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, today we continue with the Jesus Habits that I introduced last week. These are discernable patterns that were evident in the life of Jesus Christ. Last week we looked at the first 10 Jesus Habits that include: Seclusion, Prayer, Worship, Building Relationships, Touch, Confrontation, Challenging the Status Quo, Listening, Love, and Thankfulness. Now, let’s consider the next ten Jesus Habits:
I. The Habit of Faith
26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible,
but with God all things are possible.”
The Jesus habit of faith is choosing to trust God and believing what He said in His Word, no matter what you are facing. Jesus trusted the Father in every situation, at all times. Faith is believing in spite of not seeing. Jesus taught us that faith is not a feeling; faith doesn’t have to have it all figured out; and faith places things entirely in God’s hands and leaves them there.
II. The Habit of Motivation
15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.
The Jesus habit of motivation is using everything you have, and by example encouraging other peopled to be and do their best. Jesus was the preeminent motivator, always motivating by example. Jesus used words, attitudes, and actions to motivate others to go beyond and reach higher than average. The believer finds his motivation in Christ and then takes the initiative to encourage others to do more in the power of the Holy Spirit.
III. The Habit of Handling Criticism Effectively
The Jesus habit of handling criticism effectively is choosing to respond to criticism with love, truth, humility, and sometimes with no visible response at all, thus demonstrating the love and God and allowing Him to be your defense.
12 Then the disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?” 13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”
Jesus was often criticized for His faith. At times He addressed the criticism and at other times remained silent, depending on the situation. When criticized, always consider the source and ask yourself, “Is there anything I need to learn from this criticism?” Ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom to know how to process and address criticism. Do something nice for your critics.
IV. The Habit of Family Priority
The Jesus habit of family priority is choosing consistently to put your family and their needs ahead of your own, others, work, recreation or anything else.
55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?
Jesus honored His mother and His step father, Joseph, by working in the family business. He had a profound influence upon his half-brothers, James and Jude. One of the most moving scenes in all the Bible is when Jesus was on the cross and His mother Mary was looking on with great agony, despair, and unbelievable grief. Jesus looked at John and told him to take care of His mother. Jesus wasn’t too busy or too occupied to take care of His family. Family priority means God first, marriage second, children third, and then other things.
V. The Habit of Obedience
42 saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will,
but Yours be done.”
The Jesus habit of obedience is choosing to act on God’s will based on what He has said in His Word; and to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and scriptural principles when there is no clear word in scripture about what to do.
10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
Jesus always, in every circumstance, obeyed the Father. Obedience is always a choice. When a believer obeys God, the result is joy, peace, and blessing. Obedience is always the right thing to do, regardless of the circumstances, and always gets the smile of our Heavenly Father.
VI. The Habit of Honoring the Government
25 And He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
The Jesus habit of honoring the government is choosing to see the government as the God-ordained institution that should be supported voluntarily through obeying its laws. Jesus paid His taxes. He was not anti-government. He believed in influencing the government by impacting the lives of those involved in government. Christians should be the best citizens of their country. Pray for government leaders, and seek opportunities for divine influence. Vote and pay your taxes. Work to change what’s wrong with government.
VII. The Habit of Asking Questions
46 Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.
The Jesus habit of asking questions is choosing to ask certain things—normally open-ended questions—in order to gain knowledge and understanding. Jesus was a master of asking questions. He often answered a question with a question. He used questions to disarm critics, to seek understanding, and to help people look more deeply into their lives spiritually. On the cross Jesus asked a question and the question was “Why?”
34 At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Use questions to learn and to understand and be understood.
VIII. The Habit of Having Fun
The Jesus Habit of having fun is choosing to enjoy the journey to heaven, giving yourselves permission not to take life so seriously all of the time and making laughter part of your daily routine. Jesus even used humor in His teaching (Matthew 7:3-5; 9-10). For some the thought or suggestion of Jesus having fun or laughing is irreverent. But Jesus had moments of laughter. He attended dinner parties—happy occasions. He performed His first miracle at a wedding. Jesus, although “a man of sorrows sand acquainted with grief,” also had moments of enjoying people and life. Christians should set the example of how to have fun. Develop a good sense of humor. Learn to laugh at yourself and with others.
IX. The Habit of Truth
32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes
to the Father but through Me.
The Jesus habit of truth is choosing consistently to say what is right, do what is right, and live within the will of God. Jesus not only told the truth and lived the truth, He is the Truth. Anything not truthful has as its source Satan. Jesus shared truths at the right times, understanding that the timing is critical to the effectiveness. Only truth can bring true freedom. Truth is not relative; it is absolute—for all time, all generations, and all circumstances. Passionately pursue truth continually.
X. The Habit of Rest
13 That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. 2 And large
crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.
The Jesus habit of rest is choosing to relax the body on a regular basis through sleep at night and periodic times during the day. Jesus, as a habit, rested and relaxed. He slept when His body needed it. If Jesus needed it, how much more do we need it? Christians must build within their daily schedules times of rest and free of stress. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “Sometimes the most spiritual thing a man can do is take a nap.”