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PERSISTENT PERSEVERANCE

HEALTHY HABITS  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Concluding Sermon in 2022 series on helath habits/spiritual disciplines

Notes
Transcript
1 Timothy 4:7 CSB
But have nothing to do with pointless and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness.

INTRO—

[[WUV: “Happy Dance” MercyMe]]
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life Chapter Thirteen: Perseverance in the Disciplines … for the Purpose of Godliness (Martyn Lloyd-Jones)

As usual, the work week begins about dawn Monday. Very little flex time is built into the schedule of showering, dressing, eating, getting the kids ready, and heading out the door. From then on, most of the day is spent on the run. The kids are taken to school and errands are run and work is done around the house or the yard until the very minute you have to get the kids from school. Or else you battle the traffic to work where you make it just at starting time and plug away relentlessly until the hour when you join the quitting queue on the road again.

Once home, often after a hasty, but necessary stop or two on the way, you find it’s more and more common to shove a meal in the microwave while you hurriedly change clothes for your evening responsibilities. One or two nights a week it’s a school-related function with the kids. Another night might find the entire family at a midweek service at church. Still another night holds a committee responsibility for someone. Next, throw in an occasional night of working late or doing work at home, work-related travel, or work around the house. Don’t forget the nights of bill paying, checkbook balancing, homework helping, community involvement, classes, hobbies, and socializing.

Complicating all this may come the pressures of single parenting, family conflict, illness, job stress, a second job, financial tension, and so on.

Sound familiar? Is your life a testimony to the surveys that tell us—despite all our labor-saving devices and technological advancements—leisure time has decreased dramatically in the last generation?

Hebrews 12.14 “Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness—without it no one will see the Lord.” [positional righteousness]
1 Timothy 4.7 “But have nothing to do with pointless and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness.” [practicing righteousness]
How in the world can I (will I be able to) add and keep up all these spiritual habits (disciplines) we’ve studied? [I am taking these pretty directly from Donald Whitney’s book: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1991.]
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life Chapter Thirteen: Perseverance in the Disciplines … for the Purpose of Godliness (Martyn Lloyd-Jones)

How can we be more persevering in the Disciplines of Godliness? When the emotions that usually accompany the beginning of a Spiritual Discipline have ebbed, how can we stay faithful? There are three things that have been seldom mentioned so far which, when better understood, will help you persevere in the practice of the Spiritual Disciplines. They are the role of the Holy Spirit, the role of fellowship, and the role of struggle in Christian living.

The Holy Spirit

Philippians 1.6 “I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
How? — The presence of the Paraclete in our life.
Galatians 5.22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.”
Whether or not we are ‘naturally’ disciplined in our lives…we are promised that we are ‘spiritually’ enabled to be disciplined in our lives for growth, strengthening, in godliness.
[[Romans 8.26In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings.”]]
Bottom Line: We must trust that the Holy Spirit is and will work in our lives…on our lives.

Fellowship (The Fellowship)

1 John 1.3 “what we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may also have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.”
[OH this verse is sooooo key!!!]
I will venture this statement: Our desire for fellowship with other believers correlates to our desire for fellowship with God. (On his terms, not ours.)
The “Duh” Moments…
Public worship, united prayer, serving others.
…& the “Don’t Forget” Moments…
Studying God’s word together, stewardship of life (…life together; accountability!!!)
Ephesians 4.16 “From him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building itself up in love by the proper working of each individual part.”
[[Hebrews 3.13 “But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception.”]]
In our culture we are way too enamored with independence and autonomy. Biblically we have been called to and designed for interdependence.
Bottom Line: The Fellowship is essential to maintaining faithfulness in our spiritual habits.

Struggle (Effort)

1 Timothy 4.10 “For this reason we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.”
[[1 Timothy 4.7 “But have nothing to do with pointless and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness.”]]
AVOID those who teach that a Christ follower can come to the point of being beyond the struggle for holiness (some call this sinlessness, perfectionism, etc.). It is unbiblical and quite defeating.
2 Peter 1.5-8 “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
[[2 Peter 1.3-4 “His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. By these he has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.”]]
Bottom Line: While ‘the struggle is real,’ the struggle is also beneficial. AND…when paired with the other two influences (influencers), we know that we do not struggle alone!

CONCL—

[[Galatians 3.3 “Are you so foolish? After beginning by the Spirit, are you now finishing by the flesh?” ]]
“Pursue” — MUST (imperative; we have no choice in this); strive; effort; chase
“Train” — MUST (imperative); practice; harass; vex
2 Peter 3.18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.”
2 Peter 3:18 CSB
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.
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