Faithlife Sermons

Habits! For spiritual growth

Spiritual growth and the disciple  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:11:36
0 ratings

Spiritual growth

Spiritual growth is a choice, a decision, a direction and has a destination. We have previously spoken on that. This is the foundation of our study on spiritual growth and the disciple series.
Spiritual growth - a choice
You choose, you decide, you have direction, determination and a destination (the fullness of Christ, the maturity of Christ in you)
Spiritual growth - the disciple and self-esteem
Having the right view of God and self and how to have a healthy view of God and self to help you grow spiritually
Spiritual growth - Setting a path for it
Setting goals for spiritual growth
Behaviorally - seek to become more like Jesus, emulating his character
Functionally - being determined to develop your God given gifts and abilities for the glory of God and to be applied for the common good of the body.
and Congregational - It starts personally so can be applied collectively as a congregation to grow spiritually.
Tonight - Healthy habits for spiritual growth
(Insert Habits picture here)
To grow spiritually in our goals we discussed before requires knowing, developing, deploying some good habits. Good habits are a building block to help us to grow spiritually and obtain our goals as disciples of Jesus Christ.
Habits do not happen instantly, they have to be developed over time by application. Good habits applied help to replace bad habits or prevent them from being developed.
(Insert Ive got a question slide here)
What are some good habits that will help us meet our spiritual goals?
For the “us” it has to start with the “me” looking at some habits “I” need to develop and deploy personally so then “we” can grow collectively.
So now tonight I want us to look at three things:
Behavioral habits and the disciple
Functional habits and the disciple
Congregational habits

Behavioral habits

Our thoughts impact our behavior and our behavior impacts our habits. We are going to look at some good tools, some good reminders on some good behavior habits to have and deploy in the life of a disciple to ensure spiritual growth.
Committing, deploying to bible reading
It is crucial and of great value (1Pt2:2; Ps19:7-11)
The Word of God is what saves you (ref: 1Pt1:23) because that is where faith comes from (ref: Rom10:17)
Peter says that we need it to grow in respect to our salvation
Now in looking at the Psalmist regarding the word, and not coming from PS119, check this out.
Psalm 19:7–8 NASB95
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Psalm 19:9–10 NASB95
9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether. 10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
Psalm 19:11 NASB95
11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward.
Question: you can think about these verses, what do you see, learn from these verses?
(Insert qualities from the word - Ps19:7-11 here)
It is a blessing to those who deploy it (Ps1:1-3)
That was David in PS19, and in PS1:1-3 you can see the illustrated blessedness and fortitude of the one who dwells (meditates) on God’s Word.
Psalm 1:1–2 NASB95
1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.
Psalm 1:3 NASB95
3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.
Question: What does the blessed man do according to (vv.1-2) and then what are the results (v.3)?
He delights in the law (word) of the Lord. He meditates on it. and the results is He prospers
A disciple who wants to grow spiritually should develop and deploy the habit of bible reading.
Have you developed and deployed the habit of daily bible reading? If not, pray and deploy starting tomorrow.
Committing, deploying the practice of prayer
Prayer is commanded (1The5:17)
We are to pray without ceasing
Prayer has benefits (Heb4:16; Php4:6-7)
Through prayer we can find mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Through prayer we can find peace to guard our hearts and minds
Prayer takes commitment to be steadfast (Rom12:12)
(Below not on screen; just read it)
Romans 12:12 NKJV
12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;
Prayer is exampled (Ps55:17; Dan6:10; Mt6:9-13)
Psalm 55:17 NKJV
17 Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice.
And then there is Daniel
Daniel 6:10 NASB95
10 Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.
Then you know the exampled prayer Jesus gives on the Sermon on the Mount (Mt6:9-13) you can look that one up yourself.
Mark Copeland said
“Just as we must listen to God daily through His Word, so we must talk to Him daily if we are to grow.”
Are you committed to prayer on a regular basis, is it a habit?
Committed, deploying the habit of singing.
Singing, praising should be habit forming like David (Ps104:33)
Psalm 104:33 NKJV
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
Singing is also a teaching method to ourselves and others (Col3:16)
Do it with thankfulness in your hearts from your hearts with the instrument of your heart through your lips
Sing when you are happy (Jm5:13) sing int times of trial (Act16:25)
James said if happy to sing, given as a command, so if you are happy today sing out!
Paul and Silas let it rip in prison and it was earth shaking and life changing.
(Transition): So with the developing and deploying the good habit of prayer and of singing praises and we will be aided in spiritual growth. So, let’s add more to it now, for personal and collective growth, assembling together.
(Insert Come Together In The Assembly Picture Here)
Committed, deploying the habit of assembling together.
Question: Why do you think it is important for us to meet in the assembly?
There is the Hebrew encouragement with purpose (instruction) why to assemble (Heb10:23-25)
Hebrews 10:23–25 NASB95
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Question: What are we to do, and why are we to do it when looking at these verses?
You can see together in the assembly (Eph5:19-20)
Ephesians 5:19–20 NASB95
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
Don’t be a drunkard, being filled with false spirits, but with the Holy Spirit (v.18 paraphrase) Do you notice it says “one another” so this is talking about the assembly, when we come together.
You can see many times in scripture the “coming together”
When we come together in the assembly to sing, to build up, to encourage, to edify one another. We also study the apostles doctrine, celebrate the Lord’s supper and pray together, all can lead to love and good deeds as mentioned in the Hebrews passage.
We should make a habit of attending the assembly, be it Sunday morning, or every time we assemble, Sunday nights, Wednesday nights, the more often we meet, the more opportunities we have to spiritually grow.
(Transition) - so in developing and deploying such behavioral habits builds on the foundation needed for spiritual growth personally and collectively. So develop and deploy these things we have discussed thus far and now look at some functional habits too.

