Ten Habits for Spiritual Life Part Two
Ten Habits for Spiritual Life Part Two
January 14, 2024 |
Sunday Morning
Ten Habits for Spiritual Life Part Two
John C. Majors |
Romans 12:4-8
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Habits. Small disciplines. Yes, I read that right. Small disciplines; big results. That’s our theme for this month. We’re talking about habits. We’re taking a break from our study of the Book of John and talking about ten spiritual habits for life. What are the small things we can put in place that, like the dominos build up over time and lead to hopefully big results especially in our spiritual life. You know, when I think about habits, the really cool thing about habits is that if once they’re in place, they’re automatic. You don’t really think about them. You don’t have to with a habit, you don’t have to wake up in the morning and call someone and ask them to pray for you, that hopefully you’ll get the emotional energy up or seek some kind of emotional support to be able to tie your shoes in the morning. You don’t have to do that. In fact, I bet you don’t even remember tying your shoes. There was a day, though, that that was terrifying when when you first were presented with the reality first, that I had to wear shoes, but then second, that I‚Äôve got to tie them. Man, you did everything you could to keep those off your feet. You bargained to get Velcro straps on your shoes. Some of us have gone back to that later in life. That’s okay. That happens. But it was terrifying. It was scary. It was hard. You cried, you wept, you gave up. You didn’t know which method to use, but you got through it. And now that’s you don’t even think about it. We want to build those kind of spiritual habits into our life. Where it’s just automatic. It didn’t take any extra emotional energy. It’s just what we do. And so we’re working through the word habit. We’re looking at Ten Spiritual Habits for Life. Last week, we looked at the letter H –Hear God’s Word, and Develop a Heart of Humility. And this week we’re going to look at the letter A. Letter A, and we’re going to look at that in two different parts. It’s the word abide. We’re going to look at how we abide and develop the habit of abiding in two different ways. And to do that, we’re going to continue to look at Romans chapter 12. So if you have a Bible, open it up to Romans chapter 12. And we’re looking at various versions in Romans Chapter 12, some in Chapter 13 as we go, because there’s so much in here that are rooted in our spiritual habits, our spiritual life, the activity of our spiritual life. We’ve spent a lot of time looking at the theological side, the theological foundation, who is God. But then there- that’s who he is. But then there are things we do to grow closer to him. And so Romans Chapter 12. We’re going to start by reading verses four through eight and look at those that will lay the foundation for the first way, first habit of abiding. Romans 12. And if you have one of our church Bibles, that page number should be up on the screen. I think it was 891 or so. If you don’t have a Bible, we have those out in the lobby. You can grab one of those any time. Those are free for you. The page numbers on the screen are tied into those Bibles. Romans Chapter 12, verse four: For as in one body, we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function. So we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually members of one another, having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us. Let us use them. If prophecy in proportion to our faith, if service in our serving, the one who teaches in his teaching, the one who exhorts in his exhortation, the one who contributes in generosity, the one who leads with zeal, the one who does acts of mercy with cheerfulness. Now this passage is well known as a passage that is often taught when teaching on spiritual gifts in the church. There’s a wide variety of spiritual gifts in the church. This is one of the lists that shows some of those spiritual gifts that will be employed in the church, in the service of the church, in the building up of the body of Christ. But today and this is by the way, that’s a great way to teach this passage. Today, though, as we look at this passage, I want to focus on one word that we see revealed within this, and that’s the word community. So when we abide, the first way we abide is we abide in community, we abide together. That’s the key first way we abide. And let me show you where that shows up here. It’s in verse four. It’s one of the first phrases here: for as in one body, we have many members, one body, one collective body. We use that word unity, one unified body. We’re unified together around a body of faith. But yet also many members, many differences. Unity, but also diversity. And that’s really critical to community. We have unity and diversity. That’s what makes unity amazing is our differences. So it’s not fascinating when two people