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Creatures of Habit Part 3

We are all creatures of habit. We all have habits in our lives that take us in a particular direction – good or bad. Good habits can make us successful, and bad habits can destroy our lives. In this series, Pastor Ron McKey teaches how to build successful habits and break those habits that are taking us in the wrong direction.

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We are all creatures of habit. We all have habits in our lives that take us in a particular direction – good or bad. Good habits can make us successful, and bad habits can destroy our lives. In this series, Pastor Ron McKey teaches how to build successful habits and break those habits that are taking us in the wrong direction.

Creatures of Habit Part 2

We are all creatures of habit. We all have habits in our lives that take us in a particular direction – good or bad. Good habits can make us successful, and bad habits can destroy our lives. In this series, Pastor Ron McKey teaches how to build successful habits and break those habits that are taking us in the wrong direction.

We are all creatures of habit. We all have habits in our lives that take us in a particular direction – good or bad. Good habits can make us successful, and bad habits can destroy our lives. In this series, Pastor Ron McKey teaches how to build successful habits and break those habits that are taking us in the wrong direction.

You’ve Got What It Takes – Part 1

Satan wants your view of life to be one of – “I’m not worthy. I’m not good enough. I’m undeserving. I can’t. God wouldn’t.” I don’t care how many times we preach this message of OVERCOMING, or being BLESSED or VICTORY, we always end up falling back into the trap of feeling “I’m not good enough; I’m not deserving or God is not pleased with me.” But God has made it clear on how we are to view life. We are overcomers! We are more than conquerors! We are blessed! We are above and not beneath! We are the head and not the tail! In the Genesis account, the first thing God did after He created Adam and Eve was He blessed them. Now, that’s significant because the law of Genesis – the law of first mention, means that whatever God has once done for us, He will continue to do for us. Confess this,”God wants to bless me because He loves me!” The word blessed means “to be happy to the point where others are envious.”

Let me show you the difference between the blessed life of a believer and

Satan wants your view of life to be one of – “I’m not worthy. I’m not good enough. I’m undeserving. I can’t. God wouldn’t.” I don’t care how many times we preach this message of OVERCOMING, or being BLESSED or VICTORY, we always end up falling back into the trap of feeling “I’m not good enough; I’m not deserving or God is not pleased with me.” But God has made it clear on how we are to view life. We are overcomers! We are more than conquerors! We are blessed! We are above and not beneath! We are the head and not the tail! In the Genesis account, the first thing God did after He created Adam and Eve was He blessed them. Now, that’s significant because the law of Genesis – the law of first mention, means that whatever God has once done for us, He will continue to do for us. Confess this,”God wants to bless me because He loves me!” The word blessed means “to be happy to the point where others are envious.”

Let me show you the difference between the blessed life of a believer and the life of an unbeliever, or maybe I should describe it this way – someone who has a relationship with God as opposed to someone who does not have a relationship with God. Psalm 1:1-6 reads, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers. Not so the wicked! They are life chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.” This is a picture of two different lifestyles. It’s a contrasting Psalm where it compares two things side by side, and here it’s comparing the righteous and the unrighteous. Notice there are only two groups and not three. There is not the righteous and the unrighteous and then the “sometimes righteous”, the “kinda sorta righteous” or the “mostly righteous.”

There are some things that you need to NOT DO in order to be blessed. Don’t walk in the counsel of the wicked (wicked is just a harsh word for an unbeliever). Don’t listen to the world – listen to God. Don’t be unequally yoked with unbelievers (you are known by the company you keep) and don’t stand in the way of sinners. When you stand in the way of sinners, you begin to accept their lifestyle. You even begin to defend them by saying things like “be open minded; it’s not that bad or it’s no big deal.” CHOOSE – PICK – COMMIT. Don’t sit in the seat of the mockers. When you sit in someone’s seat, you take their place; you become the substitute and now you’re one of them. So here is the point behind that whole don’t walk, stand or sit teaching – “BE A PERSON GOD CAN BLESS.”

FIRST STEP IN BEING BLESSED

John 3:7 says, “You should not be surprised at my saying, you must be born again.” What does it mean to be born again? The literal phrase is “to be born from above” meaning there has been a spiritual transformation. Going to church is NOT being born again. Calling yourself a Christian is not being born again. Growing up with Christian parents is not being born again. BORN AGAIN is a defining moment in your life where you give everything over to God and He makes you a new creation from the inside out. If you’ve never had this “born again” experience, I really encourage you to do it now!

