Craig Groeschel - Stopping Habits
It brings me great joy to tell you that last weekend we had 1,200 people signed up to be baptized. What's way more incredible to me, is we baptized over 1,500 people last week, can you imagine this. We had 300 or so people that were so moved, that they just went spontaneously and said, I wanna publicly stand up and proclaim the lordship of Jesus Christ in my life, so congratulations to all of you. I hope you feel it, I hope you feel the move of what God is doing here. I always say, we're not praying for revival, we're living in the middle of one, it's special times. If you're new with us, we're in a message series that we're calling Habits. I recommended several books that impacted my life in a significant way. One of them is called Atomic Habits, by the author James Clear. I enjoyed his work so much, that I'll be interviewing him for my leadership podcast.
One of the thoughts I really liked that James said, is that almost everybody has similar goals. I never thought of that before. If I sit down with a hundred of you and ask you, what do you want to do, what do you want to accomplish, most of you would say some form of the same thing. You wanna be in good health, you wanna have great relationships, if you're a Christian, you wanna be close to God, you wanna make a difference in this world, you wanna be financially strong, you wanna be generous. I don't know anybody who would state a negative goal, I don't know anybody who would say, my lifetime goal is to always struggle financially, and live paycheck to paycheck, and every time my spouse buys something, I'll say, you bought what? I don't know anybody who would say that. I can't imagine somebody saying, I hope to gain five pounds every year, over the next 20 years, so that I can struggle in the later half of my life with my weight and health. Can't imagine anybody doing that. I can't visualize somebody saying, I have a five year goal to become a raging addict. If I can just become addicted to something, I could potentially wreck my marriage, I could hurt my children, I could lose relationship with all the people that I love, wouldn't it be amazing for me to become addicted to something? Nobody does that.
Let's not be so dramatic, let's kind of tone it down a bit. I don't know anybody who says, I wanna just work for years and years at a dead-end job, something I don't care about at all. I wanna live a passionless life, I wanna get toward the end of my life and say I didn't really accomplish anything, but one thing I do have, is regrets. I don't know anybody who wants to end up like that. What's so crazy interesting to me, when I think about it, is there's almost nobody that ruins their life because of one really bad decision, maybe a few, but the vast majority of people don't ruin their lives because of one really stupid decision. The vast majority of people ruin their lives one small decision, one bad step, one bad habit, one day at a time, over a series of years, they end up in a really bad place. They will summarize a lifetime of bad decisions in one sentence.
Have you ever noticed this? Someone'll summarize a whole decade of bad decisions. They'll say, like, well, yeah, she fell into sin, and she cheated on her husband, and they ended up divorced. One sin in summary, but all sorts of steps that led to that bad place. Yeah, he always struggled with his weight, he died at the age of 58, and they summarize it with one sentence. Yeah, he was really irresponsible, so eventually the company fired him, but he didn't get fired because of one bad decision, it was a series. They'll summarize a season of bad decisions with one sentence, but it's rarely ever just one event. I like to read in the Bible those summary statements, and they're all over. If you read with eyes to see the one-sentence summaries, you'll see them everywhere. To me, one of the most profound ones is found in Judges 16:1, and it summarizes what became a series of bad decisions for Samson. If there was any guy that was born with incredible potential given to him by God, it was Samson, and yet, because of one bad decision, one step, one bad habit, one day at a time, he ended up in a life that completely fell apart. Judges 16:1 is a summary sentence that says, one day, everybody say, one day.
