Character: Part 4

Luke 3; 5; 7 & 23

 Unfortunately, the enemy and his followers can imitate CHRISTianity. Have you ever met people who say they are CHRISTians? Yet every time you turn around they are speaking and acting no differently than you or anyone else.

 CHRISTians are to emulate JESUS with a change of heart. When the heart is changed the thinking and the action is changed. Your character is changed for the better; it does not remain the same. Your character and how you live matters to GOD it’s the inward person who is changed not the outward. Character is built on what you say and do not what you look like outwardly.

 When you think about it changing your character from that which serves the enemy to that which serves GOD can be very easy. However, anyone who does not have the mind of CHRIST cannot and will not for very long pretend to belong to HIM because doing and saying the opposite of your nature is hard and not normal for you. When you belong to CHRIST and you begin to change to the opposite of what you are known for, it’s a character trait that you don’t think twice about because it’s natural for you. 

For example: This world is filled with homeless people who stand on the streets begging for money. There was a time when we would have helped them but now we don’t because we have become desensitized to them. This is largely due to the many scams they pull on people who are convicted in their souls to help. So instead of ignoring the homeless/beggars this is how you can extend help to them.

If the claim is that they are hungry, feed them.  Take them into the restaurant; fast food chain or carry-out and have them to order whatever it is they want. If the person in need refuse to go in, buy them something to eat and drink anyway and give it to them.

If you see that the clothes that they are wearing are so tattered and worn buy them clothes or donate your old clothes to them.

Another great way to help them is to adopt them.

How do you do this?

99% of the times if you travel in the same direction daily you see the same homeless person. Entertain that person by engaging in conversation, help meet their needs and most of all share JESUS with them without making JESUS distasteful. More often than not you will win a soul to JESUS because of your kindness. Did you know that once you extend your hand to help just 1 person, you become the catapult for many? Before you know it you will begin to bring that person to church upon your invite being accepted or them asking you to take them to church with you. This has to do with positive character as well. Cool huh?

 In itself the word tax makes people cringe. This is because tax is a burden that we don’t have any control of because it’s a requirement by the government. We don’t like it yet there is nothing we can do about it. Tax when attached to one who has a career of collecting tax also brings on instant distrust to many people. We think of them as crooks, one who gets great pleasure in taking from and nearly breaking the wallets of those who pay the tax. During the time when Levi known as Matthew walked this earth along side of JESUS he was such a man. His profession was to collect the tax from people and he had great pleasure in seeing the people financially broken. This is why the government provides refunds today. JESUS went to Levi known as Matthew and recruited him to follow HIM and in doing so his character began to change. Matthew no longer takes, he now gives. The total opposite of what his character was known for.

 Take a look at JESUS for a moment. It was in JESUS character to move with compassion and be a help to everyone. It’s hard wired within us to help. No person is an island unto themselves. We may not help often but we at some point within the present year help people in need. When our character is changed to be like JESUS we will find ourselves looking for people we can help on purpose. It will be our desire to do something that seems not to be a big deal to you but is life saving to the person you help.

 Character is so very important to whom we are. When we have our character lined up with that of JESUS. We are known for being upright; advantageous; in right standing with GOD and man.

 

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Character: Part 3

Knowing right from wrong yet doing what’s right.

There are always people who will place into our life rules and regulations or suggestions that we should follow. I am going to tell a story in the hopes that you will understand what is being said in the book of Mark.

A teen age male named Mark who is about 13. He was told by his mother not to socialize with some of the boys that are from his neighborhood because they were not his friends and was nothing but trouble. Mark disputed what his mother was telling him and agreed to do as she said.

While Mark is in school he socializes with the neighborhood boys and as long as he keeps clear of his mother’s sight he’s gonna continue to socialize with those boys. In other words Mark disobeys his mother and follows along with what his so called friends say and do.