God said the basis of being blessed is a relationship with Him. Revelation 2:17 says, “He that has an ear, let him hear what the spirit says…to him that overcomes will I give a white stone and in the stone a new name written which no man knows except God.” What’s the meaning of the WHITE STONE – It was something that a citizen of Rome was very familiar with. It was given to the winning Gladiator and basically gave them a free pass. It was given to an accused person who had been found not guilty (meaning justified) and he could show it to everyone as proof of innocence. Often times the Caesar would throw out to the crowds white stones that were marked or engraved with words like – grain, clothes or crops – and could be exchanged accordingly. In this life, God is saying “on this white stone is your blessed life, your healing, your prosperity, your good fortune, your victory and your righteousness.” In the life to come, Christ has a specialized blessing, place or assignment just for you!

CHOOSING TO WIN IN LIFE TAKES FOUR THINGS:

1) CHOOSING TO OVERCOME – You choose to overcome every obstacle in life, every difficult situation and every obstacle to live by faith. I John 5:4, “and this is the victory that overcomes the world even our faith.” The problems we have in life won’t just go away, but wouldn’t that be nice if they did???? You don’t just get a better life; you create a better life, and you get that life when you begin to live by faith. What is Faith? Faith is expecting the best. You will never overcome without faith. Faith is the currency of heaven. Faith is the language of Heaven. Faith is what sets us apart from ordinary. Faith is the only way to live a life that pleases God.

2) YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE A POSITIVE CONFESSION Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Whosoever shall say to this mountain be though removed and not doubt in his heart but believe what he says will come to pass then he will have whatever he says. When David faced Goliath, he said “you come to me with a sword and a shield, but I come to you in the name of the Lord our God; this day I will cut off your head.” He said it. He believed it. He did it. Proverbs 18:21- Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Luke 6:45 – out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

3) CHOOSE TO HAVE A BIGGER VISION – Go ahead and see a better life for yourself and for your family. Go ahead and get a vision for a better future. We serve a BIG God who wants to do big things and He needs you to think big with Him! How many of us are guilty of thinking too small? Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” The Message Bible says “If people cannot see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves, but when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed.” The word picture here of a person without a vision is a “ship without a sail,” and this describes so many peoples lives. They are just drifting through life, hoping things will get better, but they don’t know when, where or how. Life doesn’t just get better by accident. We have to chart a course, make a plan and get a vision! Concerning life – “it is what it is until you decide to change it.”

4) CHOOSE TO LET GO OF YOUR NEGATIVE PAST – The excess baggage in your life – people, hurts, memories and labels. Phil. 3:13 says, “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.” Let go of the past by looking forward to God and believing that He will bring good out of bad. All things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Either you believe it, or you don’t. If you DO believe it, then start ACTING like you believe it.

Creatures of Habit Part 1 by Ron McKey

We are all creatures of habit. We all have habits in our lives that take us in a particular direction – good or bad. Good habits can make us successful, and bad habits can destroy our lives. In this series, Pastor Ron McKey teaches how to build successful habits and break those habits that are taking us in the wrong direction.

We are all creatures of habit. We all have habits in our lives that take us in a particular direction – good or bad. Good habits can make us successful, and bad habits can destroy our lives. In this series, Pastor Ron McKey teaches how to build successful habits and break those habits that are taking us in the wrong direction.

Is There Any Word From The Lord?

Jeremiah 37:17 – “Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took him out: and the king asked him secretly in his house, and said, Is there any word from the Lord? And Jeremiah said, There is…”

In this episode, Pastor Ron McKey shares what he feels God is speaking to the church right now.

Jeremiah 37:17 – “Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took him out: and the king asked him secretly in his house, and said, Is there any word from the Lord? And Jeremiah said, There is…”

In this episode, Pastor Ron McKey shares what he feels God is speaking to the church right now.

Choices Part 4

FOLLOW THROUGH

Every good story has three things: a beginning, a middle, and an ending. In fact, the story has to have all three of these in order to be a story. Every decision has to have a beginning. That’s the part where you actually CHOOSE (where you move out of just thinking about it and doing it). Every decision has to have a middle. That’s what you do after your decision (where you “walk it out”). And, every story has to have an end – where it all comes to pass. So many people never make it to the end of their story or see the end results of their decision because they don’t follow through, and they quit too soon. Deciding is important and making the choice is the starting point. However, it doesn’t do any good to choose if you’re not going to follow through.