One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. One sentence summarizes the beginning of the trajectory downward for the life of this guy, that was incredibly gifted by God. One day, Samson went down to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. You likely don't know geography. I had to look it up, but Gaza is 25 miles from Samson's home town Zora. Gaza was the Philistine headquarter where Samson was Public Enemy Number One. In order to go into Gaza, was to put his life at risk. What we know about the time when Samson lived, is there was no Uber. So, we could assume that perhaps one option was Samson might have walked 25 miles into enemy territory to see a prostitute. Question, how many people walk 25 miles into a place that could kill you, all to get a little squeeze? Maybe I shouldn't have said squeeze, maybe I shoulda said booga-booga, maybe a little hubba-hubba, I don't know what you want me to say, but to get a little whatever you wanna call it. Who does that? The answer is, people do it every single day. Since I only work on Sundays, and I have nothing to do during the week I decided to research, and ask myself, how long does it take to go 25 miles, how many steps do you have to take.
So I researched it. Do you know how many steps it takes to go 25 miles? Approximately 56,250 steps. I would submit to you that Samson didn't ruin his life all at one time. But yet, in that instance, he took 56,250 steps in a direction that would begin a life of spiraling downward and out of control. Most of us don't wreck our lives all at once. How do we do it? We do it one bad decision, one wrong step, one bad habit, one day at a time. And that's why we're talking about our habits. If you were with us in the first week, we started with the idea of who before do. Before we talk about the habits that we want to do, let's talk about who we want to become. Who do you wanna be? Who does God want you to be? A Godly father? A Godly wife? A great example to the students that you go to school with? A person who's healthy, a person who's generous? Someone who's sober, someone who's clean? Who do you want to be? The second week we answered the question, based on who you want to become, what one habit do you need to start. Start with the who, then what one habit do you need to start, to become who you want to be?
Today we're gonna add one more small layer to it, and that is this, here's the question and the point of application. Based on who you want to become, what one habit do you need to break? What one habit is unhealthy, maybe unhelpful, perhaps unGodly, that's taking you in a direction that ultimately you do not want to go. What one habit, based on who do you want to become, do you need to break? I like what James said about the filthy habits, in James 1:21. He said, get rid of them all. Get rid of every filthy habit, and all wicked conduct. You're not gonna do it on your own, whatcha gonna do, you're gonna submit yourself to God and accept the word that he plants in your hearts, which is able to save you. What one habit do you need to rid yourself of, to become who God wants you to become? We're gonna talk about how to do that today. Before we talk about how, let's talk about what. What is the one habit that you need to break? We need to acknowledge it, we need to define it. You cannot defeat what you cannot define. What is the one for you? We're not talking about, some of you might say, well, I've got about 27 I need to break.
Don't say 27, if you try to do 27, you'll do zero. We're gonna talk about one. What's your one? You may have a problem with a bad attitude, a complaining heart, maybe a gossiping tongue. I know for you it's not gossip, you're just telling people so they can pray about it. Maybe you got a gossiping tongue, okay, what is it that you want to break? It could be an eating issue, maybe you eat and vomit, maybe you eat too much. Maybe you eat too much sugar, maybe you eat too much chocolate, maybe you eat too many snacks, maybe it's an eating issue. It could be a technology addiction. Maybe you're addicted to video games. It's kind of fun and games at first, but now it's taking over your life, and it's hurting your relationships, and it's a little bit out of control. Maybe it's social media, scroll, scroll, click, scroll, like, scroll, scroll, scroll, click, like, scroll, click, on and on and on. Maybe it's binge-watching too much Netflix. Maybe it's pornography. You've tried to quit. You promised you wouldn't do it again and you haven't quit. Maybe it's just your mobile device.
You know, it's like you can't be away from that thing. If you like hand it to somebody, you get severe anxiety. Because it's a part of you, and you have to check it non-stop. You're wasting your life looking at a screen. Maybe it's a substance. Maybe you're addicted to sugar, maybe to nicotine, maybe to an illegal substance, maybe prescription medication. I don't know what it is. I had a cemetery, excuse me, I had a seminary, seminary professor tell me one time, he said, "if more than one person who loves you tells you that you have a problem, you very likely have a problem". May I suggest that to you today lovingly. If more than one person who cares about you tells you, you've got a problem with something, maybe you got a problem. The habit that I'm breaking is my screen time. It admittedly is far less than the average, I have researched it, but in my standard, is way too much. Ever since Apple told me how much time I'm looking at my phone, it's horrifying to me that I would waste that much time. So I have time limits on certain apps. At 10 minutes, I'm out, I can't look at that anymore, because I am not going to waste my God-given life staring at someone else's posed image on a screen, and waste the calling that I have. Based on who you wanna become, what one habit do you need to break?
