Monthly Archives: August 2011

40 days: wisdom on making and breaking habits

Jesus fasted 40 days… praying and being tested by the devil… in the desert, before He started His ministry.

40 hours after being buried His grave was opened and after His resurrection He spent 40 days amongst His people.

Moses spent 40 years in the Desert to be prepared by God to lead the Israelites from captivity to the Promised Land.

Then Moses spent 40 days on the mount Horeb to get the Ten Commandments from God.

It rained 40 days and nights during Noah’s flood.

To just name a few.

So what is it with this opportunity given?

I do not think it is the amount of days we spent… but the intimacy we have with God that determines many things. However 40 days does something for you.

This will be interesting to you, even if you are NOT Christian, so go on reading.

Existing of Body, Soul and Spirit, I believe fasting and praying… but primarily spending quality time with God changes your life.

Teaching physical education at a school and having fasted a couple of times for the named length of time I have noticed the following.

No matter in which area (body, soul or spirit) of life, you can break and make a habit within that time span.

Here some examples

FOOD:

Say you have the habit of eating junk food and only little physical activity, thus picking up weight. You want to loose that habit. So here you go: Make it a 40 day thing.

It will take you (that is to my own experience) round about 2-3 weeks (14-20 days) until your body doesn’t crave for such food every other minute. Your moods will be a challenge to all of the people around you, but to you just as well.

Given the fact that you want to break the habit, you might wanna try a health balanced diet. All self cooked food, sweets only a little bit and only for dessert. Also you wanna take a lengthy walk a day… be it in the park or on the beach or where ever you live.

These first few weeks are no fun. They feel like torture at times but they are worth it. After these 2-3 weeks, your body will have gotten used to not having the stuff it likes all the time. It will also have gotten used to the taste of healthy food – perhaps not liking it that much yet, but getting used to it.

However it will probably take the rest of the 40 days, till your body will actually ask for the extra activity and the healthy nutrition instead of the junk food and will not like the taste of the old stuff any longer.

Once you have gotten this far… it is your choice. Decide to extend the time period for another 40 days…and another …and another until it becomes a habit, or go back to where you were. But remember…you have a choice.

The same as above goes for physical activity, sleep (which requires sleep hygiene) and many more.

TV or INTERNET:

Same goes here. Try fasting from it for 40 days. You will hate the first two of three weeks.

You might say…I need the internet for work. But to be honest…most people only need it to retrieve emails, and that can be done via Outlook and similar programs and can be limited to 3 times a day.

But once you are over the worst stretch, you will actually discover, you have time to do other things you really cherish.

More important than with food still, is that these media have addictive tendencies… meaning you fall back into the habit easily. So keep away from temptations. Decide to find stuff and DO stuff you really like and that get you away from them (like taking a walk).

You’ll be astonished as to how much time you suddenly find for relationships, for reading, for forgotten hobbies and long walks that make you remember the essential stuff in life.

After about 40 days you’ll find that TV/Internet doesn’t give you what it once did. Now you have a choice. Remember the old habit is easy on coming back. But you have a choice.

After almost 5 months without TV in my life, I must say I don’t regret my decision.

The same way goes for any media addiction by the way.

SIN vs. FAITH:

Many Christians nowadays complain that they fall into sin so often and cannot help it.

We might all know how difficult some sinful habits are to break and temptations are to avoid.

(Sexual immorality, substance abuse, taking offense, bitterness, cursing/foul language usage, comparing and jealousy, just to name a few.).

The fact that is often overlooked here is this: What you fill your heart/mind/soul with, it will run over with.

We all live in a secular world. The society we grow up in is hedonistic and most of us will probably come from a democracy.

BUT as Christians we live in a kingdom with GOD as the king of kings. He tells us to NOT be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2). We look at sensual advertisements; look at media that manages to break all of Gods commandments within 10min of watching television at times, listen to music that tells us how to see things and what is cool, even though it is contrary to the Word of God.

So no wonder, sin has influence on our lives more than we would like it to have.

