Over and Over Again

 

Repetition is basic to human life and even necessary. We learn multiplication, spelling, math and history by repetition. We breathe in and out all day long while we also blink our eyes continually, repetitions we scarcely think about. As husbands and wives we sometimes bore our spouse by telling the same story countless times. Perhaps the story is funny to a new acquaintance, but itís certainly not funny to those that have heard the story ad nauseam. By repetition we learn to be habitually good or habitually evil. By repetition we can change good habits into bad habits or bad habits into good ones.

 

In the physical realm we speak of inertia, the tendency of an object to resist a change in motion until an external force comes against it. Momentum, on the other hand is, more about how hard it is to change the motion of the body. For example, it will be more difficult to stop a train moving at 20 MPH than a car moving at 20 MPH because the train is much heavier than the car. OK, so what does that have to do with anything? Well the physical world has parallels in the spiritual world. Let me explain.

 

You, me, all of us have a resistance to change. That is our inertia you might say. How much force does it take to make us change? That is more like our momentum. Letís say you are sitting before a fire with a cup of eggnog and watching it snow outside. Suddenly you are asked to get up and shovel snow. How much will you resist that suggestion?

 

Now, we begin with the same scenario but with a new twist. Suddenly you see a stranger driving off with your car. How much will you resist getting up to go outside or call the police?

In both cases there are mental, emotional, and spiritual elements involved simultaneously with the physical elements.

 

All of this is to make the point that we have a tendency to continue in our good or evil ways unless we are motivated by something to make a change. Also, the more set in our ways we become the more difficult it is for us to make the change. And in fact it isnít so much us that make the change but that external force that makes the change in us. For us, as Christians, that force is the Spirit of God working through grace. You cannot serve two masters. If you are not serving God then you are serving Satan. You might not think that, you might not feel that. But that is the truth. Here is how scripture makes the point.

*†† (Mat 6:24 NIV)"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

*†† (Rom 3:22-24 NIV)This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, {23} for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, {24} and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

*†† (1 Tim 2:5-6 NIV)For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, {6} who gave himself as a ransom for all men--the testimony given in its proper time.

 

So what we need to do is to develop some Spiritual muscle. Just as we develop bad habits by repetition we can also overcome bad habits and develop good habits by doing the right things over and over again. When lifting weights people count the ďRepsĒ (repetitions). They lift those weights over and over again. They are motivated by their desire to be healthy or to look good or to be strong.Those are not necessarily bad things but they are not all that important compared to spiritual and heavenly things.

*†† (Mat 6:25-33 NIV)"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? {26} Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? {27} Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ? {28} "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. {29} Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. {30} If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? {31} So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' {32} For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. {33} But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

 

Here are some of the weights you should be lifting.

*†† Daily prayer. Pray once, pray twice, and pray a third time. Give me one more rep! Do it today and tomorrow and the day after that. Do it over and over again!

*†† Read your Bible. It is the revelation of God written in words. Read it over and over again. It reveals something new each time you read it.

*†† Practice doing good. As you sow so shall you reap. Store up treasure in heaven. Make deposits over and over again.

*†† Love your neighbor and love your enemy. The entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 is about love. Know what love is and know what it is not. Yes God loves you, so be loveable. Love over and over again. Above all love your God!

*†† Renew your mind daily. This world is full of external forces trying to move you in wrong directions.

*†† (Mat 7:13-21 NIV)"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. {14} But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. {15} "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. {16} By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? {17} Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. {18} A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. {19} Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. {20} Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. {21} "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

*††
Seek Godís face.

*†† (Num 6:24-26 NIV)"' "The LORD bless you and keep you; {25} the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; {26} the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace."'

*†† Persevere. If you are not moving forward you are not reaching your goal. Donít be a quitter. If you are knocked down, get up and move on. Do it over and over again. You are not a failure until you quit.

*†† Stand up for what you believe. Your silence is sometimes a testimony to the weakness of your faith. Know what you believe and why you believe it. You have the Gospel, the good news, the wonderful message of salvation. Why shouldnít you stand up? You could save a life, not just in this world but also in the world to come. Exercise your faith and show its strength. Give it as many reps as you can. Do it over and over again.

*†† (Mark 8:38 NIV)If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."

*†† (Prov 3:27 NIV)Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.

 

Remember that old song, Just a Closer Walk With Thee? Letís walk with the Lord over and over again. Letís sing that song now.

 

 

JUST A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE

 

I am weak but Thou art strong, Jesus keep me from all wrong;

I'll be satisfied as long as I walk, let me walk close to Thee

 

(chorus)

Just a closer walk with Thee, grant it Jesus is my plea;

Daily walking close to Thee, let it be, dear Lord, let it be

 

Thru this world of toil and snares, if I falter, Lord, who cares?

Who with me my burden shares, none but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee (chorus)

 

When my feeble life is o'er, time for me will be no more;

Guide me gently, safely o'er to Thy kingdom shore, to Thy shore (chorus)