Let's talk for a moment about why this is difficult, because that gives us insight into how to do it. Have you noticed, there's a difference between why a good habit is difficult to start, and a bad habit is difficult to break? For example, a good habit is challenging at first, and then the payoff, the win, is somewhere in the future, right, have you noticed that? For example, you're gonna start jogging. And so, in the morning, you're gonna get up, and you're gonna be a jogger, and the morning, your alarm goes off and you're argh, it's so early. And you put your stuff on, like this is gonna be great, and you go, it's not great, it's cold, and it's hard, it's difficult. And you do this for a while, and you see no payoff, and you have to do it for a consistent time, and then seven months later, you wake up, oh my gosh, I'm down nine pounds, and I've got the beginning stages of buns of steel. It's difficult at first, and the payoff is somewhere out there in the future. You decide you're gonna be plugged in to God's house, the church, you're gonna be involved. It's difficult at first. Oh I gotta get up, oh I gotta go serve. And you don't see an initial payoff. And then a year later you wake up going oh my gosh I had no idea I could ever be this close to God.
And I've got this supernatural peace and his word is dwelling in me. And I'm being conformed to the image of Christ and I've got amazing friends around me, we're doing life together. And I'm using my gifts to make a difference. It didn't happen after two weeks. It took some time. It's difficult at first and the payoff is in the future. Bad habits though are the opposite. Right? There's a perceived benefit immediately. It's fun to do what's wrong at first. Sin can be fun. How many of you would say I agree? Raise your hands, raise your hands. Some of you I'm not raising my hand in church, saying sin. No no no, sin can be fun. If you don't think it is, either you didn't do it right or you're lying. I don't know which. It can be fun and then it's not, then it messes you up. If there's a perceived benefit, but the negative payoff isn't until the future. For example, you wanna smoke a ciggy. I said ciggy a couple weeks ago and everybody laughed. I thought you were laughing 'cause I said ciggy. I didn't realize until afterwards several people said when you said ciggy you did this. And this isn't how you smoke a ciggy. So for all the ciggy police that are critiquing my ciggy style, if you smoke a ciggy. Just making sure I get it right. I don't know this stuff. I never, ever smoked a ciggy. And I'm not entirely sure if I smoked anything else, 'cause I was too drunk to remember, but some say I might have. I don't know.
So where was I? You got me off on this. I don't know. That was before I was a Christian, in case you're wondering. It was not last Tuesday. So, just so you'll know. So there were, help me. Where was I Pastor Chris? Perceived benefit. Like I don't know what this feels good, this is makes me relaxed. Okay and the cost isn't until years later when they tell you bad news about your lungs. You're the customer of the year at the all you can eat buffet. You love the little banana pudding with the wafers in it. You eat it all. Oh it's so good for a while. And it's decades later you find out you got type 2 diabetes. There's a perceived benefit for a little while and a negative payoff isn't until later. Understanding that helps us to know how we break a bad habit. If a good habit's difficult to do at first, what do we do? Last week we talked about. Make it easy and make it obvious. If on the other hand the bad habit looks appealing in the short hand, what we're gonna do on the other hand is we're gonna make it difficult to do. We're gonna make it really, really hard to do the bad habit. Because we only have so much will power. Just like your ability to make decisions wanes as you make decisions. Just like your energy depletes as you exert energy.