FIVE STEPS TO FOLLOWING THROUGH

WRITE IT DOWN

Habakkuk 2:2-3, “And the Lord answered me and said, write the vision and make it plain upon the tablets, that he may run th

FOLLOW THROUGH

Every good story has three things: a beginning, a middle, and an ending. In fact, the story has to have all three of these in order to be a story. Every decision has to have a beginning. That’s the part where you actually CHOOSE (where you move out of just thinking about it and doing it). Every decision has to have a middle. That’s what you do after your decision (where you “walk it out”). And, every story has to have an end – where it all comes to pass. So many people never make it to the end of their story or see the end results of their decision because they don’t follow through, and they quit too soon. Deciding is important and making the choice is the starting point. However, it doesn’t do any good to choose if you’re not going to follow through.

FIVE STEPS TO FOLLOWING THROUGH

WRITE IT DOWN

Habakkuk 2:2-3, “And the Lord answered me and said, write the vision and make it plain upon the tablets, that he may run that reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie.” Taylor’s translation says, “if it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue.” If we don’t write it down chances are it may not come to pass because we tend to forget it and we become distracted. If it’s important to you, write it down! Do you know that God wrote down the entire plan of salvation with His own hand?

Writing down your prayer, your decision or your goal is a proclamation of your faith. Here are some examples:

  • BELSHAZZAR and the hand writing on the wall; “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin” “you have been weighed in the balances or scales and found wanting.”
  • JESUS kneeling and writing in the sand a message of forgiveness.

There is POWER when you put something in writing. Remember the part of the verse that said “if it seems slow, don’t despair because it will come to pass.” When I write it down, it keeps my eyes on the prize. When I write it down, I don’t forget and I don’t lose focus.

Each year, we have a special service at Cornerstone Church called “Stake Your Claim”. Every person in attendance takes a wooden stake for themselves and for other family members. We encourage them to “write down” on their stakes what they are believing God for. The moment you write it down, FEAR shows up to taunt you and tell you “there is no way,” “that’s too big,” you’re setting yourself up for disappointment,” or “why don’t you just keep doing what you’re doing.” Let me answer that for you – the reason we don’t keep doing what we’re doing is because if you do what you’ve always done, then you will get what you’ve always had. The reason we are “writing it down” is because we want more! More answered prayers. More of God. More joy and more peace. The way to more in our lives is by seeing to it that we follow through.

HAVE FAITH IN GOD

I John 5 says, “This is the victory that overcomes the world even our faith.” Without faith you won’t accomplish anything for God. You will never pray bigger prayers until you grow bigger faith. Would you like to know how to have greater faith? Then you have to know what faith is. Many people think they know and they think they are standing in faith, but they are not. Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.” The people of God aren’t defeated in life because the devil hasn’t been conquered or because their circumstances are so bad, or because their storms are so severe. They are destroyed because of their lack of knowledge and they don’t know how to deal with the storm. They don’t know how to use their faith. I encourage you to become a student of FAITH. Choose to live every day by faith and start every day in faith. Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it.” The Psalmist said “I WILL rejoice.” I choose to be happy. If people get tired of me saying “Happiness is a choice”, well good! That means it’s starting to sink in!

Abraham Lincoln said, “I have determined that people are as happy as they choose to be.” Here are a few reasons I believe people are unhappy in their lives:

  1. Guilt – They haven’t dealt with their past, such as past mistakes or past sin.
  2. Anger – You can’t be bitter and ever hope to get better.
  3. Selfishness – You will never be truly happy until you put others in front of yourself, and live for a greater cause than just yourself.
  4. Fatigue – You cannot burn the candle at both ends and have it never catch up with you.

Here’s some great advice – keep faith filled people in your life and don’t take advice from the ungodly. The ungodly are not just the psychics, drug dealers, liars, cheaters or child molesters – the ungodly are those who keep God out of their lives. The book of James talks about and compares earthly wisdom and Godly wisdom. Earthly wisdom looks and sounds like this: “Here is what I would do, I would say, I would tell them AND their life is already more messed up than yours.” Earthly wisdom reflects the moral atmosphere of the current culture. Choose faith – walk by faith – talk faith – live by faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Faith is believing when I don’t see it, obeying when I don’t understand, giving when I don’t have it, persisting when I don’t feel like it and choosing to trust when it doesn’t go the way I thought it should. How many of you know “all things do work together for my good?”

