January 23, Sunday

REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on August 23, 2014.

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Building Habits” (Part B)

2 Corinthians 6:2a 

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”  

(Continuing with the theme of habits from yesterday’s devotion)

Some of us are not content with the way we live our Christian lives: not much prayer, hardly ever reading the Bible, and almost never witnessing; yet we always find ample time for Facebook, fantasy football or watching the latest movie.   But we vaguely hope that someday it’s all going to change for the better.  That’s wishful thinking at best and delusional at worst.  For instance, let’s say that you are a young parent.  If you are not praying regularly for your children now when their lives are rather simple and under your control, then, don’t expect to pray all of sudden (not the two-minute drill variety) when the lives of your teenagers become complex and not necessarily under your control.   

I learned this lesson when I was living at my pastor’s house while attending a Christian college in California in 1983.  Before I became a believer, I was a very messy person, which frustrated my father.  But one day it dawned on me that nothing really had changed.  My desk was messy, my dirty plates were left in the sink, and the bed was still unmade!  So who ended up doing all these things?  The pastor’s wife.  At the time, I was reading a book on servanthood, which led me to ask myself, “So when do you plan on becoming a servant?”   My first answer, “When I become a pastor,” was quickly followed by, “If you are not serving now, you are not going to serve later.”  Then I realized that I needed to come out of my comfort zone.  So I left the pastor’s house early next morning (Monday) in my 1972 Vega station wagon with all my belongings.  Parking the car near the college, I went to school in the mornings, looked for a job and a place to live in the afternoons, and slept in the car in the evenings.  And I prayed desperately in between!   By Friday, I had a place to stay and found a job as a school janitor, working from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.  I vacuumed the carpets, emptied the trash cans, and cleaned the toilets!  

Undoubtedly, that was one of the most valuable experiences I have ever had in my Christian life, for I learned this lesson: Once “not-living-for-God-now” becomes a habit, then you probably won’t live for Him in the future.   Apostle Paul said, “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2).  So the present time is the best time to form a new spiritual habit by a way of deliberately repeating the desired change.  For how long?  Well, some scientists say that a typical person needs at least 3 weeks to form a good habit.  Or, as long as it takes to make the desired change an integral part of our lives.  So try it—whether it be praying, reading the Bible, tithing, witnessing, volunteering or more loving. 

Prayer: Lord, help me build some good habits, both spiritual and physical, in order to complete the journey with You here on earth faithfully.  Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 26

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