get along who are exactly the same. No one goes, Wow, how did they do that? No, it’s when someone that you probably anywhere else. Do you think I probably wouldn’t like being around them. I mean, you look around the room and go, there’s a whole bunch of people in here I probably wouldn’t be hanging out with if we weren’t here together. That’s what makes unity amazing is overcoming those differences. In fact, delighting in those differences. It always amazes me how, in fact, I’ve become more and more aware of this. If I meet someone and my initial inclination is I don’t really like that person, I always stop and go, You know what? There’s a good chance they might become a close friend of yours. In fact, I grew up in church. One of the elders here, Troy Kolb. Troy and I, in high school, did not get along at all, high school, even into college. But the Lord began to work on us both. We both matured, I probably did a little more than him as we went along. Not really. But here’s what happened. We went from not liking each other at all. We started meeting for accountability. We started memorizing Scripture together. We got to where we could quote the entire book of Philippians in one setting because of the time we spent working together. And so now that was 25 years ago. But I’m going to call Troy up to quote the book of Philippians right now, if you would? Me first? Okay, well, maybe we’ll wait on that. How about that? It’s maybe a little rusty, but how does that happen? Two guys who can’t stand each other are memorizing scripture together. The body of Christ, unity in diversity. Look at verse five. This gives us just a little more insight into how that happens. How does community happen? Look at verse five, verse four one body. Many members members do not all have the same function, verse five. So we though many are one body in Christ. That’s how that happened with Troy. We realized there’s something greater at work here. We’re here at church disagreeing with one another, but it’s about Christ. We’re one body in Christ. That’s what draws us together. That’s why the tatted up pro wrestler fan can sit right next to the dude in the suit who’s the executive, and they can talk and they can laugh and they can all they can hold their hands up and cry and worship together side by side. One body in Christ. Not only are we one unified body, but look at what else it says in verse five. We were one body in Christ and individually members of one another. You know, the results of being in the body of Christ is that we belong to one another. There’s a great verse in First Corinthians. Where is that? Six. You are not your own. You were bought with a price. So glorify God with your body. You’re not your own. Now that verse, the specific context of that verse is sexual immorality, but even more so the importance of that verse. I don’t just look to get out of others what I want and use them for my own purposes in any setting. I’m not my own. I was bought with a price. So I glorify God with my body and I glorify God in my relationships with others because we belong to one another. As I thought about this verse, I think there’s two ways in particular We belong to one another. And let’s look at these. Here’s the first one. The ways we are members of one another make ways we belong to one another. First is our faith is personal, but not private. Every person in here needs to have a very personal faith, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He meets with you one on one. But your personal faith is not a private faith. It’s not something you just keep to yourself that only affects you. It affects the way we view one another, the way we engage with one another. I’m not my own. I’ve been bought with a price. So glorify God with my body, glorify God in my relationships. Paul says in Philippians. Speaking of Philippians Troy, don’t think of your own interests only. Do not just think of your own personal interests, but also of the interest of others. Have this attitude in yourself, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he existed in the form of God, did not hold on to that, didn’t consider it something to be grasped, but emptied himself and became a servant, taking on the form of man. You know, we’re not here just to serve ourselves. We’re here to pour into others. So that’s the first way. Our faith is personal, but it’s not private. Now, look at the second way. Here’s the second way. We were also members of one another. Every member of the body is valued. We value each other, every one of us. So we don’t have seating assigned based on how much you gave last year or how much you bench press. Right, or how many social media followers you have, you’re more influential. Let’s bring you to the front and you can filter on in… No, we don’t feed the elders first on Wednesday night, at the Wednesday night meals. And then the deacons, and then ministers,… No! Look, we’re one body. First Corinthians 12 talks about this. Is