PUT FEAR IN ITS PLACE

The Bible says that in the last days people’s hearts will fail because of fear. Fear is a great paralyzer. Because of fear, people never reach their full potential. Fear robs you of God’s best and robs you of what you have to offer others. Some of you need to believe in yourself and go ahead and be the blessing that God created you to be! Many people don’t make decisions because of fear, more specifically, the fear of change. Ronald Reagen said “status quo is Latin for the mess we’re in.” Life is about choices and life is about change. I recently attended a conference where one thing we were assured of was this, there will be more changes happening in the churches in America in the next ten years than there have ever been. The older we get the greater the temptation to stay the same. We take fewer risks. We get comfortable in our little boxes. Boxes rob us of our lives; they limit us. They aren’t what we live in. Boxes are what they bury us in.  II Timothy 1:7 tells us, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind.” LOVE – perfect love casts out fear. POWER – spiritual authority. SOUND MIND – a mind that thinks in line with God’s word.

UNDERSTAND THE SACRIFICE

We grow through our struggles. James 1:3 says, “The testing of our faith develops perseverance so that you may be mature and complete.” I Peter 4:12 “Think it not strange when you face the fiery trial as though some strange thing has happened to you.” Many people quit when they face a trial. They quit worshipping, they quit walking by faith, they quit going to church and they quit trusting God. But God’s formula for success has always been – carry your cross then get your crown; fight your battle then win your victory, and go through the storm then enjoy the rainbow. Remember this: while we are waiting, God is working. Right now, behind the scenes, God is working on your behalf. This is why we walk by faith and not by sight. Some problems don’t always go away easily. Moses had to bring all ten plagues before Pharaoh ever let one Israelite go. The widow woman with an unjust judge got what she wanted only because she would not give up. Let me remind you “no weapon formed against you can prosper,” “hell can’t defeat you” and “God is your Father.” Be confident about yourself, be passionate about your choices and remember that there are no short cuts. Don’t give up! If you’ve tried and failed – try again. If you’ve given up – try again. If you’re frustrated – try again. You’re not the only one going through a storm. On every single row of chairs in a church, there is someone fighting a battle bigger than the battle you’re fighting. Everyone goes through trials, and everyone faces tests. Difficult times don’t mean you made a wrong choice.

HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS

Expectation is probably one of the most underrated words in the English language. There is power in expectation. If you have it, you can soar with the eagles and climb to the top of mountains. But if you don’t have it, you will stay grounded and common. Zechariah 9:12 says, “Turn to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope; even today, I declare that I will restore double to you.”

My hope and my expectations are in God, NOT my ability, but the potential He placed in me. Be a dealer of hope and help people see a brighter future!

Choices Pt 3 – You Choose

You choose a life of blessing and reward OR a life of mediocrity and defeat. We all know that a life of blessing and reward don’t just happen automatically or by chance. There is no such thing as an auto pilot switch for your life. It all happens by CHOICE. One of the greatest mistakes anyone can ever make is when they fail to CHOOSE! Choosing to not choose is a bad choice. Many people assume that life just happens to them – randomly or haphazardly. They want a better life and they are just waiting for life to get better. They have this belief (which, by the way, is a wrong belief) that they have no power over their own lives. You don’t get a better life; you create a better life by the choices you make. And then there are those who are just “comfortable” in believing that fate, chance or luck are what are controlling their lives. And then there are other who think/believe that “if God wants them to have something, then they will have it.” In other words, “Let’s ju

You choose a life of blessing and reward OR a life of mediocrity and defeat. We all know that a life of blessing and reward don’t just happen automatically or by chance. There is no such thing as an auto pilot switch for your life. It all happens by CHOICE. One of the greatest mistakes anyone can ever make is when they fail to CHOOSE! Choosing to not choose is a bad choice. Many people assume that life just happens to them – randomly or haphazardly. They want a better life and they are just waiting for life to get better. They have this belief (which, by the way, is a wrong belief) that they have no power over their own lives. You don’t get a better life; you create a better life by the choices you make. And then there are those who are just “comfortable” in believing that fate, chance or luck are what are controlling their lives. And then there are other who think/believe that “if God wants them to have something, then they will have it.” In other words, “Let’s just put the monkey on God’s back for how my life turns out.” Let me repeat, “The will of God is not automatic; you have to pray; you have to have faith; and you have to choose.” The BLESSED life happens by CHOICE! The greatest power you have is your power to choose. The Bible says you can choose life or death, blessing or cursing, to be happy or sad. God DOES NOT make our choices for us. We do! We choose and we decide.

As I mentioned in PART TWO of this study on CHOICES – You have already made a good choice by being in church, but you don’t stop there! You have to keep making good decisions. Good decisions create momentum for your life. Follow up good decisions with more good decisions. Here are some examples for choosing your level of participation in church:

WORSHIP – How am I going to worship today? With my whole heart or just half heartedly?

PRAYER – Are my prayers going to be ritualistic (meaning without passion) or faith filled? Are my prayers going to be powerful and anointed?

