I have often asked groups of people to nominate whom they believe to be the best example of “faith” in the Bible. Most people favor the familiar heroes of faith: Abraham, Job, Moses, or Elijah. Some mention John the Baptist or David.
When asked to explain their choices, people usually speak of those events, such as Abraham’s offering of Isaac, in which people do remarkable things that don’t appear to make any sense. For many Christians it appears that faith has more to do with blind incredulity than with a life-changing relationship.
Jesus Christ is our best example of faithfulness!
Jesus spoke explicitly of His faith relationship with divinity outside of Himself: “I do nothing on my own authority, but in all that I say, I have been taught by my Father. He who sent me is present with me, and has not left me alone; for I always do what is acceptable to him” (John 8:28, 29, N.E.B.). The divinity that charged Jesus’ life with power and purpose was not His own, but His Father’s.
Prayer: God, we pray for an increase in faith and the desire to obey Your will for our lives. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
But now, O Lord you are our Father, we are the clay, and you our Potter; And all of us are the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8
Timothy constantly sought Paul’s advice and instruction. He exercised consideration and calm thought, inquiring at every step, Is this the way of the Lord? The Holy Spirit found in him one who could be molded and fashioned as a temple for the indwelling of the divine Presence. TT 109.1
The question is, Are we surrendering to the power of the Holy Spirit and allowing Jesus Christ to transform our character? God is not intrusive. He does not force us to change into His image. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20
Prayer: God, we desire to be molded in the Character of Christ. We pray for forgiveness of our sins. We ask to be molded in your hands. As we prepare for your soon coming, we pray for guidance in every aspect of our lives. In the powerful name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
As for me, I will see your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness. Psalm 17:15.
The Apostle Paul placed great emphasis on the transformation of our character. Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14. We are preparing now to live forever in a perfect and sinless New Heaven and New Earth. We cannot justify holding onto ungodly character traits and unrighteous habits, which will prevent us from receiving our reward of eternal life. Knowing what God expects from us will give us the motivation to please Him. You must be holy because I, the Lord, am Holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own. Leviticus 20:26. Amen.
Imagine that you received an even-trade offer to receive a new vehicle for turning in your current vehicle. The only condition is that you would not see the new vehicle prior to the trade. Some would hesitate and need time to think about it, while others would give a definite answer of no. Still, there is the enthusiastic group that would be elated, readily agreeing to participate in the blind trade.
When we accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior we agreed to surrender and to become His disciples. Changing us from our inherited tendencies, eliminating our self-reliance, taking away the desire for worldly habits, and giving us a character makeover is a lifetime spiritual process known as Sanctification. The Apostle Paul tells us in 2nd Corinthians 5:17, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ have become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.” NLT. Yes, Sanctification is to become holy as Jesus is holy.
Where do you stand as far as trading off the old you in exchange for the new person in Christ Jesus? Which group of individuals represent your decision to become like Christ?
God has blessed us with the resources of time, money, and energy. Utilize each with diligence. The goal of every believer is to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been Faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.” Matthew 25:23
They say what the world needs is love, sweet love. Although I wholeheartedly agree, I would like to add another character trait that is in short supply and that is patience. Most of us are victims to the “hurry up with it, I have other things to do” mindset. Even so, I came across some profound advice, “Unless it is an emergency, think about it for at least 24 hours and the possible consequences that may follow from you making that decision.”
For the believer in God, every decision that we make is either for God or against God. Within that 24 hours, we must go to God in prayer and ask for His will. There are few absolutes in life. We can know this for sure that we can never hurry God. And there is one more absolute truth, every mistake that we have made in our lives is because we did not ask God or we did not wait for God’s answer.
And for those like myself who lack the virtue of patience, God has no problem letting us make the mistake. He knows that when we are drowning in the Sea of Consequences, we will pray the SMS–Save My Soul prayer. Thankfully, He forgives us with loving grace and mercies. Still, we may suffer the full impact from our disobedience.
Last night during worship, it was the Holy Spirit who taught me this profound fact of life. Every decision that you make is either for God or against God. The imagery was the train crossing with the flashing red lights with the barrier coming down warning of the pending train traveling at an unknown speed. I am thankful that our Heavenly Father’s love is overprotective.
And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourself this day whom you will serve. Joshua 24:15
Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong. Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 CSB
Can you imagine if every spoken word and action that a Christian believer would say or do would be from the fruit of LOVE? God is Love! Jesus’ life was completely perfect because He possessed a loving and compassionate heart. Self-evaluate, where do you stand on the loving hearts platform? Do you have a heart bubbling over with agape love for God and others? Our character matters greatly to God. Galatians 5:22-23