the eye any better? Hand better than the foot? We’re one body and we value each other. In fact, we value each other because we’re different. Because I know you serve in ways that I don’t, and vice versa. We value and honor that. And I remember reading Bill Walsh talk about this in his book. Bill Walsh was a coach of the Forty-Niners, won three Super Bowls through them. And Bill Walsh talked about how important it was for everyone in the organization to understand how critical every person in the organization was to the success of their team. In fact, kind of a radical example of this. He wanted to make sure that Joe Montana, his star quarterback, knew how important and knew the name of the person answering the phones in the lobby. Joe, she is critical to our success. How she answers the phone, that she does it with excellence is critical to our success. He understood every part of the team was important and we belong to one another. We, in theory, value one another in that way. And so as we seek to build community, these are key things to understand: unity and diversity. We’re unified, but we’re different. And that’s the powerful part of church that’s a powerful part of the body. Now, what I want to give you all throughout this series are some practical ways for building habits in your life and this first habit, this habit of building community, which I’ve not often thought of community in those terms, the habit of community, you know, there are others spiritual habits. We tend to think about prayer, giving, maybe fasting. Last week, reading God’s Word, we’ll talk about that habit, developing that discipline. But the discipline, the habit of community, how do we build that? I’m going to give you some more tips this week on how to build habits. I’m going to apply these mostly to community. You can apply these in all kinds of settings. These apply to every habit. Most of these come from a book called Atomic Habits, that same idea, something small, creating something big, small little habits in your life leading to big results. But here are five more tips for building habits in your life. Let’s look at this first one. Number one focus on systems rather than goals. Focus on systems rather than goals. Now, this is a little counterintuitive because goals aren’t useless. You have to have goals. But but goals have a limit. In fact, Bill Walsh, again, he’s he said, look, every NFL team has the same goal at the beginning of the year. Everyone has the same goal, get to the Super Bowl. So the goal helps some. It sets direction. But you got to have more than that. You’ve got to have systems in place to achieve that goal. In fact, I think when Jeff Kemp was here, he might have shared the story. I can‚Äôt remember if he shared it at the event. We had a men’s conference. Jeff Kemp, former NFL quarterback, came and shared, and he was on the Forty-Niners. He was there when Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Bill Walsh were all there. And one day he’s watching them practice. And you know, Joe Montana and Jerry Rice are one of the best quarterback receiver combos in the history of the NFL and he’s watching Joe throw a pass to Jerry in practice. Jerry turns catches it, gathers it in points to the endzone, takes off. He always– Jeff said Jerry always ran into the end zone with every catch in practice signifying that’s where I belong, right? Telling himself that’s where I belong. So he throws the pass. Quarterback coach Bill Walsh is standing there, quarterback coach goes Hey great pass Joe and Bill throws down his clipboard and looks at him and says, No, it wasn’t. What are you talking about? It was not a great pass. And Jeff‚Äôs like, oh boy, what’s going on? You’re going to tell Joe Montana that was not a great pass. He’s like, look, when he threw it to him, did you notice Jerry had to turn back to get it? He had to slow up a step just a little, and then he had to turn to go back towards the endzone. He should have thrown it over him where the defender couldn’t get to it, where he never had to miss a step and he could charge into the end zone. That would be a great pass. That was not a great pass. And Jeff said, okay, I need to go work on my passing if I’m going to get in the game. But Bill Walsh knew if we want to end up in the Super Bowl, every little detail matters. Every little system we put in place to make sure that we’re hitting the right mark in practice over and over to the inch, over and over and over and over again. So, focus on systems more than goals. Have your goal, but if your goal is to build community– that’s so vague. That’s helpful, but it’s too vague. What’s the system you’re going to put in place to achieve that goal? Well, you might say, where can I find community? I mean, one of the ways here, in fact, one of the important things we encourage people in Valley View to do is to get involved in a life group. That‚Äôs the place where you’re going to develop lifelong connections. Those