A New Sermon Series: The Power of Habit

Did you know that 40% of all we do is by habit? Do you know what your keystone habit is, the one habit that is foundational to your life?

In his book, “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Live and in Business”, Charles Duhigg, has made a scientific study of habits that is so broadly based that he incorporates clinical studies alongside case studies of businesses, various organizations, and at least one church. In one study Duhigg looks closely at the Saddleback Church pastored by best selling author of, “The Purpose Driven Life,” Pastor Rick Warren, and concludes that Warren is “savvy” when it comes to understanding the power of habits.

After reading the book, I looked at what the scriptures have to say about habits. For instance, did you know that the Greek word “ethos,” is sometimes translated “custom,” and sometimes “habit?” Or, have you ever considered the habits that God gave us to fit us for life in community, or the habits displayed by Jesus during his ministry?

This study is worth sharing. The dates, sermon titles and texts are listed below. I hope that all of our New Philadelphia members and friends can be present for these messages, and for all our worship. Do you remember what the writer of the Hebrews has said:

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24

1. The Power of Habit: This Sunday, June 24th

Luke 22:39   And he came out, and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” 45 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and he said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

2. Changing Our Habits: Sunday, July 1st

Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.

Jeremiah 26:13 Now therefore amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God, and the LORD will repent of the evil which he has pronounced against you.

John Hus Communion: Sunday, July 8th

3. The Habits God Gave: Sunday, July 15th

Deuteronomy 11:18   “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 And you shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 20 And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates, 21 that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.

John Rights: Sunday, July 22nd

4. Habits to Live By: Sunday, July 29th

Exodus 20:1   And God spoke all these words, saying, 2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

I Exodus 20:3   “You shall have no other gods before me.
II Exodus 20:4   “You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
III Exodus 20:7   “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
IV. Exodus 20:8   “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; 11 for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.
V. Exodus 20:12   “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
VI. Exodus 20:13   “You shall not kill.
VII. Exodus 20:14   “You shall not commit adultery.
VIII. Exodus 20:15   “You shall not steal.
IX. Exodus 20:16   “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
X. Exodus 20:17   “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbors.”

Exodus 20:18   Now when all the people perceived the thunderings and the lightnings and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled; and they stood afar off, 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will hear; but let not God speak to us, lest we die.” 20 And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to prove you, and that the fear of him may be before your eyes, that you may not sin.”

5. The Habits of Jesus: Sunday August, 5th
John 4:31   Meanwhile the disciples besought him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Has any one brought him food?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest? I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest. 36 He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

6. Desirable Habits for a Congregation (Like Ours): Sunday, August 12th
1Corinthians 12:27   Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

Communion Commemorating August 13th 1727: Sunday, August 19th

About the author:

The Rev. Dr. Worth Green is the Senior Pastor of New Philadelphia Moravian Church.. Follow him on Twitter / Facebook.