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reflections

Reflections: Breaking Habits

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Reflections: Breaking Habits

There are lots of books and self help articles on how to break bad habits or create new ones.  For example, if you simply do something enough days in a row, you are more likely to form a habit.  These are super helpful at times, and can help you move past just being stuck.

The Bible tries to get at something a little deeper than the exterior habit.  It shows that we all are under certain impulses that we yield to, many of which are not good for us, namely, bad habits.  The problem is that we are always giving in to something: to our appetite, to our addiction, to our need for approval, to our selfishness, to our ego, to our self-righteousness, and so on.

We need not yield to bad things however.  Instead, we can yield to Jesus.  This may sound strange, so let me illustrate it.  Imagine that you are going out with a friend and you both want to go to a different restaurant.  One of you may yield to the other's preference so that they get to enjoy their pick.  In some cases, you might find that your friend had the better pick all along and you are glad to have given up your preference for theirs.

Jesus always chooses the better thing.  By yielding to His preferences we end up always finding the better pick.  We'll be glad we gave up our preference for His every time.

The thing about yielding is that you can only yield to one thing at a time.  You are giving up control when you yield to your appetite, your selfishness, etc... or, you are giving up control to Jesus who guides you to a better choice.  No bad habit can stand in a life surrendered to Jesus.  There is power in surrender.

This is part of a series: Reflections.

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Reflections: Bread and Blood

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Reflections: Bread and Blood

Early on, Jesus miraculously fed thousands by making bread appear.  Huge crowds of people followed him -- and why wouldn't they?  It was a free lunch :-)

He responds with a hard teaching that foreshadowed his death and turned people away.  He taught that he himself was a living bread that was sent from Heaven (John 6:22ff).  At first people were excited that they might get more free bread, but as Jesus taught, it because clear that he wasn't talking about a meal, but himself.  "Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him."

The crowds stopped following him.  He overstepped reason.  He was asking for a commitment that would require the crowds to agree that he was sent from Heaven and was the source of life.  That was just too hard for them to believe.  Many people were following Jesus, but they didn't spend time with him.  When the following got hard, there was no relationship, and they left.

Are we following Jesus or spending time with Him?  Do we look to get things from Jesus like bread, spiritual satisfaction, and reassurance?  Or do we follow because we know he's God?  Jesus generally doesn't ask for easy things, but hard things.  It is difficult to let ourselves die unless we trust that Jesus is there to catch us.

The act of communion - taking bread and drink as Christ's body and blood is a declaration of this Truth.  Believers everywhere acknowledge Jesus as God by eating His body which was broken for us... broken for me.  And by drinking His blood which was shed for us... shed for me.

This is part of a series: Reflections.

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