are going to be the people who are there for you when times are hard, when times are good, people who celebrate with you, people who come alongside you. A life group is a great place to build community. But if you’ve never been to one, you might say, I’m going to set the system in place to attend 2 life groups a month. I’m going to be in two life groups a month. Or maybe you’ve been in life group a long time and you feel like, Gosh, we still aren’t that well connected. Maybe we, the system is, I invite one couple out to lunch after church once a month. You know what I’m saying. You’ve got to have some kind of actionable system in place to see that goal come about. So focus on systems rather than goals. Number two, look at this one. This one is similar, but it’s slightly different language. Focus on LEAD measures instead of LAG measures. Again, both are important. Let me explain these LEAD measures versus LAG measures. A lot of times we focus on the LAG measurement, meaning the thing that you measure after it’s already happened and that you can’t effect in the moment. Weight is a good example of this. I get on the scale and measure it. That’s already happened. That’s the result of everything I did over the last few years or holidays. I can’t change that right here in this moment. I could try, take off some clothing or whatever, but that’s an artificial change. I’m just measuring the results of what happened. If you’re in sales, how many sales did I have this month? That’s a LAG measure. That’s a LAG measurement of a bunch of activity I’ve already done. The LEAD measure is the thing that I can take action on right now that will result in changing the LAG measure over time. That’s the thing you really want to track and focus on. The LEAD measure. So again, if you’re in sales, you’ll say I make five calls an hour, knowing that if I make five calls an hour, I’ll talk to one person. And if I talk to ten people a day, I’ll get two of them to give me appointments, which will lead to three sales a week. You do the numbers. You know this activity leads to this result. Same thing with weight. You’ve got to have some LEAD measure that will affect your weight. I got to be in the gym four times a week at noon with Steve at this gym. And over time, that LEAD measure, tracking that will lead to results. So community the same way. How many times do we find ourself isolated? But then we look back and see that I’ve done very little to connect with people. How am I tracking how I connect with people? Am I tracking how much time I have spent in God’s word? That’s why we have a Bible reading plan as a church. Makes it easy for you to go back and look at that. All right. Third tip for building habits is to– and this is a made up word. I know it. It’s not a typo. Number three, create encouragability. I didn’t make it up. I wish I did because I love the word I heard someone else use it. Can’t remember who it was or I’d give them credit. Encouragability. I love this word because it sounds like accountability, but it sounds way better than accountability, which is what I’m trying to talk about. Because a lot of times we say, Yeah, I need I need to be held accountable, but we don’t really want to be held accountable when we say it that way. And who does want to be held accountable? Because a lot of times what we mean is people scolding us for not doing what we said we‚Äôd do. But what we need — sometimes we need that for sure– But most of the time I need someone come alongside me and go, John, you can do this. John, you– this is what you said you want to do. You can do it. Let me help you. Let’s get there together. Let me encourage you. In the midst of going after what you feel like God’s put on your heart. And so if you thought I really need to get to a life group, I really need to be in community. One way to create encouragability, one way to trick yourself into going, is to call someone. Call someone who you know is in a life group. And if you don’t know anyone, call, the church. We‚Äôll connect you with someone. We won’t tell them in advance. That’d be even better. Now we’ll connect you with someone who wants to help. Call them and say, Look, will you pick me up Sunday for Life Group? Will you come to me? Yes, I can drive. No, I haven’t gone crazy, but I want to get to Life group. And I just hadn‚Äôt made it happen. I don’t know why. Will you pick me up? And now you know the weight of that. You know that if you know someone is coming to get you and you’ve asked them to and you’re dependent on them and they’re going out of their way inconveniencing them, which hopefully they’re doing it with delight, knowing that they’re bringing you to life group. But, you know, the pressure of that, the accountability of that, the encouragability of that, the difference that’ll make. Look for ways to create that. Just simply call someone, come alongside, help me out in this moment. I don’t know how to get there, but I need help. That’s number