So does your willpower. And you know it because you can fight certain things off for a while and then you get tired of fighting it off. I don't know what it might be for you. Maybe you're trying to eat good and they bring your favorite donuts into the office. The first time you walk by 'em with confidence, power and victory in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I can do all things through Christ, I don't need those stupid donuts. They don't even look good Who eats those donuts? Only losers eat those donuts. The second time you walk by and you look at 'em and you say hmm, I praise God for what I'm not even gonna eat there. I don't even need that. The third time you walk by you touch 'em. Just to see what does this feel like? I thank you God, this has no power. Then one day you smell it. I don't need this. Then you eat a half of one. And you wait seven minutes before you eat the second half. Because somehow you tell yourself it's not a whole if you have seven minutes in between. Then once you lose your donut virginity you eat four, 'cause I already ate one so I might as well eat more. Know what I'm talking about? Am I the only person that has a hard time walking by the donuts sometimes?
What we're gonna do is we're going to make it difficult to do. I love the way Solomon phrased it in Proverbs chapter four, verse 14 about anything that's tempting, anything that's evil. He says, don't set foot on the path to the donuts. "Don't set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers". Then he says this, he says "Avoid it, don't travel on it, turn from it, go your own way". If you didn't hear me the first time I'm gonna tell you four different times, four different ways you make it difficult to get around that which could harm you. We're gonna make it difficult to do. If you're with us last week, we talked about the habit loop. Let me show it to you again. Research shows again and again that every bad habit starts with a cue or a trigger. Something that says oh this is what you wanna do. That leads to an action that's followed by the reward, the high, the buzz, the dopamine hit, the fun, the pleasure, the whatever it is. And then it goes trigger, action, reward and such. How do we break the habit? What we're gonna try to do is we're gonna try to remove the trigger and interrupt the action. Whatever it is that triggers us in the wrong direction we're gonna try to remove that trigger and we're gonna try to interrupt the action.
Let's talk for a moment about triggers. We can be triggered into a bad habit or an unhelpful action by all sorts of different things. But studies show there are five major triggers that generally will lead us in the wrong direction. What are they? You know this because you can be triggered by a place, you can be triggered by a time, you might be triggered by a certain mood, you're triggered by a moment or you might be triggered by people. Place, time, mood, moment or people. Let's talk about place and time together. There's probably a place where you do the wrong bad habit and you consistently do it at a similar place. You probably don't do that habit at certain places as well. For example, you probably don't overeat when you go to the gym. You probably don't smoke pot when you come to church. If you do, let's just have a little talk about your spiritual development. We'll find another way to approach worship in the house of God. You probably don't do those things at those places but you might smoke pot and overeat at a Superbowl party if you're with the wrong people. It's the place.
There's also a time. You probably don't binge watch pornography when you're with other people at life group. You don't do it in that time. When might you do it? Maybe late at night when you're mad at your spouse or when you're a little bit feeling lonely or when you feel bored. There's probably a time and a place where you do this. Time and place really matter a lot. We're gonna make sure if there's a time, there's a place that triggers us, we're gonna try to remove that trigger. David in the Old Testament made a horrible mistake and you can summarize it, wrong place, wrong time. The guy wasn't a bad guy. He genuinely loved God. You're not a bad person if you continue to fall into the same ruts. You can genuinely love God but if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time you might find yourself doing something you never wanted to do. If you read the story and you don't know it, David, the king, who loved God, committed adultery with Bathsheba and ended up having her husband murdered. Why? Wrong place, wrong time. The beginning of the story says in the springtime when kings go off to war, David stayed back at the palace. When he wasn't where he wasn't supposed to be he ended up at the wrong time going up on the rooftop which happened to be his neighbor's bath time.
