A Life of Character

There are five characteristics that should be evidenced in a Christian. These should be spoken of and made manifest in their life.

Psalm 40:10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.

We are not to hide His righteousness within our hearts. We are to live a righteous life which means that we are to do what is right. The opposite of righteousness is wickedness and that is doing what is wrong. It is not our righteousness, which is self righteousness, but it is His righteousness. When we become a Christian we start learning His ways and living by them. Do we fail at times? Yes, but it should grieve us and cause us to want to please Him even more.

Psalm 37:3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

A life of faith will be characterized by His faithfulness. We are to cultivate faithfulness and feed on His faithfulness. Our faithfulness to Him and His faithfulness to us should be one of the hallmarks of a Christian. Do you speak of His faithfulness to others?

I Chronicles 16:23-25 Sing to the Lord, all the earth;
Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.
Tell of His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
He also is to be feared above all gods.

When we become a Christian, He not only saves us for all eternity but He saves us everyday. Are you proclaiming His salvation?

Lamentations 3:22,23 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

His lovingkindnesses indeed never cease! When someone loves someone then it can’t be concealed. They talk about the one they love and that person’s love is their delight. The Lord loves you so much and His love for you never ceases. Do you ever cease talking about His love?

John 14:6,7 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

Jesus is the Truth and when we are filled with Jesus then we will be filled with truth. His truth should characterize all that we do and say. His truth should fill our heart. We should love and long for His truth. Do you conceal His truth from others? Are you afraid at times to speak God’s truth?

Luke 6:45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

A Christian should be characterized by His righteousness, His faithfulness, His salvation, His lovingkindness and His truth because these are the things that fill his heart.

A Life that is Debt Free

Jesus Christ came to set us free. He paid our debt to God and set us free from the bondage that we came into when Adam and Eve sinned. He redeemed us and paid the price for our freedom. One of the consequences of our sin is that we are in debt and Jesus paid the debt for our sin. When you forgive someone you release them from the debt that they owe you. Since Jesus Christ paid your debt and released you then you can release others from their debt to you by forgiving them. Jesus Christ paid their debt also.

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

When we sin then we become a slave to sin and are held captive until Jesus Christ sets us free. When you sin against someone that guilt or debt ties you to that person. You can deny your sin to yourself but that is why you can not get the person out of your mind. You wronged them and that binds you to them. You are in debt and in bondage. Your guilt is like chains. Satan has you as one of his captives because of your sin. He accuses you and your guilt weighs you down in mind , soul and spirit.

John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

Jesus came to give you liberty and to release you from being a captive. He came to set you free from the oppression of the devil. Satan will oppress you first through your thought life and then he will deceive you and tempt you to sin. When you sin then you are held captive to him. A tormenting cycle is his design for you and it is only the beginning.

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed,

Only Jesus Christ can set you free because He is the only One who has the power over the devil. He paid for your sin on the cross and He has ransomed you.

Romans 6:6,7 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.

Just as Christ died on the cross and was raised again from the dead. So, we too, who belong to Jesus Christ was crucified with Him so that we too might become free and walk in newness of life. We no longer have to sin or give into temptation or carry around the guilt and debt of our sin. We have been set free to live a life of freedom. Freedom to do what we ought and not to be held captive by our sin and failures, which leads to bondage and death. The outcome of sin is death.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

The life which you now live is by faith in Jesus Christ. It is no longer you who lives but Christ lives through you. He can and will love through you. He came that we might no longer sin against others but learn to love one another.

Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

The Lord paid the debt of your sin and set you free to love one another. Love is also setting others free from their debt to you. He has called us to love and to forgive. He can and also will forgive through you.

Romans 13:8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

Are you in debt to someone for your sin against them? Ask them to forgive you. The Lord has forgiven you but they need to release you also. Forgiveness is the promise never to bring it up again. The Lord never brings up your past debts to Him and when you forgive someone then you have released them also from their debt to you.

A Life that is Be-Loved

You are the Lord’s beloved and He is your Beloved and the One whom you delight in if you belong to Him.

Song of Solomon 6:3 “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,
He who pastures his flock among the lilies.”

Just as the shepherd loves the sheep and little lambs and would sometimes carry them on his shoulders so the Lord also, who is your Good Shepherd, carries you between His shoulders because you are His beloved. He wants you to be loved by Him.

Deuteronomy 33:12 …“May the beloved of the Lord dwell in security by Him, Who shields him all the day, And he dwells between His shoulders.”

The Lord wants you to know with all of your heart that He is your Savior and will save His beloved. He will save you and will answer you.

Psalm 108:6 That Your beloved may be delivered, Save with Your right hand, and answer me!

