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Monday, January 6, 2014

Know My Habits; Know My Heart

By Jim Bullington

    Know my habits; know my heart! This proverb was never more evident than it was in the life of Jesus when He returned to His hometown of Nazareth. “So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read” (Luke 4:16-17).
    I recently heard a nationally renowned speaker say that he could discern the values that any person holds dear if he had access to only two documents. And, what are these two documents that hold the secrets of a man’s heart? According to the speaker, they are his checkbook and his daily planner. From these two sources, he could determine how a person spends his time and how he spends his money. In that sense, I concluded that the speaker was correct! Everything that is truly important to me is reflected in my checkbook and my planner.
    Jesus had habits just like everyone else. By carefully noting the text cited above, we gain insight into the values that Jesus held dear. Note that He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath days “as His custom was.” The obvious import of this passage is that Jesus had, over a long process of time, developed the habit of going into the synagogue for the express purpose of worship on the Sabbath. His custom was one developed of His own volition and not by force of another. In the synagogue He could associate with others who respected God’s laws and shared His view of their importance. He could read from the inspired Scriptures, God’s Divine source of wisdom. He could discuss how the Scriptures applied to His own life and to the lives of those about Him. The fact that Jesus habitually visited the synagogue on a weekly basis reveals much about the character of Jesus.
    I have heard people argue, “I can be a Christian without going to church every Sunday!” Usually I have heard this line in defense of one’s habit of not attending church services. With Jesus’ custom of attending the synagogue in view, I wonder if an informed person would make this argument to Jesus? I hardly think so! Why not? Because everyone knows - “Know my habits; Know my heart!”

- via the weekly bulletin of the Harrisburg Church of Christ in Harrisburg, IL.  You may visit their website at
http://www.harrisburgchurchofchrist.org

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