And so he started checking it out. Wrong place, wrong time led him to see something he shouldn't have seen which led him to do something that he shouldn't have done which ended up costing him more than he ever wanted to pay. Wrong place, wrong time. If there's that consistent place, that consistent time where you find yourself vulnerable, we're gonna try to remove the triggers from our lives. There's also moods. You know it. You're more vulnerable when you're in a certain mood. Experts will teach you to HALT, H-A-L-T. If you see a mood coming that you know you're vulnerable, you HALT. What does HALT stand for? When are we vulnerable? We're vulnerable when we're hungry, H. We're vulnerable when we're angry. Amy says those are not two for me, I just get hangry. Okay if I get hungry I get irritable and I'm vulnerable. L stands for lonely or when you're bored. When you find nothing going on you feel under challenged, you feel lonely, you're vulnerable. Or when you're tired. You have less strength when you're tired and so you might halt. Oh I'm in that place, I'm in that time, I'm in that mood where I'm more vulnerable. I need to remove the trigger and go do something else to get myself out of danger.
There's moments. There's certain moments when something happens after that moment you end up doing the very thing that you didn't want to do. Something happens a moment triggers you. You get in a fight with your husband and you call the same three girlfriends and you have a husband bashing party. Because that's what you do after a fight with your husband. Or you go to the game with all the guys and you drink too much, you did it last time, you did it the time before, you did it this time, you'll do it the next time. It's a moment that triggers you to do something wrong. You pass your test in school and so you smoke pot to celebrate. Or you flunk your test in school so you smoke pot to console yourself. Or you skip your test in school and you smoke pot. You have a pot problem no matter what it is, okay? You wanna look for the moments that might trigger you and we're gonna distance ourself from the time, the place, the mood, the moment. And also, this is gonna hurt your feeling, but it's so important. The people. The wrong people can be triggers that lead us in the wrong direction just as the right people can be triggers to lead us in the the right direction.
In fact studies are conclusive that the closer you are to someone the more likely you are to have the same habits as the people close to you. There was one study I found fascinating. That they tracked 12000 people over a 32 year period. Three decades, 12000 people. They found out all sorts of crazy interesting stuff. Two of the points were interesting to me. If you have one friend who is significantly overweight there's a 57% more likely chance that you'll be overweight as well. One friend. One the other side, the good news is, if you have one friend that loses a significant amount of weight, one of the three closest friends to that person will also lose a significant amount of weight. The people we hang with often shape the habits that we have. It doesn't take a study to prove this. Long before there were any studies Solomon said this in Proverbs 13:20. He said, "If you walk with the wise, you become wise but a companion of fools suffers harm". We become like the people that we run around with.
If I can tell you about my closest friends, they are absolute and complete gifts to me. You look at my five closest friends and what you're gonna find is, they all love Jesus. They're all significantly involved in the church. They're all professionals that are succeeding in some area of their life. They actually all eat very disciplined. They all work out. They all live beneath their means financially. And they're all incredibly generous. They all have good families and Godly children. Think about how much easier it is for me to live a life that honors God seeing these kinda habits and disciplines around me. Think about the flip side. If my five closest friends and I do have some friends that would fall into this category, but they are not the people I spend the most time with and have supported me in prayer. Imagine if my five closest friends were all unemployed, all addicted to video games, all had other addiction problems in their life, and every Friday night invited me to go to the casinos where we could smoke ciggies or whatever kinda ciggy you want.
Imagine how much more difficult it would be for me to live a God honoring life if that was the consistent input in my life. That's why I always say it's almost impossible to live the right life when you have the wrong friends. It doesn't mean that we're not a light to people, it doesn't mean we're not friends with all sorts of people, but Paul said it very, very clearly. And kid yourself not, he said this, "bad company corrupts good character. Do not be misled". you become like the people that you're around. If you're consistently going in the wrong direction and the people around you are going in the wrong direction, maybe we need to redefine our relationships and who we spend the time with. What are we gonna do? We're looking to the triggers. We're gonna remove the triggers and we're going to interrupt the actions. How might this play out? Let's just get really practical. Some of you all I've heard are, you're not gonna hit the snooze button anymore, okay. You normally hit it seven times because that's a Godly number.