three. Now, number four, this is one of my favorites. Number four, prepare the environment. If you want to build a new habit, focus on preparing the environment. Environment dictates so much of the habits we do. I mean, how many of us end up snacking on stuff we don’t want to because it’s in the house? How many times do we avoid snacking on not how do I say this right? How many times do we not snack because the stuff isn’t there and you don’t want to get out in the cold to buy it. That’s part of affecting your environment. There was a study done by a hospital. They wanted to improve the health of people who were there. So one thing they simply wanted to do was to reduce how much soda people drank in the hospital cafeteria. That’s it. That’s the one thing they wanted to do. Now, there’s different ways you could do this. You could put up signs that say, soda will give you diabetes, soda will make you fat, soda will kill you. You can put up signs like that. You could raise the price of soda, make it a lot more expensive. That’s another approach. What they, they just simply did one thing. They took all the soda machines and they moved them as far back into the cafeteria as they could. And they put the water bottles right by the register. And guess what? Soda prices went way– uh, soda sales went way down, water purchases went way up. Which just simply proves we‚Äôre too lazy to walk to the back of the cafeteria. That’s the only thing that proves. No, how can you change your environment to produce new habits? For me, how this works. Going back to last week’s habit of reading God’s Word, the more I can do to prepare the environment, the night before, the more success I’ll have in the morning. And so the first key to that is sleep. There’s a whole another conversation about how I prepare the home to get to bed at a decent time and to fall asleep. That’s the key. But second, I’m preparing the environment for the morning. I’m setting out my devotional book, my journal, my Bible. I’m setting them out on the spot where I love to sit and read the Bible in the morning. My Bible reading plan is laying next to, my favorite pen is there. Maybe some earplugs to block out noise too as well. And then I go over to the coffee pot and I get it all set up for the morning. I even program it to go off at a certain time so that I wake up. I’m already smelling the coffee and so I fall asleep excited about the morning. I can’t wait to get up, have my coffee made for me, ready to get into God’s Word with no other hindrance. The house is quiet. I’m ready. I fall asleep, excited to get up in the morning and get into God’s word. Prepared the environment. How can you prepare the environment for spiritual growth in your life this year? There’s a lot of different ways that can be done. One, one interesting way we did this when we served in Fiji. We served as missionaries in the South Pacific for a season. One of our goals was to connect with our neighbors, but also to get in better shape. My son and I both wanted to get better at doing pull ups. We had a goal for how many he wanted to get to was a lot more than my goal, but we both had a goal in terms of how many we wanted to get to. And so what we did was we bought a pull up bar, had a friend who was coming from the U.S. bring it with her, and we hung it up. In fact, here’s the picture. You can just barely see it. It’s not the best picture in the world. I didn’t have a picture from the front of the house. This is inside the house. That’s my daughter playing with one of the stray dogs in the neighborhood, one of many. You can just barely see it. We hung it on the carport in front of the house and look, there was no privacy there. Everyone knew everything you were doing. And so every time we went out to do pull ups together, all the neighborhood boys came out and joined us and we started doing pull ups together. And sometimes some of the dads would come over and every time we walked into the house there‚Äôs a pull up bar, Guess what? I feel guilty. I need to do a pull up or two. It‚Äôs right there in front of me. Some guys would come over, couldn’t do any. All right, well, just hang there for a minute. That’ll build up your strength. Do something. We come in late at night after a ministry event. We’re all wiped out, tired, gone all day. They see us pull up. Here come the boys. Hey. Ready to do some pull ups still? No, no. Okay. Accountability. Prepared the environment. Created an atmosphere where behavior, even when we didn’t want to, we were forced to, in a way, to do the behavior we know we needed to do. So prepare the environment. Number five and then number four. And now number five. Get around people you want to be like. Do what it takes, especially when it comes to building community, to get around people you want to be like. There’s a great, great quote I’m going to share with you two quotes around this that I’ve heard floating around a lot different places. I have attributed them. You