15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did.
I Peter 2:21
21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.
Wingmen, over the next three weeks I am going to be sharing with you, The Jesus Habits, discernable patterns in the life of our Savior that He continually demonstrated for us. He left us a clear example to follow. You can make these Jesus Habits, your habits.
All the world is fascinated with Jesus. His birth divided time. His teachings have influenced every generation. In this study we will not have as our primary focus what Jesus said, but what Jesus actually did. There are discernable patterns, habits in the life of Jesus that we as believers need to emulate. From the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) you see these practices in the life of Jesus that He did repeatedly and consistently.
A Princeton University study claims if you do the same thing every day for 28 consecutive days, it will become a habit. There are 31 of these habits—one for each day of the month. I call these the Jesus Habits. As you, in the power of the Holy Spirit, begin to make these practices your own, you will experience a greater influence and better relationships. Making the Jesus Habits your own brings you a greater sense of purpose.
In John 13:15 Jesus said, “For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.”
In I John 2:6 we are told, “Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Christ did.” (NLT)
In this Devotional the 31 Jesus Habits are in three parts. This week in Part I, we will cover the first 10. So, what are the Jesus Habits?...
I. The Habit of Seclusion
12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling
in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those
who were selling doves.
On the day following the busiest documented day of His life, Jesus began the day in seclusion before God. He needed to be recharged spiritually, physically, and emotionally. If Jesus needed to do that, how much more do you and I need it? Be silent. Get still. Get away from noise and distractions. No cell phone or computer. Just you and God—alone. Seclusion doesn’t mean you become a hermit; it means you intentionally take time out of each day and spend time with Jesus.
II. The Habit of Prayer
Jesus was the Master Pray-er. He continually communicated with God the Father. One day the disciples were eavesdropping on Jesus’ prayer. They did a connect-the-dot thing. They connected Jesus’ power back to His prayer life. That why they said, “Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1). Prayer is the most powerful force in the universe. Live in an atmosphere of prayer. Communicate with God consistently. Whatever you do, never stop communicating with God.
III. The Habit of Worship
Jesus worshipped God the Father. He never put anything ahead of God or instead of God. He had a passion for the House of God and consistently attended, in fact daily He was in the temple teaching (Matthew 26:55). He placed giving offerings as a vital part of worship. Jesus knew that people were hungry for a word from God and they should get it in their worship experience at God’s House. Also, Jesus loved for children to be in the Temple. Worship, both personal and corporate, should be the priority of every follower of Jesus.
IV. The Habit of Building Relationships
9 As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him.
10 Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples.
The Jesus habit of building a relationship is taking the initiative to get to know someone (whether Christian or non-Christian) beyond an acquaintance for the purpose of impact for Christ and for meeting one’s personal needs for relating with others. Jesus took the initiative to build relationships with people. In fact, the last thing Jesus did before He died on the cross was to build a relationship with someone—the thief beside Him (Luke 23:42-43). He taught that relationships are more important than structures and organizations.
V. The Habit of Touch
Jesus demonstrated the power of touch—physical touch (Matthew 8:15). His touch brought sight to the blind (Matthew 9:29) and hearing to the deaf (Mark 7:33). His touch brought a girl back to life (Matthew 10:23-25). His touch brought freedom from fear (Matthew 17:7). His touch of a young man’s coffin brought him back to life (Luke 7:14). Your touch can bring life and encouragement to someone. Christians are the hands of Jesus. Appropriate touch makes a difference.
VI. The Habit of Confrontation
The Jesus habit of confrontation is dealing with a person in whom there is an issue (usually negative) whether it is toward Himself or others, in a spirit of love and truth with the only motive being to help the person. Jesus was a confronter. He dealt with problems head-on. He didn’t run from uncomfortable situations. He knew that problems would not go away on their own. Jesus’ motive for confrontation was always love.
12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and
selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers
and the seats of those who were selling doves.
In love, with sensitivity, after prayer, in the spirit of Jesus, there may be some people you need to confront.
VII. The Habit of Challenging the Status Quo
The status quo is the way things are. The Jesus habit of challenging the status quo is choosing to challenge in a spirit of love that which continues on, is usually based on tradition, and has purpose.
8 Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.
Jesus challenged traditions that had no benefit or meaning. He challenged man—man’s traditions that were controlling the minds and hearts of people. He showed them there was an abundant, more-than-average life of purpose and significance. This begins by realizing that things and people can change.
VIII. The Habit of Listening
The Jesus habit of listening is focusing with your ears, mind, eyes, and body on what another person is saying, making that person feel valued by you. John 4:7-9 is a great example as Jesus listened intently to the woman at the well. People that spoke to Jesus had His full attention in that moment, something every believer needs to practice.
IX. The Habit of Love
The Jesus habit of love is choosing consistently to do something beneficial, kind, and encouraging for someone before considering your own needs and being willing to be inconvenienced and to sacrifice for the sake of others. Jesus loved people. You have to look no further than the cross. He loved all people all of the time. Jesus’ love was an unconditional, no matter what you have done, no matter where you have been, and no matter who you are. It was self-giving, self-sacrificing kind of love. Jesus wasn’t afraid to express His love to people. Jesus showed by example that love is a choice and something you do. The cross is God’s greatest demonstration of love.
X. The Habit of Thankfulness
The Jesus habit of thankfulness is the continual choice you make to be grateful to God in any situation with the belief that God is greater than the situation. Jesus lived in an attitude of thankfulness to the Heavenly Father (Matthew 26:27, Matthew 14:19, and John 11:41). Jesus lived the attitude of gratitude. He never took the blessings of God for granted. Thankfulness is an act of faith, expectation and anticipation that God will act, will do something, will do what He says He will do in His Word, if we meet His conditions. Be thankful not only for what God has done for you, but also for what hasn’t happen to you.