Our faith often boils down to the habits we have, and how we use our time. I have spent a lot of -years thinking about time, how to use it well, how to avoid burnout, and how to live life to the fullest. I have also made a TON of mistakes along the way! I wanted to use the next few weeks to write about “Agenda – learning the pace of the Prince of Peace.”
At church we have just started a sermon series called “Margin”. Margin is the space before your limits; it is leaving room in your life for the unexpected. Most of us know we need more margin – especially with our time. I had someone come up to me and tell me that they had been hospitalized recently because they were running on overload – and had been overloading on caffeine to make up for a lack of sleep! This person got a wake up call from Jesus – and has already been making changes in life to have more margin. How we use our time is important!
In Matthew 4:18-22, Jesus calls the first disciples. Peter, Andrew, James, and John all decide to stop being fishermen and follow Jesus. They would quickly find out that the daily routine of fishermen is much different than the daily routine of following Jesus! I am not a professional fishermen, but I assume it would be waking up early, fishing, selling fish, and eating. Repeat day after day. These are their habits.
Followers of Jesus are in for much more of an adventure. In Matthew 4:23-25, the verses right after the calling of the 4 disciples, they are with Jesus – traveling all around and watching Him teach, heal diseases, cast out demons, and grow a following. Each day they have to hope someone would feed them. They have to go where Jesus leads them and they are learning a new way to live and lead. They have some new habits!
Being a follower of Jesus means, first and foremost, that we love and obey Jesus. Followers follow. We give up our plans to the pursuit of the King.
Being a disciple of Jesus also means that we have some key habits. Here are 3 key habits I have found to be crucial in the life of a disciple:
- Devotional time. We need time every day with Jesus, to be in His Word, to pray, and to be closer to Him. This can be while we brush our teeth, eat, run, or whatever – as long as we can focus on the One who is more important than anything.
- Time with other believers. Connecting with others who love Jesus helps us. This allows us to listen and love, and to be loved by others. Christians who neglect this almost always drift away from God.
- Serving others and sharing God’s hope. Serving others is a habit – really! And it is life changing because we are made to make a difference. We also need to share God’s hope – praying for others, inviting them to church, and telling them about Christ.
Habits force us to rearrange our time. At some point in our lives we learned to add in the habits of brushing our teeth, eating meals, putting on pajamas, and combing our hair. The habits of faith are more important than all of these – but too often we neglect them. Add in some habits, and follow Jesus with your agenda.