can see their name. The first one, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time around. I’ve shared that one before, you’ve heard that. Is that exact number? Is that exactly right? I don’t know. But the people you’re around do shape you. They do influence you. Here’s another one. This one by Charlie Tremendous Jones. He was this really fascinating, super energetic, motivational speaker. Guy spoke in a lot of Christian churches. You’ll be the same person five years from now that you are today, except for the people you meet and the books you read. You know, are there more factors than that? Sure. But the people you spend time around have a huge influence on who you become. One of the best predictors of the person you‚Äôll become are the people you hang out with, are the people you look up to. So do whatever it takes to get around the kind of people who are growing in community. When you see someone who has lots of friends, who has lots of people to lean on, who is flourishing in community, lots of opportunities to serve, just get around that person somehow. Hey, what life group do you go to? Can I come? What ministries are you a part of? Can I just come alongside you? Can we have you over for dinner and get to know you better. Get around those people. I don’t have this quote on screen, but I heard a guy recently say, The only thing more contagious than a good attitude– I bet some of you can finish this– is a bad attitude, right? The only thing more contagious than a good attitude is a bad attitude. So get around the people with the right attitude. In fact, there’s three attitudes I want to show you here in verse eight to wrap up our conversation of abiding in community. Look back at verse eight. Three attitudes here: the one who contributes contributes in generosity– first attitude– the one who leads with zeal. That’s the kind of leader you want to be around. Give me some zeal, give me some excitement. Let me see some generosity from one who gives. And then, number three, the one does acts of mercy, or the one who serves, does it with cheerfulness. That’s the person I want to see serve, not the begrudging serving person who is like, Why am I here? How did I get talked into this? Yeah, great. Great to have you here. Go home. I want to see cheerfulness. How do we develop those attitudes? Get around those kind of people. Zeal, cheer, gratitude, eagerness. Those are the kind of character qualities we want to develop as we pursue community together. All right, So that’s the first way, first half of letter A- Abiding in Community. And now the other aspect we’re going to talk about today, the other habit to develop is to abide in prayer. If we can develop any habits this year, Andrew said it last week, get in God’s word, be devoted to prayer. We do those two things well, everything else is going to follow. We can have the best programs in the world, but if we’ve neglected God’s Word and we’ve neglected prayer, those don’t matter. They don’t matter at all. How do we abide in prayer in the coming year? What are some ways? Look at Romans 12 verse 12 and look at this one short verse and one word in particular. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer, rejoice in hope. Be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. I love that word. Be constant in prayer. There’s a couple of different ways to translate that. One is to be faithful in prayer. I think the favorite way I saw it translated was to be persistent in prayer, meaning don’t give up, stay active in prayer. Stay engaged in prayer. Now I want to talk about prayer in one specific way, because there’s a lot of different ways we pray. We pray all throughout the day as we go. Lord, help me in this moment. Help me in this situation. We pray in the midst of chaos. But I think what is needed in our world today and in our own lives and in our hearts is the prayer of stillness. A prayer of quiet reflection. Because there’s very little of that in most of our lives. I think most of us would admit, myself as well, that’s a struggle to find moments of quiet and stillness to pray. I mean, our culture hates quiet. We love noise and busyness. It’s a great American sin to sit still. Keep moving, keep going, accomplish, do, be constantly entertained. But I’ve got to say in my life, I’ve rarely heard from the Lord when I’m on the go, when I’m busy, when I’m hurried, when I’m constantly moving, when I’m not pausing. I’ve rarely heard from him. He can’t speak. He does. In the midst of that, it happens. But more often he speaks in the quiet, in the still. When you’re listening carefully for him. I think sometimes we get in seasons where– I’ve even heard some say, I’ve said myself, I don’t feel like I’m hearing from the Lord. I don’t feel like he’s speaking to me. I think sometimes that’s because we’re, we’re going too fast to hear him. We’re going too fast to listen. Anne Graham Lotz said famously, she said, God is a gentleman. He will not force