Sunday, August 14, 2011

6 Habits That Produce a Great Life

H.A.B.I.T.S.  -  by Pastor Allen Foxworth, Deltona Lakes Baptist Church

Sometime back Stephen R. Covey wrote a book titled, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The book identifies 7 habits that will make the reader more effective in his personal and public life. Additionally, it claims that "this is powerful advice that will help you live a happier and more fulfilled life." (Available on cd for $49.95) How about a better deal than that?

The following is 6 HABITS that will produce perseverance, joy and fulfillment in life no matter how good or bad things get! The only cost is the time to read this article and the effort to implement the habits. WHAT A GREAT DEAL!

H. Hang Time with God

The most important habit we can develop is to spend time with God daily. The more the better, but remember God values quality above quantity. Choose a place and a time where there is the least chance of being interrupted. I have a place on my porch that I use. Praying or singing is allowed, but also listening. It may feel awkward at first but stay with it? It takes a little time to learn to  "Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 49:10)

A. Accountability

Last year we emphasized every attendee being a part of an accountability group. Here is the problem; many people have stopped their accountability groups. Just because the banner is down, doesn't mean the practice of accountability should end. Strong Christians have trustworthy accountability partners (note more than one). Begin today to gather a group of 3 - 5 devoted believers as accountability partners. "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV)

B. Bible Study

To love God, we must first know God. We get to know God through reading the Bible. There are two ways we need to study the Bible. Alone (during our "hang time") and together in a small group (accountability thing). The Bible describes God's personality, it helps us to experience Him, it describes His attributes, and most importantly it repeatedly affirms His love for us. There are more than 7,000 promises God makes to us in the Bible. How many of them can you name? "But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation." (Psalm 13:5 NIV)

I. Involved in Church Ministry

We serve God by serving His children. Not only those who are physically children, but all believers. We are all God's children. There are a multitude of ways to be involved in the church. Things like being a hall monitor for Kidz Force or watching the parking lot on Wednesdays. Spending one Sunday a month as a greeter or at the welcome center. Volunteering to help put up decorations for a church member or at the church once a year. Showing up for one or more of the quarterly work days we have at the church. These are only a few of the ways to be involved. There are way too many to name them all here.

T. Tithing

Why is money the second biggest reason people give for not attending a worship service (the biggest reason is hypocrites in the church)? It takes about $10K a week to pay the electric, water, montage, insurance, repairs, paper, Bible study materials, copy machines, office supplies, cleaning supplies, building maintenance supplies, alarm system, various licenses for audio and video, wages for nursery workers, maintenance and custodial staff, office staff, and pastors. In addition to that a % of each offering goes to support over 10,000 missionaries (in and out of the U.S.) through the Cooperative Program and Florida Baptist Convention. The main reason to tithe is BECAUSE GOD COMMANDS IT! "A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD." (Leviticus 27:30 NIV) P.S. Before someone says, "That's an Old Testament idea," check this out... "Well then," he (Jesus) said, "give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God." (Luke 20:25 NLT)

S. Sharing God's Love

Deltona Lakes Baptist Church (the people, not the building) is organized around two key quotes from Jesus. The first is known as the Great Commandments. The second as the Great Commission. The Great Commandments tell us to "Love God and Love People." (Matthew 22:37-38 paraphrased) The Great Commission tells us, "As you are going through life, make disciples of those you meet, baptize them, and teach them to obey God's commands." (Matthew 28:19 paraphrased) When we start developing the H.A.B.I.T. part of HABITS, the S. naturally begins to happen. After all, God wants EVERYONE to know HIM and love HIM.

What HABITS do you have? Class 201 is all about developing and maintaining these HABITS.