The Seven Habits of a Godly Life

I would like to share this wonderful message from Dr. Charles Stanley of InTouch Ministries. Watch the video here:

The Seven Habits of a Godly Life

1. A life of prayer. We see this modeled by Jesus. Although the disciples and the crowds did not understand why He withdrew when there was so much good He could do, Jesus knew that prayer was an important priority of His life.

  • Mark 1:35 “In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.”
  • Luke 4:42 “When day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them.”

Prayer that promotes godliness is not merely occasional petitions offered in times of trouble or need but a daily conversation with the Father that springs from love for Him and gratitude for who He is and what He does. It’s not a duty but a delight.

Jesus’ disciples observed that His prayers were very different from the ritualistic prayers that were so common in that day. Seeing how He spoke so personally with His heavenly Father prompted them to ask Him to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1).

Since we live in a world filled with temptations, trials, heartaches, burdens, and sin, an intimate prayer life should be a priority because it keeps us connected to almighty God and sensitive to His will. Whatever we do will be accomplished on our knees as we submit to the Lord, give Him our time, and listen for His instruction.

2. Faith. Psalm 103:19 says, “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all.” God controls everything—not only what happens but why and how it happens as well. His sovereignty is our firm foundation for believing and trusting Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 offers this advice: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

The only other option to faith is fretting. A godly life is one that steps beyond worry and into trust. Each time a situation causes us to fret, we should stop and remember who’s in charge. If God’s sovereignty rules over all, we have no reason to worry. The evidence of our faith is the absence of worry. Trust in the Lord also builds intimacy with Him. As we talk and listen to Him and respond in obedience, He guides us, and we develop closeness with Him both in our heart and in our thinking.

3. Meditation on the Word of God. The psalmist said, “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches” (Ps. 63:6). Meditation includes reading Scripture, thinking about it, seeking to apply what God says, asking Him questions, and surrendering any issues He brings to mind. It’s like looking in the mirror of God’s Word to see what He says, but then looking beyond the mirror to see Him.

As we focus on the Lord, worries and concerns drift away, and our minds are freed from the contamination of the things that do us no good. Psalm 119:133 should be our prayer: “Establish my footsteps in Your word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.”

Meditation keeps us alert and sensitive to whatever God wants to do in our lives. That’s why it’s so important to set aside a time to be alone with Him in His Word. As we read and think about what the Lord says, He speaks to our hearts.

If we want God to fill our minds with His Word, we must guard against letting the world dominate our thoughts. It’s easy to be occupied from morning until evening with the things of this world without giving much thought to God. However, taking time to be alone with the Lord to meditate on His Word is essential if we want to live a godly life. Each day we must choose whether to carry the Lord or the world with us.

4. Obedience. Moses told the nation of Israel, “If you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth” (Deut. 28:1). In a similar way, we walk on a higher level than the world when we live in obedience to God. It’s not a matter of looking down on others but choosing to live by God’s standards rather than following the world’s lifestyle.

5. Dependence upon the Holy Spirit. Every believer in Jesus is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but the apostle Paul also tells us to “be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). The Greek verb signifies that this is a continuous action of filling. It means to live in obedience to Him, relying on Him to equip, empower, strengthen, teach, and guide us each day. Only as we depend on the Spirit will we be and do what God desires.

6. Giving to God and others. We have a promise in Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” We can never outgive God. But by not giving, we are claiming that we really don’t need Him but can manage on our own. Only God can predict and provide for our future needs.

7. Forgiving other people. Forgiveness may not be easy, but it’s what the Lord commands (Eph. 4:32). Even if someone betrays us, we must forgive them and trust God to take care of the situation.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Love in Action

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:9-21 (NIV)

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

9 What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.

15 Whatever is has already been,
and what will be has been before;
and God will call the past to account.

16 And I saw something else under the sun:
In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
in the place of justice—wickedness was there.

17 I thought in my heart,
“God will bring to judgment
both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
a time for every deed.”

18 I also thought, “As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. 19 Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”

22 So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?

Ecclesiastes 3 (NIV)

When Words Won’t Come

I would like to share this daily devotion from Tecarta Bible ( Excerpt from Praying through the Bible.

When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, O Lord, how I have always tried to be faithful to you and do what is pleasing in your sight.” Then he broke down and wept bitterly. But before Isaiah had left the middle courtyard, this message came to him from the Lord: “Go back to Hezekiah, the leader of my people. Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you, and three days from now you will get out of bed and go to the Temple of the Lord.’ ” 2 Kings 20:2-5

Have you ever been so upset about something that you couldn’t even find the words to pray? Hezekiah was. News of his impending death was more than he could handle. When he tried to talk to God about it, his emotions got the best of him. He was too choked up for the words to flow, so his tears gushed out instead. But look what happened: God heard. God saw. God responded.

Isn’t it great to know prayers don’t have to be pretty or polished to get God’s attention? Oftentimes we feel we must be articulate for our prayers to be powerful. But prayer is not an English assignment, and God doesn’t grade us on our vocabulary and grammar. God hears us even when our words are inaudible. Why? Because he sees beyond our words and into our very hearts. He knows our pain before our first tears fall. And what’s even more incredible is that his love compels him to respond.

Find comfort today in knowing that even when your tears drown out your words, God still hears. God still sees. God still responds.

GOD, sometimes I just can’t get my words to say what my heart feels. Thank you for reminding me that you hear me even when I can’t speak. Thank you for seeing beyond my words and for understanding how I feel even better than I do. Most of all, God, thank you for caring enough to respond when you know I’m hurting.

Prayer is a condition of mind, an attitude of heart, which God recognizes as prayer whether it manifests itself in quiet thinking, in sighing or in audible words. Ole Hallesby (1879–1961)

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)

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