Try refraining from reading anything but your Bible for the 40 days fast. Decide NOT to watch TV or listen to secular music but instead get up and spend 30 minutes alone with God before you do ANYTHING else in the morning. Decide to proclaim a blessing instead of a curse every time you really get upset about something and decide NOT to share your up setting moments with best friends, colleagues or family before you at least spent 30min sharing with God on it.

You’ll see… your spiritual life will be rebooted and you will stand in amazement of what GOD does within 40 days at the latest.

So to sum it up…

I don’t think there is any magic behind this number… but there certainly is wisdom behind it.

I have tried most of the above named fasting myself…it works.

From some I have refrained after a while again due to laziness and other reasons. That doesn’t say they do not work though. It just shows me, I need to go for a check up every once and again and let GOD influence my life anew.

 

I pray GOD will bless you and help you break any ungodly habit and draw you near!

Uniqueness of the Bible

1. The Uniqueness of its Composition

The Bible is comprised of 66 separate books, and it was written over a period of at least 1.500 years by more than 40 authors who for the most part didn’t know each other personally.

The writers of the Bible came from different social and occupational backgrounds (for example Moses – political leader, educated in Pharao’s palace; Joshua – general; Solomon – king; Amos – shepherd; Nehemiah – cup-bearer; Daniel – politician; Peter – fisherman; Luke – physician; Matthew – tax-collector).

The authors of the Bible wrote in completely different geographic environments and under different circumstances (for example Moses – in the desert; Jeremiah – in a prison; David – in the mountains and in his palace; Paul – in prison; Luke – during his journeys; John – during his exil on Patmos).

They wrote in different states of mind – one in a state of great joy, the other in a state of mourning and despair.

The Bible was composed on three different continents (Asia, Africa and Europe) and in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek)

2. The Uniqueness of its Thematic Unity

Unity in its objective: Although the Bible was written by about 40 different authors during a period of at least 1.500 years and although these writers lived on three different continents and belonged to various cultures, the Bible has a unifying objective. The main theme is to give answers to these basic questions:

Who is God?

Who is man?

Is there a possibility for a relationship between God and man, and if so – how?

The Bible wants to lead man to God (cf. John 20:31 and 2 Timothy 3:14-17).

Unity in its contents: The whole book is about one central figure – Jesus Christ. Basically, the complete Old Testament points to this Person, be it through metaphors or be it through direct prophecies. The New Testament shows us the fulfillment of these prophecies and the meaning and the consequences of the coming of Christ.

3. The Uniqueness of its Relevance

Although the Bible is already many centuries old, it is still read regularly and with great interest by very many people.

The Bible is a book that has been relevant in every epoch of world history – whether in times of war or peace, in the Dark Ages or in our modern technological age. Millions of people have found nourishment, help, and encouragement in this book.

The Bible is the only book in the world that is read by people from all walks of life and from every age group.

4. The Uniqueness of its Circulation

The Bible is one of the first books that have ever been translated. About 250 B.C. the Old Testament was translated into the Greek language (the Septuagint).

The Bible was the first major book that was printed – in form of the Latin Vulgate on Gutenberg’s press.

It is the most-translated and most-spread book in the world (in 2002, the Bible had been translated into 2287 languages: the complete Bible into 392 languages, the New Testament into 1012 languages and single books of the Bible into 883 languages), with a still increasing tendency.

5. The Uniqueness of its Survival

It has survived time: Although the Bible was written on perishable material and therefore had to be copied by hand for many centuries until the art of printing had been invented, neither its accuracy nor its existence has suffered.

It has survived persecution: The Bible has withstood the most malicious onslaughts of its enemies like no other book. For centuries people have tried to burn, ban, and outlaw the Bible.

It has survived criticism: An army of rationalists arose who thought up the wildest and most intense attacks against the Bible. But nevertheless, the Bible has been distributed more, read more and cherished more than any other book.

6. The Uniqueness of its Literary Character

According to Arthur Brisbane (a non-Christian), the Bible contains brilliant examples of great literature in any form: lyric poetry – the Psalms, epic poetry – Genesis; dramatic poetry – Job; historic narrative art – the Books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles; rural idyll – Ruth; patriotism – Esther and Daniel; practical wisdom – Proverbs; philosophie – Ecclesiastes; moving depth – Isaiah; short stories – the Gospels; letters – the various Epistles of the New Testament; thrilling mysticism – the Book of Revelation.