Just as Jesus was the Beloved of the Father so you are Jesus’ beloved.

Mark 1:11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

Being is more important than doing. We need to be right with the Lord before we can do what is right. Doing what is right must come after being in a love relationship with the Lord, otherwise, we will seek to earn God’s love. Doing is a response to being. If you belong to Christ then you are His Beloved and He wants you to be-loved by Him before you do…whatever good works he has for you. The Father was well pleased with Jesus before Jesus began His earthly ministry. You too, must learn to be-loved by Him so that whatever you “do” is an overflow of who you are in Christ. If you belong to Him then there is nothing you can do to cause Him to love you more. He wants you to rest in His love and learn to be-loved by Him. If we struggle in believing that He really loves us then we will struggle in loving Him back.

I John 4:19 We love, because He first loved us.

All that we do should be in response to His love for us. All that we do is an expression of His great love. There is no greater love than this, to lay down your life for your friends. He laid down His life for you so that you can lay down your life for others so that others may see Christ in you.

John 15:12,13 This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

Do you need to know His love more? To the degree that you love others is to the degree that you have experienced His love for you.

I John 3:16,17 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

 

A Life that Is Prepared

The Lord wants us to be prepared for Him, just as a bride prepares herself for the bridegroom so we are to be preparing ourselves to see Him. The Lord is preparing a place for you in heaven if you belong to Him and He wants you to be prepared to see Him face to face.

Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

The Lord has prepared you for glory. Are you prepared to see Him? Blessed are those who prepared themselves to meet their Master.

Romans 9:23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,

You can not even imagine all that the Lord has prepared for you. Do you love Him with all your heart? Are you one of those for whom He is preparing?

I Corinthians 2:9 but just as it is written,Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

He has prepared life for you here on earth and eternal life for all eternity. He has given His Spirit to you as a pledge of the life to come.

II Corinthians 5:4,5 For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge.

He has prepared work for you to do that is good. He wants you to be ready for the good works that He has prepared beforehand for you to walk in them. If we do what He has prepared for us here on earth then we will be prepared to see Him face to face.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

You need to cleanse yourself from the former things that were yours in your ignorance and put on Christ, so that you will be a vessel for honor, set a part for Him and ready and useful for what He has prepared for you.

II Timothy 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.

Just as a bride prepares herself for the bridegroom so the Lord wants us to prepare ourselves to see Him, who is our bridegroom. We are His bride and a bride cleanses herself and then she clothes herself with her clean and beautiful clothes. Our clothing will be the righteous acts or good works that the Lord prepared for us so that we would be beautiful and ready for Him. He has made us ready for Him if we will only prepare ourselves to see Him by being obedient to what He has called us to do, which are the righteous acts that He wants us to walk in.

Revelation 19:7,8 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

To sum up, if we do what He has prepared for us here on earth then we will be prepared to see Him in heaven. He has done everything to make us ready for Him.

A Life that Speaks the Truth

If we want a life that speaks the truth then we must have the truth in our heart.

Psalm 15:2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,
And speaks truth in his heart.

A person that speaks the truth tells what is right.

Proverbs 12:17 He who speaks truth tells what is right,
But a false witness, deceit.

The only way we will be able to speak the truth is if we listen to the truth. You become what you listen to.

Proverbs 21:28 A false witness will perish,
But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.

The Lord tells us to guard our heart with all diligence for from it flows the springs of life. If you listen to lies then you will start to believe lies and then you life will be a lie.

Proverbs 4:23 Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.

The Lord tells us that we should speak truth to one another. The opposite of speaking truth to one another is devising evil against one another. The Lord hates it when we do evil to one another and also He hates it when we lie.

Zechariah 8:16,17 These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the Lord.”

Jesus spoke the truth when He walked on earth. Even those who were His enemies acknowledged that He spoke the truth and taught the way of God in truth.

Luke 20:21 They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth.

When we lie we are being like the devil. How we speak reveals our nature.

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

The only way that we can speak the truth is if we have the Spirit of truth in us. He comes and dwells in us when we become a Christian. Jesus Christ is the Truth and His Spirit leads us into all truth.

John 16:33 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

The Lord wants us to worship Him in Spirit and truth and He wants us to walk in His truth and speak truth with one another. Love without truth is not true love and truth without love can not be heard.

Proverbs 3:3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.

Often we lean towards either lovingkindness or truth. For this reason we need to be connected to other Christians to balance out our tendencies and to learn from one another so that we will have more of the balance that we need in our lives to be filled with lovingkindness and truth.

Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.