And so you spend an extra hour and five minutes in bed before you get up in the morning, okay? What you're gonna do is you're gonna recognize this day is a gift from God, he's gonna wake us up and we're gonna attack it with joy and power and victory. We're gonna make a difference in this way. So in order to make it more difficult to hit the snooze, but make it difficult, you're gonna take your clock or your mobile device and you're gonna put it all the way across the room. So when it goes eh eh eh, if you wanna hit snooze you gotta get outta your warm, snuggly bed, walk across your cold house, hit snooze and walk back in the bed. Just made it more difficult to do, you're more likely to do it. We're removing the trigger, we're making it more difficult to do. If you have a problem on Amazon, click click, click click, click click. How'd I just spend $112. I don't know. Click click. What you might do is you might have a friend have your password. And you can't buy anything until you go through that friend. You just made it way more difficult to do.
Let's say you continue to look at lustful images and you can't stop. What we're gonna do is we're gonna make it way more difficult to do. You're gonna get someone else to have the passcodes to your phone and they're gonna limit adult content. They may block Safari completely. You may not be allowed to have Instagram. You're gonna make it very difficult to get. You may not be able to download apps. If you're smart enough to get around all of their limitations then you may just go to a dumb phone because your purity matters so much to you you're not gonna let images take you out of serving God faithfully and having true intimacy with someone else because you continue to lust after something that is not real. You're gonna remove the trigger and you're gonna cut and break the action. How do you break a bad habit? You make it difficult to do. Then we're gonna go find something else to do. We're gonna create good habits in the places of the other ones. If I can talk to some of you right now that you're deep into a habit. Maybe you're gambling, maybe it's some sort of addiction to alcohol or drugs or prescription medicine or some kind of sexual addiction, for you it's time for rehab. It's time for rehab. It's time to own up to it and say I'm not going to let something control my life.
When you look at the direction you're going if that's not the direction you wanna go you're gonna do something significant to stop it. Think about this, the habits that you have today will shape you who become tomorrow. Let that sink in. The habits you have today, they're shaping who you become tomorrow. Do you like the direction your habits are taking you? If you're not sure, just play 'em forward. Take that bad thing, that little secret thing, the thing you don't tell anybody, or that thing that's kind of annoying, whatever it is. For some of you, if you play that forward five, 10, 15, 20 years, here's what you will say in the future. You will say, I had no idea how much this was gonna cost me. I never knew I would lose so much. I would give anything if I could go back in time and do something different. I never expected to lose my family, lose my house, lose my name. I didn't do it all at once. One small bad habit over time. Based on who you wanna become, what habit are you gonna break? But I feel so weak. Great. Because when you are weak, listen to me, Christ's strength is made perfect. Scripture says this: you're never tempted in any way that's uncommon. Our God is faithful, our God is faithful. He will never let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. He will always give you a way out.
There's always a way out. Think about Sampson. 56250 steps in the wrong direction. It was also 56250 opportunities to stop, to turn around. To say this isn't who I wanna become. This isn't the life that I want. God created me for something more. Oh but I'm not gonna snooze on my alarm, I'm not gonna eat donuts. What's the big deal about that? "Do not despise," Zechariah says, "the day of small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin". Never underestimate how God can start something special through something small. I've talked about that verse maybe 50 times. It never hit me until this week. Do not despise the small beginnings, for the Lord does what? Say it with me, the Lord does what? The Lord rejoices. Imagine this. Imagine this. My kid scores a goal or my kid makes his bed, he obeys. What do I do? I, way to go, I rejoice. Imagine God in heaven rejoicing over you when you're faithful in a small thing. Where God says says way to go. You're on the right track! You stopped going in the wrong direction. And now you're being conformed to the image of my will.