Functional Habits

Functional, applicable, right? The definition is (adj): of or having a special activity, purpose, or task; relating to the way in which something works or operates. designed to be practical and useful, rather than attractive. So, functional habits are practical, useful habits in our discipleship to help us to grow spiritually.
Only a couple of things I want to touch on in this functional section, good application that you will need to prayerfully consider.
Functional habit - assembling together with the church
Going beyond what we looked at previously from Hebrews and Ephesians, if we want to grow collectively to reach our functional goals it comes from working within the church (the assembly of all the parts).
Through the assembly we come to see, know the needs and then meet the needs of one another.
Remember the early church had all things in common and met the needs of one another so no one was in need.
Through the assembly we learn to develop and deploy the spiritual gifts given for the common good (Rom12:3-8)
Functional for us as the “he” who has develops and deploys. Look at the passage together
Romans 12:3–4 ESV
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,
Romans 12:5–6 ESV
5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;
Romans 12:7–8 ESV
7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
God did not save us just to save us, He saved us to worship Him, to bring glory to Him, to be transformed by Him and to serve Him. Without the functional (practical habit) of assembling how can we be of effective use to the body? Hence not able to fulfill God’s purpose of saving us in the first place. It is much more than to get us to heaven, it is to bring heaven to earth by our worship, our bringing Him glory, our transformation, our service to Him.
Functional habit - participating in the work of the church.
Question: When you think about participating in the work of the church, what do you think of?
There is developing, deploying the habit of participation in the assembly
Teaching a class, preaching, Scripture reading, Leading/directing Supper talk, Song leading
Greeter, usher, serving on the table, announcements, leading a prayer.
There is developing, deploying the habit of participation outside of the assembly too.
Question: How can you participate outside of the assembly, what do you think?
(Transition) I think I want to further develop this for potential deployment when I speak on the next topic congregational habits

Congregational Habits

We have looked at individually and some collectively, but now may we focus on the collective (the congregation). This comes with defining, it comes with looking and deploying when opportunities arise. it also comes with encouraging participation in the assembly, and outside of the assembly.
Defining roles that are available (Rom12:6-8; 1Pt4:10-11)
We read (rom12) a little bit ago, but we saw in there some of the roles listed there as Serving, Teaching, Exhorting, Giving, Mercy
You can also find in other places in the scripture, leadership, hospitality, evangelism, administration too.
1 Peter 4:11 NKJV
11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
In (1Pt4) you see speaking, speaking God’s Word, you see ministering (which means serving) but look doing it under the ability God supplies!
But wait, there is more to the Peter passage
1 Peter 4:10–11 NKJV
10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
You have been gifted, made a steward of the gift, the gift to be used for the common good!
Developing, deploying in providing opportunities to learn and to serve
Classes with aim to train in the aspects of the assembly
Discipleship classes to learn what a disciple is and what a disciple is to do (i.e. our series on Sunday nights).
It is a roster that is shared on who is assigned a task to deploy for the assembly.
It is also asking, seeking others who want to learn and get involved.
Opportunities to learn, to grow, to try, to experience and to develop
Deploying to meet the needs right here at Westside even!
As a congregation we should encourage one another to get involved, in fact our theme this years is
(insert 2021 Together we grow PowerPoint here)
We have opportunities right here to serve in many areas, on our together we can board there are things such as:
Flowers (covered at this time)
Funeral meals (covered at this time)
Decorations (covered at this time)
Convalescent calls/Visits (current opportunity)
Building/grounds maintenance (current opportunity to help)
Cards ministry (covered at this time)
Encouragement visits, calls (opportunity at this time)
Food pantry (covered at this time)
Nursery during service (opportunity at this time)
Greeter (opportunity at this time)
substitute teacher (opportunity at this time)
This is just to name the ones we had thought off,, most happen outside of the assembly and even outside the building for the most part. There could be other ways to serve together if you are willing to develop and deploy.
You want to grow spiritually, grow some spiritual habits that will help you and us to grow.
(invitation) (Song) (Exit)
Related Media
Related Sermons