to be very intentional and actually you have to celebrate that the other person is a little different from you. Harmony. Live in harmony with one another, move towards one another. Worshiping produces that kind of heart, that kind of attitude. Now the other thing that worship does so look here, Harmony, bless those who persecute you also notice in verse 18, if possible, so far as it depends on you live peaceably with all. I love that phrase if possible, because there are times where you have done all you can and it's not enough. That happens. That's okay. If possible move towards forgiveness. We're called to be forgivers. In fact, as Christians, we've given up the right to harbor bitterness, anger, unforgiveness. We don't have that privilege. Christ didn't hold that towards us, and we're not called to hold it towards others. Now, forgiveness is complex. It's a very complex topic. Forgiveness doesn't necessarily mean reconciliation. Forgiveness is the first step towards reconciliation. It doesn't guarantee reconciliation. You can't control what the other person does. And I know we have some recovering control freaks in here, don't we? Right. Can I see a few hands who are my recovering control freaks? Now, I know the real control freaks didn't raise their hands because that would be giving up control in the moment. There's plenty we can't control. You can't. If possible. So far as it depends on you. Let it be known that I went to the fullest extent of what I could. So worship produces in us the ability to love our enemies, to pursue our enemies. And then here's the other thing it produces in us dependance that God will work it all out. He will work it all out. Trust that He will work it all out. Look at these last few verses. Verse 19, beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written. Vengeance is mine. I will repay, says the Lord. To the contrary, If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he's thirsty, give him something to drink for by so doing you will heat burning coals on his head. Do not become or do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. We know when we worship, when we grow in our trust, in worship, we know God’s going to work it all out In the end, vengeance is his. He knows who really needs vengeance. He knows who really needs his justice way better than we do. That's part of the reason why this is so important. All of this bless your enemies talk, which, depending on where you're coming from, sounds utterly insane. Part of the reason is you have no idea where that other person is in their walk. You have no idea how close or how far they are from God. You have no idea if tomorrow God touches them in a radical way. We don't know what's going on inside of them and we could take some guesses sometimes, but that's the best it is. There's a guess. There are some who appear to be very close to God who aren't, and there are some who are very far from him but are a whole lot closer than you think. And our role is to follow what Scripture says, bless don’t persecute, love, forgive. If your enemy is hungry, feed him. The dependence on God that he will work it all out Is part of the overflow of worship. So those are the last three spiritual habits. Now, the other thing we've done each week is to talk about habit building. How do you build new habits into your life? And I've given practical tips on how to do that. Some of those are just general tips you can apply to any area of life. But I hope in the course of this study you focus it on how do I build new spiritual habits in my life. That's our hope. How am I growing spiritually through the little things I do? So let me give you just a few more tips for developing new habits.Here's the first one:
Focus. Focus on just one to begin with. If you want to develop a new habit, focus on just one. Do not try to even do two at the same time. You've heard the saying If you try to chase two rabbits, you catch neither. And it's so true of goals or habits. So true. How do I develop just one new one? Focus on just one new one. If you want to have a chance, just pick one. I know we all want to do ten new things at once, and none of those get done or not as well as they could have. So focus. Number two, take some time to track what you're trying to grow in, track the habit, measurably track it somehow. That's why we have the Bible reading plan with little check boxes on it. I love the feeling of checking off a box. If something is done, I want to track it. I want to know where am I? Am I progressing or not? There is a story Jerry Seinfeld told a new-- He was well known comedian for many years, actor, and he told the story of a young comedian that came to him and said, How do I get better? I want to be like you. I want to be on the TV shows. I want to be the famous comedian. How do I get better? And he says to him, Here's what you do. You get one of those big wall calendars that you put up on the wall monthly calendar. You see all the days. They're