Then when you start to do these small things, they're not actions, they're redefining your identity. When I'm eating right, I'm a healthy follower of Jesus. I'm honoring God. The temple of the Holy Spirit, I'm honoring him. When I'm exercising I'm an athlete. It's not what I do, it's who I am. If I'm practicing the piano I am a musician, it's my identity. When I wake up and I read my YouVersion Bible, I am becoming a man of God. When you don't look at that lustful trash, I'm being purified by Christ, my mind is being renewed. I'm a person of integrity. Becomes identity. Then one day you wake up and you realize, because Jesus dwells within me, Christ in me is stronger than wrong desires in me. I am a self disciplined, devil kicking, mountain moving, light shining, spirit filled over comer. By the blood of the lamb, and if you know the verse, by the word of my Testimony. My story, it's my story. I'm not what I was. I used to be there. But God saw that I was faithful in some small things and he trusted me with more.
Who do you wanna become? Based on who you wanna become, what habit do you need to start, what habit do you need to stop? Do not grow weary in doing good, scripture says, 'cause at the proper time, it may be in the distance, but it will get here, the proper time, you will reap an incredible harvest if you do not give up. So Father, work in the lives of the people that you love so much. All of our churches as you reflect in prayer, I don't even want you to think about it. But you're gonna ask God, you're gonna seek God. If you're in a life group you're gonna talk about it in your life group and talk about it with your family, this is the habit God's calling me to break. If you'll do that and commit to it, would you lift up your hands right now. Just all of our churches, lift 'em up as an indication before God you're committing to this.
God I thank you that you're gonna speak to people and in really small ways God, that may seem even insignificant now, we're to start what you called us to start, we're gonna stop what you call us to stop. And every year, little by little by little by little as we get to know you, your word, your people, the gifts you put within us, you're gonna conform us to the image of your son Jesus. God I thank you that you're gonna help us. Some are gonna great generational curses, strongholds that have followed them in their family for years and years. God I know that we will not all succeed at 100% but if we fail one day, God help us not fail two. Get back up, forgive us, empower us God to do your will.
As you're praying today at all the churches across our country and Church Online, we're talking about stopping. There's some of you, guess what, today is the day for you to stop making excuses. Some of you, it's time to quit putting it off. If you look at your life then I ask you where you stand spiritually. Some of you recognize, yeah you kinda believe in this stuff and you kind float around it but you're not fully submitted to Christ. Thought about it, you considered it. Today's the day you quit making excuses.
Today's the day you stop putting it off. Why? Because when you recognize who God is, and how much he loves you and what he's done for you, your only reasonable response is to give him your whole life. What's our problem? Our problem is simple. We are sinful by nature. We've all sinned and fall short of God's standard. But God in his love and mercy, he became one of us in the person of his son Jesus who was born without sin. He was perfect in every way, blameless, Jesus, the innocent one died in our place, as our substitute. God raised him from the dead so that anyone, and this does include you, it doesn't matter what you've done, how dark your life is, when you call on the name that is above every name, the name of Jesus, God hears your prayers, he forgives your sins. You've been putting it off, you've been making excuses.
You're here today because this is the day of your salvation. In all of our churches those who say no more excuses, no more delay, today by faith I turn from my sin, I give my life to Jesus, that's my prayer. I surrender to him. Lift your hands high now, all over the place, and say yes, that's my prayer here in this section, right back over here, say yes. Others of you right back here toward the back, up here close to me say yes. Let me just find you and acknowledge you. Lift 'em up over here on this side. Right back over there. Thank God for you. Others today right back over here as well. My goodness gracious. Somebody oughta worship a little more than this. Church Online, right back over here. Welcome into God's family. Church Online you click below me. Up here in the middle section would you all pray with those around you. Everybody simply pray welcoming those to the family.
Heavenly Father, Forgive all my sins. Change me. Make me new. Jesus be the savior of my life. The Lord of my heart. Holy Spirit fill me. So I could follow you. Live like you. Show your love. Do your will. My life is not my life. I surrender it to you. Thank you for new life. You have all of mine. In Jesus' name I pray.