himself upon us. Sometimes he might, but he waits patiently in general. I remember having a friend, we worked out together, we spent a lot of time together. I was no spiritual giant, but I was a little further ahead of him in my spiritual walk. And there was a moment early on in our time hanging out together that I just was like, Man, this is an area you need to work on. It became painfully obvious. I brought it up to him and he acknowledged it, but then explained it away real quickly, just explained it away. And I thought, okay, you know, whatever. Maybe that’s the case. I get that. A little later on, another issue came up. Man, listen, that is not the right thing to say to your wife, okay? I’m telling you, that is an area of growth. Acknowledgment, explain it away. Explain it away. a couple more times of that and I just thought, what’s the point? Why even, why try anymore? He obviously doesn’t want to hear it. Now, of course, maybe I could have gone about it different. There’s a whole host of other things that are. But I know, too, that he did not want to hear it. And looking back, there’s things I’d have done different. In fact, getting to the point where I just gave up. I regret that in a lot of ways. I really regret that. I think how many times, as the Lord said, I’ve said this over and over again and he doesn’t want to hear it. I’m just going to wait till he’s ready. I’m going to wait. So here’s my encouragement for you. Here’s the activity to give you. Some time this week, find just a five minute window– if you can do more, great– But look, don’t set the bar so high that you avoid it. Find just a five minute window sometime this week. And here’s all I want you to do is just sit in quiet. Sit in stillness. No phone, no music, and dare I say this, this is hard to say, no books, not reading anything, no inputs into your life. No people. Find a quiet moment and just sit and just ask the Lord one simple question. Just ask him. Lord, what do you want me to hear from you today? And just sit in that moment you’re tempted to go check social media. Just sit. 30 seconds later. When you want to go get something to eat, just sit and listen for him to speak. Most of our culture is battling anxiety. If we pause and listen for the Lord to speak– may not cure it all, but it would help to know that He is faithful in the midst of all this. He’s faithful in the little things. That allows me to be, I hope, to be faithful in the little things. Share one last quote with you. This one I thought related to this idea of stillness so well and hearing from the Lord. This is from a guy named John Comber. He’s got a great book. Go ahead and flash that up on the screen. Wisdom has its own pace. You know what I’m talking about, right? Wisdom comes slowly often. It makes you wait for it, wait for the inner voice to come to the surface of your tempestuous mind. Thought I’d introduce vocab to us here as we go. Meaning you’re stirred up, you’re, you’re scattered in mind. But not until the waters of thoughts settle and calm does that wisdom come. It’s so true. It’s so true. We all need that. I know we can‚Äôt all sit around like a desert monk in quiet prayer, but we don’t have to. Just find a window this week to meditate, to listen. Even if it’s 5 minutes in quiet, asking him, Lord, what do you want me to hear from you today? What do you want me to hear from you? I know this. He will speak. He will speak. He will meet you where you are. Maybe not the way you thought. Maybe not in the timing you thought, maybe not right away. He will speak. He wants to speak. He wants you to hear from him. He wants to speak to you. He does. Abide in community, abide in prayer. Those are two things we’re focused on in our abiding as a church, in our building habits, the habit of community, the habit of prayer. How can we grow in those this year? And the reason why we talk about it now at the beginning of the year, people are usually excited to build new habits to grow. But also we talk about it here when we’re gathered together on Sunday because we need to be building these habits now so that they’re there when we need them. You never know how you’ll need them. Julie and I, remember newly married, married about a year or so. Julie’s pregnant, so excited. Just thrilled. But then there’s a miscarriage. We lose the baby. And that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever been through. Probably still is the hardest thing emotionally I’ve ever been through. Let me tell you, I didn’t know I needed that community at that time. I didn’t know what a community could do to love on you in that time and our Sunday school class at church, who we had invested in for months, getting to know people, loving on them, them loving on us, they showed up in a way I never could have imagined. They loved on us. They really carried us through that. Build the habit of community now. Build it, invest, connect. Because you never know when you’ll need it. Let’s pray.