As His Custom Was Luke 4:16 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
According to Lk 4:16, it was customary for Jesus to be in the synagogue on the sabbath. The same was true for Paul [Acts 17:1-2]. Going to the synagogue every sabbath was their custom or manner.
David’s custom was to pray three times a day, at generally the same time each day [Ps 55:17]. Daniel had the same custom [Dan 6:10] and didn’t stop praying when it became illegal. Prayer, three times each day, was their custom.
If you are going to get things done in your life on a regular basis, they must be customary; they must be habitual. Often, this requires the use of a list or a chart.
For instance, Randy used an app called Lose It to effect the weight loss and maintenance that he accomplished. He had to record every calorie every day and weigh every week. But all this became customary. And so, he continues to maintain his current weight. Diets don’t generally accomplish these lasting results because a diet is never designed to become your custom, from now on.
Another example is budgeting. Randy uses a budget to manage his income and control his expenses. It has become his custom to record all his expenses and to live within the budgets for each category of expense, each month. He doesn’t throw away the budget when he isn’t perfect. He just keeps the custom of budgeting and so it works.
Now, you can get anything done when it becomes customary. Here are some examples of things that can become a custom to you.
Daily Bible reading – many use a Bible reading calendar to help them with their daily Bible reading. They simply follow the plan each day and, therefore, read through the Old Testament once, the New Testament twice, the Psalms four times and the Proverbs twelve times, each year. That’s their custom. And it can become yours, as well.
Daily prayer – many use a prayer list. They have recorded prayer requests from Wednesday night and from personal requests and they pray over these each day. The list helps them maintain the custom of praying. They may miss a day here and there. However, that is no reason to throw away the list. They just go back to it and pray the next day. Or they pray that evening if they missed their morning prayer.
Regular giving – many give their tithe every time they are paid and they give to missions every week or month. In this way, their giving becomes their custom. Such is our case. We have prayerfully considered what to give to missions and that is the amount we give every week. That’s our custom.
Daily family devotions – many have regular devotions as a family. They have set aside a time each evening when the family gathers to read and pray together. This works because meeting together at that time each day is their custom. If you would like to have family devotions, set aside the time with your family each day that is right for you to meet. Schedule it and stick to it.
Passing out tracts and New Testaments – you can prayerfully decide to pass out a certain number of tracts and New Testaments each day or week. If you will chart this until it becomes your custom, and keep charting it if you must, then you will always remember to have the tracts and New Testaments on hand. And you will be on the look out for people to whom to give them.
Witnessing – many of us have lost folks for whom we pray by name. However, we rarely, if ever, witness to them. Part of the reason for this is that we do not have a visit with them scheduled. If you will prayerfully consider when you can visit lost folks each week, just like our men have scheduled to witness to the seafarers, you will begin to witness to those for whom you pray. If you will list those whom you want to visit and set an appointment on your calendar to see them, witnessing will become your custom each week.
Memorizing scripture – many can only quote 2-3 verses correctly. If you would like to memorize more scripture, then decide, for instance, that you are going to memorize a verse each week. Put it on your list or calendar and work on it all through the week. The next week pick another verse to memorize and chart it. Work on it and review the verse from the week before. Can you believe that by the end of the year you will have memorized 52 verses of scripture? That’s what will happen when memorizing Scripture becomes your custom.
Conclusion: much of what we would like to accomplish spiritually doesn’t get done because it never becomes our custom. If you will use a list or chart or your calendar to remind yourself of these things each day, you will get them done.