A long literary stream of books inspired by the Bible testifies to the influence of the Bible on the world literature.

7. The Uniqueness of its Moral Character

The absolute unique moral character of this book forces man to make a choice, a decision. It seems that nobody can remain untouched or neutral in the presence of the Bible.

For that reason is the Bible not only the most-sold, most-spread, most-translated and most-read, but also the most-hated book in the world.

But it is just as much the most-cherished book in the world. Other books may represent certain ideals. But practice proves the impossibility of lifting fallen man up to the level of these ideals, because the power is missing that only the Bible seems to possess. The Bible brings the impossible about by bringing us into contact with Jesus Christ who does not “repair” fallen man, but who has died for them. And fallen man has died in and with Christ, and has become a completely new human being, a new creature in the risen Christ. Scripture tells us that everybody, who truly has accepted Christ in faith, can rest in this assurance. – The biblical answer to the moral problem of the modern man is a personal, spiritual new birth, an actual inner change – not the conversion to a system, but to a Person, and the sincere, believing trust in the risen Lord Jesus Christ

8. The Uniqueness Of Its Accuracy

The Bible itself tells us how it was written: “All Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Timothy 3:16). Men “moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:21). The Greek word for inspired, theopneustos, means “God-breathed.” The Holy Spirit carried men along, moving and guiding them as they wrote in their own words what God wanted them to say. Thus we have verbal inspiration, because the words of the original text were inspired by God.

Many indicators for the accuracy of the Bible can be found in the fields of science, such as astronomy, physics, medicine, or biology. You will find many examples to support this statement if you follow this link: Scientific Evidence for the Accuracy of the Bible

No historic fact in the Bible ever has been shown to be in error. For more information on this claim, please visit the following link: Historical Evidence for the Accuracy of the Bible

One of the strongest objective evidences of biblical inspiration is the phenomenon of fulfilled prophecy. The Bible is essentially unique among the religious books of mankind in this respect. – Prophetical Evidence for the Accuracy of the Bible

(from: http://thewaytogod.info/e.uniqueness.bible.html)

That’s my KING and SAVIOUR

The incomparable Christ

He came from the throne of the Father to the womb of a woman. He put on

humanity that we might put on divinity. He became Son of Man that we might

become sons of God. He was born in a supernatural way, lived in poverty and

was reared in obscurity. He had neither wealth nor influence, yet the wisdom of

men has never matched His wisdom. Never has a man spoken like this man. His

family was inconspicuous and uninfluential. In infancy He startled a king. As a

boy, He stunned theologians with His knowledge and wisdom for He was taugh

of God. In manhood, He ruled the elements and quieted the raging sea. He

healed the multitudes without medicine. And fed thousands from a boy’s lunch.

Even demons obeyed Him and He gave back life to those who died. He never

wrote a book, yet none of the libraries of the world can contain the books that

have been written about Him. He never wrote a song, yet He has furnished the

theme of more songs than all song writers combined. He never founded a

college, yet all the colleges together cannot boast of as many students as He has.

He never marshaled an army, yet no leader has ever had more volunteers. Great

men have come and gone yet He lives all. Herod could not kill Him. Satan could

not tempt Him to sin. Death could not destroy Him. The grave could not hold

Him. He laid aside His purple robe for a peasant’s gown. He was rich yet for our

sakes He became poor. He slept in another’s manger. He rode on another’s

donkey. He was buried in another’s grave. He conquered death and rose on the

third day as He said He would. He ascended into heaven and is now at the right

hand of the throne of God. One day He will return with power and great glory to

judge the world when every knee shall bow to Him and every tongue shall

confess Him as Lord. His friends gladly. But enemies seeking for a place to hide

from His face. He is the perfect one. The only one who can satisfy the soul. He

gives everlasting life to those who love Him. He is altogether lovely. But best of

all, He is my Savior.

(from a brochure of the Faith, Prayer and Tract League)