huge. Takes a big part of your wall. You get the fattest Sharpie marker you can get. And each day you write just one joke, write one new joke a day. That's it. Make sure you write that one joke. Write it as well as you can every day. And when you finished writing that joke, take Sharpie and put a big X on that day and then do it again the next day and do it again the next day. And he said, and this is the phrase that has stuck with me, don't break that chain, just keep doing it. Now, part of you goes just one joke, really. You're going to be some world changing comedian through that. Well, at the end of the year, you have 365 jokes. That's a full set. And they’re quality, you've developed them. Don't break the chain. Track it. There's a new habit you want to build. Track it. Am I actually doing it or do I think I'm doing it? We've all been there. You know what I'm talking about. All right. Number three, this aligns with that. Assess your time in the midst of tracking the habits. Assess your time. Who are my Dave Ramsey fans in the room? Many of you heard Dave Ramsey, Financial Peace University. You read his stuff or listen to his radio show. Yeah, I see a bunch of hands out here. One of the quotes I love by him is he says, It's easy to be irresponsible when you don't know where you stand. How true is that? You're going to spend freely when you don't know if I should or not, or maybe eat freely when I don't know quite where I stand. That applies to a lot of areas of life. And how many times have we said, I just don't have time for that? But if you actually take the time to assess your time, you'll find you have probably a lot more than you thought. One writer-- throw that book cover on the screen-- this is a great book. If you're struggling with Sabbath in particular, this book, it might be hard to read. No you can read it. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry It's a great book. So many tips in there written by a pastor. It's heavily focused on spiritual life. How do I ruthlessly eliminate hurry from my life? But he talks about this in terms of measuring time. Now, bear with me at first, this is going to seem a little overwhelming. Bear with me, you'll see the point. The average American reads 200 to 400 words per minute. Those are kind of the average reading times at that speed, we could all read 200 books a year, nearly twice what he normally reads a year, and just 417 hours, which is just over an hour a day. Now, again, that feels overwhelming. Read an hour a day. You got to be kidding me. Are you kidding me? I don't read a minute a day. How am I going to find an hour a day to read? Hang on. Can you guess how much time the average American spends on social media each year? The number is 705 hours. That's got to be way low an hour a day, a little over hour and a half hour. You do the math. What about TV? 2,737.5 hours a year on average. You see the point? I don't need to give you a guilt trip on how you spend TV, social media. You see the point. Most of us allow, myself included, allow our time to be overtaken by other things. How do we measure it accurately? How do we put things in place to help us regain that time, not be led along by others? Okay, that's number three. Number four, I love this one. A friend of mine, I saw him use this, point and state. My friend Joey in the South Pacific, trying to lose weight. He was on a good journey. Trying to lose 100 lbs. He had lost about 50. Still heading in the right direction. And we were at this banquet and they loved to have these big banquets in Fiji. And he walks in and he sees this platter of all kinds of things he shouldn't be eating. And he walks right up to him and he goes, I see that cream bun, I see it. They're tempting me, but I'm not going to eat that cream bun. I'm going to look at it, enjoy looking at it, and I'm going to walk out of the room. That's what he did. Point and state. How many times do you just need to say it out loud? I know this is and you can do it the opposite. This is a thing I'm going to do. I know I need to do it. Everybody listen. I'm doing it. Point and state. Lastly, and it's here at the bottom of the page number 19 tips for developing new habits. Do what you can and rest in that. Any time the temptation, the challenge of talking about habits as a church is that you can end up feeling like if I don't change my whole life, I'm worthless. No, look, do what you can and rest in that. I had a person share with me this week. Okay, I have been wanting to get back into working out, so I downloaded this workout app and I did the first workout. It was 13 minutes. Now I can't walk.