As we grow in His love and truth then we will grow in our love for one another and will learn to speak truth with one another. When we do these things then we will grow up in all aspects into the likeness of Jesus Christ. It is our aim that Jesus Christ alone is exalted and that the world will see Christ in us.

 

 

 

A Life that is Fulfilled

A life that is fulfilled is a life that is full. It is a life that is overflowing. A life apart from the filling of the Holy Spirit is a life that is empty. It may be full of something else but whatever else it is filled with it will leave an emptiness and a lack of satisfaction. If it is filled with yourself then your life will be miserable. If it is filled with the pursuit of money then it will leave you with the feeling of never enough. If it is filled with wine and other mind numbing substances then it will also leave you with a deeper emptiness after whatever it is wears off. The Lord said to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,

The word dissipation means self indulgence or wasteful expenditure. The Lord wants us to be filled with Him and the way that we are filled with Him is to be filled with His Spirit. Any intoxication of anything artificial means is a self indulgence and is a substitute to being filled with the Lord.

Habakkuk 2:5 Furthermore, wine betrays the haughty man, So that he does not stay at home. He enlarges his appetite like Sheol, And he is like death, never satisfied.

Anything that we look to fulfill us or that controls us is an idol and will blind us to the truth of the One who is the true God.

Psalm 115:4-8 Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of man’s hands.
They have mouths, but they cannot speak;
They have eyes, but they cannot see;
They have ears, but they cannot hear;
They have noses, but they cannot smell;
They have hands, but they cannot feel;
They have feet, but they cannot walk;
They cannot make a sound with their throat.
Those who make them will become like them,
Everyone who trusts in them.

All other gods can not speak, see, hear, smell, feel or walk. If we trust in anything other than the Lord then we will become blind and will not see Him and we will become deaf to the things of the Lord and will no longer hear His voice. We will not feel because our heart will become hardened. We will have feet but we will not go where we need to go. We will become like what we trust in.

Joel 2:19 The Lord will answer and say to His people, “Behold, I am going to send you grain, new wine and oil, And you will be satisfied in full with them; And I will never again make you a reproach among the nations.

Trust Him to fill you. He wants to supply your needs. He will also satisfy you and you will be full. He will not let you be put to shame. He loves you. Trust Him to fulfill not only your needs but your desires.

Joel 2:26 “You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied And praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; Then My people will never be put to shame.

The one who is right with the Lord is considered righteous and that one will be glad in the Lord. Your life will be full and meaningful and you will have the glory of the Lord.

Psalm 64:10 The righteous man will be glad in the Lord and will take refuge in Him;
And all the upright in heart will glory.

 

 

 

A Life that Is Joyful

A life that is joyful is a life that is full of joy. The Lord wants us to be full of joy and He tells us how to have that kind of life. When He walked on earth He said to His disciples that He spoke these things to them that their joy may be made full. What are these things?

John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

When we learn to abide, which means live, in His love then our joy will be made full and His joy will be in us. How do we learn to live in His love? He tells us in His Word.

John 15:9-10 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

The way we learn to keep His commandments is to abide in His Word. The one who abides in His Word and His Words abide in him will also abide in His love. He wants you to abide in Him and His Words abide in you. The Lord has some amazing promises for the people who abide in His Word and His Words abide in them. He says that they can ask whatever they wish! Who among us would not love to see our prayers answered and also to be able to ask whatever we wish? When the reward is great then it puts a greater value on the command.

John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Do you believe that if you abide in Him and His words abide in you that you can ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you? Do you have any unfulfilled wishes? You might say that it must be according to His will but that phrase is not in this promise. It says that you can ask what you wish and it will be done for you. The Lord also says that if you do this then you will bear much fruit and the Father will be glorified.

John 15:8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

To abide in His Word and His Words abide in you means that you live in His Word and His Words live in you. When they live in you then you and His Word become one and His Word is expressed through your life. In other words, since the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, Jesus will dwell among others through you. You will keep His commandments because they are so much a part of you. This is how Jesus lived when He was on earth.

Psalm 40:7,8 Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your Law is within my heart.”

When His Word is in you and you abide in His Word then it will be your delight to do His will. When you delight in something then it becomes the joy of your heart and your joy is made full when you do it. Are your wishes filled and is your joy full? Take the Lord at His Word and do exactly as He has commanded us and you will see your prayers answered and your joy full.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Jesus came to do the Father’s will and He wants us to do His will.

John 6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

When you live this way then His desires will become your desires and your desire will be to fulfill His desire for your life. Your life will overflow with great joy even in the midst of trials and suffering.

Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus knew what it meant to have joy. Joy comes from living in His presence and His life being lived through you.

Psalm 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Jesus lived a joyful life and this is His will for you.

John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.