WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 12, 2021
TOPIC: WHAT ARE YOU BECOMING?
BY T. O. BANSO
“But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27 New King James Version).
According to researchers at the University College London, it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit after the first time the new action is performed. However, this varies from person to person and for different actions.
The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines a habit as a thing that you do often and almost without thinking, especially something that is hard to stop doing. A habit is formed through the regular repetition of behaviour until it becomes an established pattern of behaviour. You become what you practise. Your habits determine what you become. You cannot want to become something but cultivate contrary habits.
If your present habits are contrary to what you hope to become, change them and cultivate habits that are compatible with or helpful in achieving what you desire to become. Have you seen a great athlete? He cultivated the habits that made that possible. Paul said, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27 New King James Version). But if, for instance, an athlete cultivates a habit of cheating, he cannot become great. Some athletes have been disgraced and their medals were withdrawn after being discovered to have cheated.
What are your habits? What are you becoming? Luke 5:16 says Jesus often withdrew into the wilderness for prayer. That was a great habit. On the other hand, the Pharisees had hypocritical prayer habits. “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward” (Matthew 6:5 New King James Version).
Luke 4:16 and Acts 17:2 record that Jesus and Paul had the custom or habit of going for synagogue services. Where do you go habitually? Evil company corrupts good habits (1 Corinthians 15:33).
What are you becoming? Jesus called Judas to be an apostle, but he eventually became a thief and a betrayer. John 12:4-6 says this of him, “But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, ‘Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?’ This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it” (New King James Version).
Judas became a betrayer because of the love of money. The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1 Timothy 6:10). Judas sold his Master for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15). He eventually committed suicide after he had returned the money to his co-conspirators, the chief priests and the elders, who rejected it. He threw it away and went to hang himself (Matthew 27:3-8). Judas lost his office and Matthias replaced him as an apostle (Acts 1:15-25).
In the Old Testament, Gehazi was Elisha’s servant who should have succeeded him as Elisha had succeeded Elijah and received a double portion of his spirit. But Gehazi never became a great prophet to continue the ministry of Elisha. Greed made him fall out of the ministry as he became leprous for lying and receiving from Naaman the gifts his master, Elijah, had rejected after the healing of Naaman.
2 Kings 5:26-27 says, “Then he said to him, ‘Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants? Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever.’ And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow” (New King James Version). Gehazi was a prophet in training but he didn’t become what he should have become.
What you’re becoming is more important than the title you bear, the office you occupy, or what you claim to be. Your habits determine what you become.
Jeremiah 13:23 says the people of Judah were accustomed to doing evil. In Jeremiah 22:21, the Bible says they had been disobedient from their youth. What are your habits? What are you becoming? Replace bad habits with godly habits (Ephesians 4: 20-32).
1 Corinthians 5:7-8 says, “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (New King James Version).
Don’t let sinful habits have dominion over you (Psalm 19:13). The starting point for you is to give your life to Jesus if you haven’t. Admit that you’re a sinner and you can’t save yourself. Repent of your sins and invite Jesus into your heart. Confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Ask Him for the power to live a new life in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Let your mind be renewed as you continually expose it to the Word of God (Romans 12:2). Therefore, join a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church where you’ll be taught the Word of God. Read your Bible, daily and obey what it teaches. Pray every day.
Whatever you behold, you become. “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18 New King James Version).
You may be a pastor, an entrepreneur, a politician, or any other thing, but what are you becoming? Your habits determine what you eventually become. As Paul told the Philippians, “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27 New King James Version). What are you becoming? Do you have habits that will help you become what you aspire to become?
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, deliver me from destructive habits that will prevent me from becoming all You want me to be in life. Help me to cultivate habits that will make me fulfil Your purpose for my life. Father, help all those who sincerely desire to be free from sinful habits and live victoriously as from today. Deliver them from various addictions so that they may fulfil your purposes for their lives.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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