(Ha Ha.) 13 minutes. I thought that wouldn't be any big deal. It's like, Hey, you did something. Do what you can, do what you can and rest in that The enemy wants to overwhelm me with guilt for not doing enough. That's a great strategy of his. Do what you can. Rest in that, when you fail, move forward. Now, here's what I want to do as a church. I want to do something we haven't really done before. Since I've been here. I want to do just a little bit of open sharing and that's why I put this in your hands, because again, we don't remember everything we've covered. But what I want to hear from you is if over the course of this study you feel like God has put on your heart a spiritual discipline, you want to develop-- I’d like to stay focused on spiritual disciplines, if we can. A spiritual discipline you want to develop one of these on this list or could be another that I didn't cover. And then if there's also a method or a means that you want to share toward that end. But here's the catch. We've already heard one sermon, right? And I've got people coming around with microphones and just basically read out your answer to these two questions at the bottom what is one spiritual habit I want to build in 2024? I'm going to give you just a minute or two to answer these questions on your own. What's one spiritual habit I want to build? What is one thing I can do this week? Something you can do this week to begin building that spiritual habit? All right. Take a minute and jot some down and then we're going to share. I want to hear from some of you what God has put on your heart. Okay. Who's got one to share? We got guys with mikes roaming around. They're going to hang onto the mikes. They're not going to give it over to you. Okay Keeping control, control freak coming out who's got one to share? Come on, somebody. I know you talkers. Here we go. Now I see some hands are shooting up. Who can get up here? Here comes Jim. Thank you. To save the day, we had another one back there. If another mike wants to be headed over that direction. Oh, sorry. Also, there's probably five people raising their hands up there. We got a mike upstairs. Read the Bible more and worship more. Read the Bible more and worship more. Who else put that down out there? I'm not going make you talk just who else relates to that? Yeah, there's a few more. Okay. Who who was next? There was someone over this way. We got Christy over here. If you see a hand raised in the balcony, Nick, just move toward him. Okay? Go ahead, Kathy. Invite a Christ into every situation that I face. And I started doing that about a month ago. Say that again? I didn't hear it up here. I'm sorry. Invite Christ into every situation. And I started doing that about a month ago. Awesome. Invite Christ in every situation. That's good. Okay, go ahead, Christy. I want to be listening more to God. And I'm just going to spend time sitting in his presence. Good. Presence. Yeah. That's an important one. I've been focused on this year, just sitting in his presence. Go ahead, Nick. I wish to serve more. Serve. Finding places to serve more in the coming year. Good. And I'm not. You don't have to. But if you can say one specific action towards that you plan to take this week, that'd be great. Josh, are you over here with anyone back there? Okay. we got one here. Go ahead, Michelle. I want to start reading my Bible more. Good. And talking with God. All right, Josh who do we have back here? I want to spend more time in prayer with my kids. And we have been doing some Bible studies at home. And I think we'll continue that. That’s good. More time in prayer with my kids. Who else would say that? Yeah, that's what I need that in our home, too. Yeah. Let's just take a few more. Anybody else upstairs? Here we go. Go ahead. I want more time in prayer. And I have just been did a few moments are like 5 to 10 minutes in quiet time before God. Okay, more time in prayer and 10 minutes in quiet time before God. That's good. Okay, who do we have down here? I started prayer journaling, and I'm not really a good writer, but I started writing about things that I didn't even know I needed to pray about. That's good, Prayer journaling. That's so powerful. Who else here likes to journal to write down your prayers and thoughts? Yeah, man, I find that so helpful. It just slows you down, gets you focused on the Lord. That's good. All right, well, listen, not. Excuse me. I got one more. No, no, no. We're done Ray. Not. I'm kidding. Go ahead. I've got the face for radio and a gift for gab. I'm sorry. I'm being more open as a Christian. When you meet people, you know, I find even in my job, I can talk with someone and I can tell by their actions that they're a Christian. And walking with them in conversation and not being afraid to ask and sometimes just saying and opening that door leads to so many conversations. I mean, you can stand right there and pray with somebody. You can hear their hurts, you can hear their pain, and I hear so many Christian people say that I'm so afraid of opening that conversation. And I know in today's society that's wrong. God wants you to express him and show people that the world is not the place to be. It's to be in Jesus Christ, your Lord and savior. Yeah. Thank you Ray. That's good. All right, well, listen, it's been a good service. Let's wrap up in prayer. I have a