Habits are the thought and emotional patterns engraved on our minds. These internal habit patterns play just as forceful a role as external influences on our actions – in fact, perhaps more so. –Jerry Bridges
My words or theme for this upcoming year are discipline and growth. These two things go hand in hand, for if I do not exercise discipline I know I will not see growth. For most of my life, before becoming a Christian and even at the very beginning of my life with Christ, I thought Christians grew in grace and piety by the work of the Holy Spirit. Meaning, I thought the Holy Spirit just transformed us with no work on our part. Obviously I was wrong. The Apostle Paul tells us we are to be constantly fighting against sin and putting it to death. Sounds like I have to get involved after all.
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5
I want to, in 2012, work with even more fervency, with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, to mortify the sins in my life. I know areas that are lacking, areas where the enemy knows I am weak. These are areas I need more discipline … Bible reading and prayer. The two cornerstones of Christian living!
Satan’s number-one objective is to destroy our joy of faith. We have one offensive weapon: the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (Eph. 6:17). But what many Christians fail to realize is that we can’t draw the sword from someone else’s scabbard. If we don’t wear it, we can’t wield it. If the Word of God does not abide in us (Jn. 15:7), we will reach for it in vain when the enemy strikes. But if we do wear it, if it lives within us, what mighty warriors we can be! –John Piper
It’s so easy to slip into a complacent view of sin. I have noticed during times I neglect prayer and Bible reading my view of sin softens. I weep over sin less and less when I abstain from the prayer closet and God’s Word. And what a shameful thing. I want to hate sin like my Father in heaven does. I pray that I will not grow comfortable in this area but learn to see it more and more for what it is.
If Christ has died for me–ungodly as I am, without strength as I am–then I can no longer live in sin, but must arouse myself to love and serve Him who has redeemed me. I cannot trifle with the evil that killed my best Friend. I must be holy for his sake. How can I live in sin when He has died to save me from it? –C.H. Spurgeon
My prayer is God will grant me strength to be more disciplined this year that I might grow closer to Him and become, even very slightly, more like Christ.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. -Romans 12:2