GIVING – I can choose to be an extravagant and cheerful giver. Is my giving going to be an act of worship or just another bill to pay?

HEARING – Jesus said, “It’s important the amount of emphasis you place on mixing faith with the word you are hearing.” In other words, am I just sitting through another church service OR am I allowing the word of God to change me and equip me?

RELATIONSHIP BUILDING – Into whose life can I be a blessing today? How can I let God use me to be a blessing?

Making good choices begins with your non-negotiable reality. Here’s an example of Joseph: He was sold by his brothers into slavery (he had no choice). He was betrayed over and over (he had no choice). He was falsely accused (he had no choice), and he was falsely imprisoned (again, he had no choice). But, giving up or giving in were not options for Joseph. Even with all these things, Joseph still CHOSE his perspective, his attitude and his responses. And his CHOICES affected his outcome.

Victor Frankl, a prisoner/survivor of Nazi concentration camps, lost everything he had or had everything taken away. His wife died in a concentration camp. His mother and his brother died in a concentration camp. He himself was imprisoned in Auschwitz – one of the worst. But he had decided he was still in control of his attitude and he refused to be a victim or to submit to defeat. After being liberated, he continued his career as a successful psychiatrist, educator, author and teacher. His most famous book was “Saying Yes To Life In Spite of Everything.” Here are a couple of quotes from this book: “Between stimulus and response, there is a space and in that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” The point here is that circumstances cannot take away your power to choose! You can CHOOSE today to not be afraid. You can choose today to deal with the guilt that has consumed your life. You can choose today to not be lonely. You can choose today to not be angry. And you can choose today to not worry.

So many people struggle with worry. Let me remind you that worry is doubting God. You can choose to worry, or your can choose to live by faith. When you come to know Christ, and I mean REALLY know Christ, then that whiny attitude of yours becomes a thing of the past! When you walk by faith, it means you are not a crisis Christian and that you are not controlled by your crisis. Instead, you take the name of Jesus, the authority of that name, and you attack the crisis! I Peter 5:7 says, “Casting all your cares (anxiety) onto the Lord because He cares for you.” How many cares? All of them. Not some and not just the small ones, but ALL of them! The big ones, the scary ones and the mean ones. The Bible says, “But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Here’s the point behind this verse – God has given you the victory – it’s already yours!

VICTORY is a gift from God, just like salvation is a gift from God. Did you have to work for your salvation? NO – you just believed and received it. We need to CHOOSE victory over defeat every time. All good choices begin with right thinking. You can choose “stinking thinking” or “Jesus thinking.” Thomas had stinking thinking – “I’ll have to see it before I believe it, or touch it with my own hands.” Now Paul on the other hand, was snake bitten, criticized, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked and imprisoned and here is what he said, “These are all but light affliction.” WHAT?????? So you can see that one had “stinking thinking” and the other had “Jesus thinking.”  You might ask “what is Jesus thinking?” Jesus thinking is when you choose to have the mind of Christ. To have the mind of Christ means to have the same outlook on life that Jesus had. An outlook towards God and not blaming Him, but believing Him; not doubting Him, but trusting Him. An outlook towards man – to seek, save and restore. An outlook on life – no doom, gloom or pitiful me, but always focused on doing God’s will.

HERE ARE FOUR STEPS TO RENEWING YOUR MIND

RE-SURRENDER YOUR LIFE – Paul said to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. That means that every day we are to re-submit ourselves to God and re-align our thinking with His thinking. It’s a daily decision to follow Christ and a daily decision to make Jesus the Lord of your life. DAILY DECISIONS DETERMINE DIRECTION.

REJOICE – Philippians 4:4 says, “rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.” You can complain and remain or praise and be raised! It’s a joy to serve God, not a burden. Delight yourself in the Lord. Love being a Christian and don’t ever feel sorry for being a Christ follower.

REMEMBER – You and I are better with God than without Him. Remember everything God has done for you. Remember His word and what He has said. Remember His power and willingness to answer your prayers. Ask the Holy Spirit to quicken you and remind you every time you start to slip – this will keep you from slipping back into self-destructive patterns.

REPLACE – Replace old worn out thoughts with new and better thoughts. You have to stop thinking one way and start thinking a new way. STOP thinking about your old boyfriend/girlfriend. STOP thinking about how your Ex treated you. STOP thinking about people who have made your life miserable. STOP thinking about all the times you were mistreated. STOP thinking about and digging up all those hurtful emotions.

How many of you need to CHOOSE between life and death? How many of you need to go from good to great? Let’s all be ready to create the life we desire.