1 Peter 2:20-25

Quickly review the last two days message:


You will sooner learn their bad habits then they will learn your good.

Look at Elisha; he made sure of being around the right crowd. The work of Elijah and Elisha has often been contrasted:

Elijah was a fiery prophet who suddenly appeared in a dramatic fashion, while Elisha was a faithful Pastor-prophet who ministered in a personal way to his people. Elijah belonged to the rugged hills, Elisha to the peaceful valleys. Elijah was a solitary servant, while Elisha enjoyed fellowship with the people. Elijah was a prophet of judgment who sought to turn the nation back to God, while Elisha was a minister of grace who called out “a remnant” before the nation was destroyed.

In 1 Kings 19:20, Elisha had promised to follow Elijah faithfully; and this he did in spite of opportunities to depart. He had been serving his master for about 10 years when he was told that Elijah was going to leave him. Had Elisha taken an easy route and stayed behind, he would have missed all the blessing of verse 9-15. Lesson: It pays to be faithful to your calling.

You will remember that years before Elijah asked God to kill him in the wilderness. Isn’t it wonderful that God does not answer all of our prayers? Elisha was a faithful follower, who followed his leader, and then God gave him more than a double portion for his faithfulness, not only to God but also his master.

Think of it, instead of God answering Elijah’s prayer to kill him, God took him home by a chariot of fire and whirlwind.

“God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him.”

I like what Dr. Lee Roberson said, “There are four groups of people in every church:

         Leaders: Someone who does what you tell him one time.

         Workers: Those who carry out the vision of the leader.

Followers: Dr. Roberson only expects five things from this group: Go to church three times a week, tithe and go soul winning.

Those to be reached: That is anyone who is not in the first three groups. Be they lost or saved.


Associate the words: Drink with Drunkard; dope and addict; lazy and poverty; bad habits and bad character, and remember a good rule to follow: Always think before you act.

Also remember that character is habit – good habits are formed by the proper and continuous repetition of doing the right thing.

Challenge to practice good habits!

“Forming Proper Habits and Manners!” Part 2

You show your character by your promptness or vice versa. DO IT NOW!

LIVE BY A SCHEDULE,  Proverbs 4:20-27

The issues could be priorities: People who have good habits are disciplined people who live by a schedule. A schedule makes one feel secure, not to mention those around you. Do something long enough and it will become a habit.

See Proverbs 17: 16-19, “heart to it,” means an inner plan to your life.

Get up at the same time every morning, to bed at same time, eat, bathe etc. are ways to develop good habits. It is the little things in life that steal your time.

A schedule will help you set priorities, because most people spend most of their time on least important, and vice versa.

Give a few moments of personal testimony as to how you do your scheduling for every minute of the day.

DO THE MENIAL TASKS YOU DO NOT LIKE TO DO FIRST Proverbs 4:20-27 and 1 Peter 2:2-25.

If you do only what you like, you will only develop many bad habits. Many of us save the best till last in eating a meal. Do the menial tasks first and save the best till last and ask yourself: “What don’t I like to do, but know that I should?”


If you do not start, you’ll not have a problem in later years. In other words don’t tell the first lie and you will not become a liar. Don’t steal the first time and you will not become a thief. Don’t have bad thoughts and you will not have a sex problem when older, etc



1 Peter 2:20-25, Proverbs 20:11, 4:20-27.

Habit means, “A way of life.” Matthew 7:16, “Ye shall know them by their fruit.”

Talk about things we do by habit: Getting up in the morning, getting dressed, eating, washing, brushing teeth, etc. Get feedback.

Spend much more time on Introduction on 10/29/97.

Good habits have to be learned and practiced. Bad habits seem to come automatically, but they do not. They too must be learned and practiced.

Good habits make good character; bad habits make bad character. (See lesson on “Character Matters,” 11/9/97 S/S.)

Habits make character: First the thought, then the act, then the habit, then the character and then the destiny. Habit means custom. Character means to engrave.

The more we live by doing right automatically and the more good habits we have, the better we will be and the more we will accomplish.

Discretion is character and must become a habit to be successful.

Psalm 112:5, Discretion in Hebrew is Mishpat = custom, verdict.

Proverbs 1:4, 2:11, 3:21, 5:2, Intent, thought, witty inventions, etc.

Proverbs 11:22, taste, behavior, reason and understanding.

Proverbs 19:11, Hebrew – Sekel = prudence, success, sense, wisdom, good.

Isaiah 28:26, Mishpat.

Jeremiah 10:12, Hebrew Tabuwn – Intelligence, skilful, wisdom.

Being discreet, making responsible decisions; individual choices or judgments (within bounds).

Action based upon caution. Thoughtfulness in 1:4. How then can we form good habits?


Do it again and again, keep doing it; do it automatically and regularly.

Someone said, “If you would make a thing a habit, do it.”

