Thursday, October 31, 2013

A 1% Habit

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.  Acts 17:11

Monday morning I was querying God with a shepherd’s heart on behalf of PCC.  If you recall, the day before I had shared (that by a long shot) the most significant habit in my life, encouraged by a mentor when I was only one-week old in my journey of following Jesus, was to spend the start of my day with God.

Knowing that sounded ominous, Earl quickly inserted “Gary, start with 1% of your day – about 15 minutes.”  Now that was doable for me! 

I had no idea at the time how much that 1% habit would influence my character, my convictions, my perspective, my marriage, and my family. It is easily the one irreducible minimum beneficial habit of my life.

So on Sunday I shared that while this habit has morphed, developed and grown, it is starting my day with God, interacting with the Trinity, it has helped me more than any other habit.  In Acts 17:11, we see a group of people called Bereans who practiced this habit in their lives. It may not have been first thing in the morning, but the Bereans examined the Scriptures daily. They came to the Bible and kept coming back.

And why did the Bereans go every day? The Bereans went to the Scriptures daily because they were eager to listen to God and they believed the Bible was the place to go to hear His voice.

Can I ask a probing question? Is there a frequency and consistency to your spiritual consumption? The following spiritual axiom is foundational for us: We will not make progress in Christlikeness without persistence in God’s word.

If we are going be in the word of God with consistency, we have to focus not just on discipline but on faith. Do you struggle to make the Bible a regular part of your routine? If so, consider what you do not believe about God’s word. Do we believe there are answers to life’s hardest questions in the Bible? Do we think we will find the comfort and presence of Christ in this book?

Why do we check email compulsively? Or Facebook? Or Twitter? Or the old-fashioned mailbox? Because we believe there is news for us—there’s something there. Someone may have just put up a sweet video of his or her child or a picture of his or her evening meal they just cooked, or a status update about how far they ran that day. Really important stuff like that. We check because we believe we may hear something relevant and necessary. And yet, what could be more relevant or necessary than God’s word?

Let this Gmail be a diagnostic tool you and for me: Our behavior with the Scriptures is an indication of our belief about the Scriptures. The Bereans looked into the Bible every day because they expected to find something there. Do we?

This week we continue in our ID series looking at who we really are.  The topic this week is that we are deeply loved!  Tony Gapastione is serving it up this week and it’s going to be tremendous. 

I love being your pastor!