Reconciliation Outreach

Paul and Nuala O'Higgins Teaching Ministry

Twelve Habits Of The Highly Effective Believer- Part I

Christianity is not simply a matter of what we believe but what we do. It is a lifestyle – the lifestyle of the kingdom of God. Jesus’ teachings present a lifestyle made of habits not just of beliefs. ‘Teaching them to observe all things which I have commanded you.’ (Mt. 28:20)

These lifestyles, when they become habits, cause us to live in the Kingdom of His presence, life, love, and joy. The gateway to the kingdom is through the atonement, faith and receiving the Holy Spirit. Making our home in this Kingdom requires we adopt the ways and habits of this Kingdom.

When we receive reconciliation with God and the power of the Holy Spirit we are equipped to live by the laws and ways of the kingdom. These laws and ways of the Kingdom are the happiest way of living because they are the way we were designed to live. We were never designed to sin, to be selfish, unforgiving or unloving. All of these things make us miserable. The trouble with sin is that it makes us live beneath our nature, dignity and destiny – and so it makes us miserable.

When we are equipped with the new heart and the new Spirit we begin to walk in the way our nature was always made to live. So the kingdom life is supernaturally natural and naturally supernatural.

Jesus asked all disciples to teach everyone to live by the same teachings and principles He passed on to them. He was not giving heavy commandments. He was revealing the laws of our new nature – the principles of a fully liberated and fruitful lifestyle. “For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments and His commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3)

When Jesus said (for example) ‘blessed are the poor in spirit’ He did not use the imperative (command) form – He used the indicative (factual) form. He was saying: ‘This is the way that life works. This is the spiritually, mentally and physically healthy lifestyle.’ Those who are most effective as human beings are those who are reconciled to God through Jesus, empowered with His Spirit, and live by the lifestyle and habits of His teachings.

It is the responsibility of discipel makers to teach believers the great doctrines of the faith so that they can BELIEVE, RECEIVE and ENTER IN. It is equally important, however that they teach believers to develop the habits and lifestyle of the Kingdom.

The scriptures (especially the New Testament) contain multiple principles of Christian living. In this series we will focus on twelve of these life-changing habits.

These lifestyle habits are summed up in Jesus’ words and sayings. We hesitate to call them commandments because they are more declarations of how life works rather than orders from a superior.

The twelve habits of the highly effective believer are:-

The Habit of Thanksgiving
The Habit of Prayer
The Habit of Meditation
The Habit of Receiving
The Habit of Giving
The Habit of Forgiving
The Habit of Ministering
The Habit of Right Speaking
The Habit of Overcoming
The Habit of Assembly
The Habit of Hope
The Habit of Resting

1. The Habit of Thanksgiving

The most effective believers are the greatest rejoicers, praisers and thanksgivers. “Rejoice in the Lord always again I say rejoice.” (Phil 4:4) They bring continuous thanksgiving to God to whom we owe everything and from whom we receive everything.

Since we were destined by God ‘to live to the praise of his glorious grace’ (Ephesians 1:6), effective believers learn to live a lifestyle of praise and thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is simply our faith acknowledging reality. By it we orientate ourselves correctly to the Source of all reality. We thank God for life, for redemption, for Jesus and His work for us, for the covenant we have with Him, for the destiny He has given us and for His Fatherly care in everything. He has reconciled us to Himself, given us all things and continues to supply our every need. Thankfulness to God is the basis of all real faith and increase. Effective believers not only acknowledge God with thanks but acknowledge all the channels and people God uses to bless them.

2. The Habit of Prayer

The most effective believers pray about everything. Through prayer they keep God’s presence always before them. Through it they invoke God’s care, intervention involvement and partnership in all they do. Since our need is endless and each moment new, those who receive God’s help the most learn to pray about everything and to pray without ceasing. They do nothing without God’s help and receive His help in all things.

“In nothing be anxious but in everything with prayer and thanksgiving let your requests be known to God and the peace that passes all understanding will keep you minds and hearts in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4)

3. The Habit of Meditation

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly .. his delight is in the law of God and he meditates on it night and day ..in all that he does he prospers.” (Psalm 1)

With meditation we ponder, embrace and enjoy the treasures of the Word of God. Through it we discover the depths of God’s promises, possibilities and purposes for us. Those who mediate are never discouraged by the ups and downs of life but their hearts remain focused on the presence and redemptive power of God. They discover treasures in God’s plan and purpose that remain unexplored and by those who don’t meditate.

4. The Habit of Receiving

“From His fullness we have all received grace upon grace.” (Jn 1:16) “ … Who daily loads us with benefits.”(Ps 68:19)

As a pool receives water from the waterfall so everything we have is received from God. Some things, we receive without asking. But God also invites us to welcome and receive the fullness of His blessings voluntarily, consciously and deliberately. The most effective believers are the best receivers. They have learnt not only to receive God’s general blessings but they seek, ask and insist upon His higher gifts and graces. They also receive and welcome the Holy Spirit in all His fullness with His life and energy so that they can be empowered to be all that wants them to be and do all that he wants them to do. With holy determination they lay hold of all that God offers so that the fullness of His purpose can be done in them. Humility is the habit of receiving with thankfulness that which God offers and to receive from God’s unlimitless resources.

5. The Habit of Giving

The most effective believers are the greatest givers. As we receive we also become givers. Great givers are great receivers. They know the secret joy of Jesus words ‘it is more blessed to receive than to give” giving is not something they have t do out of duty but something they delight do as a privilege. Abiding in Him is like a branch on a vine. The branch is constantly drawing up sap and constantly passing sap on to the grapes. We receive his resources from His love and pass them on in His love. we are destined to be blessers by our work word and service. ..giving becomes one of he greatest reasons for living. We live to give.

6. The Habit of Forgiving

Effective believers practice a lifestyle of forgiving. Every human is to some extent a victim of the evil and injustice. Jesus said when you stand praying forgive. We forgive not only because it befits the person we forgive. We forgive because it benefits us. Forgivers keep the pipeline of love open between God and us and between ourselves and other. when you stand praying forgive. Forgiving unclogs the spiritual pipeline and keep the water of blessings flowing to us and though us. Unforgiveness cuts off life to the spirit and the body.

Great peaces have they who love your law and nothing shall offend them

Effective believers may often be hurt but they refuse to take offense they refuse to become bitter and they keep the love and blessing of God flowing though the hearts.

The Habit of Ministering
The Habit of Speaking the language of the kingdom
The Habit of Overcoming
The Habit of Coming together with other believers
The Habit of Hope
The Habit of Resting

Christianity is called the ‘Blessed Hope’ for the good things that are to come. We hope for a better future for this world. we hope for the unfulfilled plans and promised of God to be fulfilled. we hope for the completion of our redemption. We hope for the lord’s return awe hope for heaven.

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