Does having a large house or new car define you? Does making lots of money and being in a certain financial status define who you are? It’s not our stuff or material possessions that define us, it’s our character! The example sentence used in the dictionary was, “What defines our character?” The older I get, the more I realize how very important our character is.
What’s our character? Our character is our personality, our temperament, our attributes.
Does our character align with the character of Jesus? My initial response was, “Sometimes!” But, “sometimes” is not good enough, if we are mature Spirit-filled believers. Yes, we have our fleshly bodies, but we can’t let our flesh (the worldly part of us) rule our lives.
KINGDOM POINT #1 The beauty of the Holy Spirit is that He transforms us and makes us like Jesus, as we yield. Learning to yield is the key.
As we grow in the Lord, we grow in His character.
KINGDOM POINT #2: The Holy Spirit is our teacher. He will not teach us to act in our old, sinful ways.
He teaches us to be like Jesus in every area of our life! His character can be defined by the “Fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, fruitfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5: 22-23)
KINGDOM POINT #3: Christian character is produced by the Holy Spirit, not by the mere moral discipline of trying to live by law. The indwelling Holy Spirit produces Christian virtues in the believer’s life.
Here’s another list of virtues that should define us: “Purity, understanding, patience, and kindness in the Holy Spirit and sincere love.” (2 Corinthians 6: 6)
KINGDOM POINT #4: Sincere love comes from His purity and cannot come from anywhere else.
Knowing how difficult people can be, we are exhorted even further, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4: 2) Bearing with one another is simply “putting up with.” That’s probably why Jesus tells us to “put on love.”
Did you notice the one word that keeps being repeated? It’s patience!
After this, we are then told how to live: “Live as children of light (for the fruit of light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.” (Ephesians 5: 9-10)
How do we please the Lord? His instructions are clear in the next verse. “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Ephesians 5: 11 )
The fruit of light is a mixed metaphor, but the meaning is clear. Light is productive (consider the effect of light on plant growth) and those who live in God’s light produce the fruit of moral and ethical character. Those who live in darkness do not!
Just a few days ago we turned over our calendars. Remember our Jesus was turned over to his enemies. He submitted Himself so WE could turn ourselves around and turn our lives over to Him, and let His character define us. It’s deeper than turning over a new leaf.
Very soon, we will look outside our windows and see many beautifully colored leaves that had fallen and are waiting to be picked up, and gathered. Then months later, after passing through the winter season, we will then see the new growth taking place from those, once barren, lifeless trees, declaring, “Winter has passed, springtime has come.” (Song of Songs 2: 11-12)
KINGDOM POINT #5 The beauty displayed in the picking up and gathering makes way for the new life ahead!
Look around many are needing to be picked up, and gathered in.
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