Don’t think of a Rule of Life like a New Year’s resolution. With resolutions, we either keep them or drop them. We win or lose. A Rule of Life is a set of habits that we constantly aim for and evaluate based upon our current season of life. What habits and rhythms do you need to uphold? Take the time today, and for the rest of this sermon series to either start crafting your Rule of Life or evaluate your current one. It’s not a question of if we have habits or not. It’s if these habits show our devotion to God, spiritual health, and others in our community.
It is important to have a right heart before God. Sometimes, when we go through trials, we forget that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. We may start to forget how God has moved in our lives. We may start relying on our own strength and power. We want control. We want the power of God without a relationship with God. One antidote to this is to remember how God has moved in your past.
Feeling confused? Lost? Purposeless? Do you want to hear God’s voice? Do you want clarity? Develop a habit of daily silence. While spending time in silence is not a guaranteed quick fix for every problem we face, having the ability to spend time listening to God’s voice is crucial in becoming a healthy and mature Christian. We challenge you to spend at least 10 minutes per day in silence. The better you are at spending time in silence and solitude, the better you will be at listening to God’s voice.
Feeling stuck? Having trouble growing in your faith? Humans have the tendency to land in two spots. We either feel overcome by our weaknesses, or we turn a blind eye to them. Either way, there is hope. With God’s help, we can change. Adding to a daily routine of silence, it is helpful to develop a habit of self-reflection.
Ever feel like you are not smart enough to be a Christian or read the Bible? Does it seem that you need a college degree to figure out what God is saying? This is not true. While some parts or the Bible are confusing, the overall message is clear. You can read the Bible by yourself. God can speak to you when you read his Word. One way of accomplishing this is called “Imaginative Prayer.” This is reading a narrative of scripture and placing yourself in the story.
Do have trouble focusing? When you try to pray, does it feel like you have 1,000 distractions? When you start to pray, does your mind start to wander? We challenge you to be intentional about managing those distractions. While there are different things in our lives that call for our attention, cell phones are one of the biggest sources of distraction.
Feeling put on the shelf? Do you want to be used by God? Offer hospitality.
When hospitality is used in the Bible, the original word means “loving a stranger.” We can love and welcome strangers in so many different ways. This can include opening up our house or apartment. Perhaps this means having others over for dinner or lunch. It can mean hosting or leading a small group. We also can be hospitable with our time. Instead of being in a rush, we can slow down and welcome others. We welcome them by saying hello, asking them how they are doing, and really listening.
Feel like a failure? Ever feel like you have made too many mistakes? You are not alone. This is why we are supposed to give and receive affirmation.
God has placed others in our church family to encourage us when we are down. In the Bible and throughout history, there are so many examples of people confronting their faults and wanting to give up. Part of living in community is helping restore others. This is part of God’s plan. We were not created to live alone.