Do regularly now, what you want to do by habit later in life. Learn to be on time now. Be kind to people now, etc.



Read James 1:5-11 again.

In order to have wisdom work within us, there are three things we must remember:


We forget our commission because we lack wisdom. Our mission is the Great Commission, and we must honor God by carrying it out. Every Pastor with whom I have had contact in recent years is terrified by how few show up for church wide soul-winning.

The Mission not obeyed is the mission forgotten, and we often substitute meetings for our mission. Soon we spend more time with substitutes rather than with our mission.


These days’ people are seeking the good-time Christianity, while God called us to champion truth not compromise and tolerance.

Many today will say “amen” to that; however, the moment it costs them something the commitment is gone.

Today people do not pray their children onto the mission field, but they want them to have achievement in the material possessions.

So, the end result is that they often substitute convenience for commitment.


 To have wisdom, let’s keep the Bible standards which include:

  • Purity of our hearts and minds.
  • Principled in our homes and ministries.
  • Prayerful in our hearing our Master.


  • Acknowledge our lack.
  • Ask specifically.
  • Act in faith.

Have you checked your spiritual temperature lately?


James 1:5-11, 21-25. This is not necessarily a lesson on how to have wisdom, but how to use the wisdom we have been given.

The story is told of an old African Tribal Chief who was given a mirror by one of those visiting the Tribe. As he looked curiously into the mirror he could not help but comment on the ugly person he saw in the glass. When he was told that he was looking at himself he became furious and smashed the mirror on a rock.

Paul describes God’s Word as the mirror (verses 21-25) and that is the reason we must continually look into its pages so that we do not become furious or angry at what we see. That’s wisdom in a nut-shell.

There can be no true perfection without wisdom, which is the gift of God and must be sought from Him and only Him.

Here is an important question: have you ever felt so terrible in your body that you had no idea what was wrong until you finally decide to take your temperature? To your amazement you learn that your temperature is absolutely normal and you feel better already. You had something with which to gage your health or sickness.

The same is true of the Word of God. It acts as a thermometer to give you the condition of your soul, or your spiritual life. Wisdom is the ability and knowledge to use the thermometer and get the facts. God’s Word will reveal to us not only ourselves to ourselves, but will also show us how we are doing.

Wisdom is a gift of God; however, according to verse five it must be sought after.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knoweth it shall be opened.”  Matthew 7:7-8.

Think about this: God gives as well as forgives, and He gives the Holy Spirit to give wisdom and do what He desires in our hearts.

God always gives with His heart when He opens His Hand. Again, the key is asking!

Romans 8:32, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”


“He was Numbered with the Transgressors!” Conclusion!

Read Isaiah 53:1-12 and quickly review the last three days.

Several Lessons,

  • Realize we have a duty of praying for our enemies, even when they do us harm.
  • Recognize that we must ask God to forgive them and give them understanding.
  • Realize the power of the Christian faith. No other religion teaches men to pray for the forgiveness of their enemies. People in the world seek revenge; the Christian bears the reproaches and persecutions with patience, and even prays that God would forgive and save them.
  • Realize that the greatest sinners, through the intercession of Jesus, can be saved.

Jesus said, “They know not what they do,” and Paul says that it was done through ignorance Acts 3:17.

And 1 Corinthians 2:8 says “for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

Let me say that ignorance does not excuse the sin if the ignorance is willful. They had evidence; they had learned of His character; they knew what they were doing, and knew they could be held accountable for all this.

But Jesus shows the compassion of his heart, and as they were really ignorant, whatever might have been the cause of their ignorance, He beseeches God to forgive them.

He even urges it as a reason why they should be forgiven. That they were ignorant of what they were doing; and though men are often guilty for their ignorance, yet God often in compassion overlooks it, turns away His anger, grants them the blessings of forgiveness and life.  So he forgave Paul, for he “did it in ignorance, in unbelief.

He was numbered with the transgressors


He was Numbered with the Transgressors! Part 3

Read Isaiah 53:1-12 again please.

“He bare the sin of many,” that is the multitudes, the many that were made sinners by the sin of one. The whole human race; “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” By the way, for all that have sinned, and for all that come short, Jesus Christ died.

“And made intercession for the transgressors.” This was literally fulfilled at his death, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do!” Luke 23:34.

He prayed for those who were guilty of putting Him to death. It is not quite certain whether he referred to the Jews or to the Roman soldiers or to both.

The Romans knew not what they did, as they were really ignorant of the fact that He was the Son of God, and they only obeyed the command of their rulers.

But, the Jews knew that He was innocent, and they had evidence, if they would have looked at it, that he was the Messiah; but they did not know what would be the effect of their guilt; they did not know what judgments and suffering they were bringing down upon their country. We see the evidence of this even two thousand years later.

We might add that they had an abundance of evidence, if they would have looked at it, they would have seen that He was the Messiah. In fact, they would have believed that He was the Saviour promised by the prophets.