 Mark is now 16; he escaped getting into the deep trouble that his neighborhood friends have gotten themselves into. Yet he’s got a bit of a problem. His problem is that he does not take heed to the warnings that his mother often gives to him about being outside of the house. Away from his mother’s watchful eye. Mark has had some close calls yet because Mark has not been in any really tough situations he forgets easily how he felt. Now, Mark has gotten himself into some major trouble. Mark has been taken to the city jail due to petty thief. Mark’s mother makes him sweat it out for a day.

 Mark is now 19. He barely got out of high school and he’s ready to do all the things that his mother told him not to do. After all he is an adult (which means legal age of responsibility only) no one can tell him not to go here, not to speak in this manner and not to be with these people. Mark sets his own rules and regulations. Mark knows right from wrong, he has received great love and care from his mother yet because he was defiant in his heart, Mark made some very wrong choices in his adult life.

 Because Mark had not really given his attention to his studies and not wanting to further his education. Mark could not find employment so he hung out with his buddies, also who was doing nothing with their lives. Mark began to drink and do drugs which led to petty thief. Mark sank lower and lower because he was more concerned about what was going on in the world. He attended parties often. He used to wear the most up to date clothes so that he could impress the ladies, when his momma was buying his clothes. He would lie to be impressive so that his peers would look up to him. Mark found out that the cares of this life will destroy you, unfortunately Mark found out too late. Mark is doing time in the State Penitentiary.

 Mark is now 29, 10 years in the penitentiary and he’s had nothing but time on his hands. So what do you think Mark did? Mark thought about all the rules and regulations that his mother had taught him. He remembered how she intervened when she could to prevent him from experiencing anything that was harmful to him. Mark realized that his mother was not trying to keep him from having fun; she was trying to show him that without positive guidance you will be destroyed by this world. Positive influence is required in everyone’s life. Mark made a decision that because he already knows right from wrong and he’s already tried it his way which was wrong that he will turn his back on those things that he did and do the complete opposite which is right.

 Mark while in the penitention went to college and earned a degree. With his mother’s help he was given a chance to work in an environment in which he holds a degree. And he’s mentoring young people in the hopes of keeping them from making the same mistakes he made.

 Scripture reference: Mark 4:1-20 

Character 2

 

Part II

 As I begin the second portion of this series, I will breakdown the chapters and versus from the book of Matthew.

 When we come to GOD through JESUS, at some point in our lives we make the decision to get baptized. Some people are baptized when they are children, some are baptized when they are young adults and they understand that this is a religious duty.

 I personally don’t see baptism as a religious act or duty but an outward showing that we are sharing in the experience of death and the resurrection. An outward intent to have our old lives turned in for a Kingdom life. A relationship with GOD through JESUS is not a religion. For most of us we never consider the thought that we desire to have a character change within us

 John who was the precursor to JESUS baptized with water yet he constantly informs that who he baptized in water that JESUS was coming to baptize them in the Holy Spirit. It is the person of the Holy Spirit we need to activate that change. We cannot change in and of ourselves; if we could we would have not needed JESUS. Water baptism is an outward showing of the desire to change. Being baptized in the Holy Spirit is a definite change within.

 We are always informed that we must be perfect as the GOD we serve is perfect. However, how does one achieve this task? We grow into maturity of godliness in our mind and character.

When I was a young mother, GOD told me to watch my son. How he grows naturally and applies that to my spiritual walk. Of course at first I did not understand so I asked HIM, what was I to look for? GOD told me to watch my son suckle; make recognition to his environment; acknowledge voices; grasping; crawling; walking and so on. I did and I noticed that as he began to mature in nature it was a process. This too is how we grow when we come to GOD through JESUS. It’s a process. We are not equipped to eat steak and potatoes so we suckle on pure milk. This is where we get all our required nourishment from. We are held; sang to; spoken to; and so on. This is a learning process for the child to engage in human contact. We are helping the child to develop. With tenderness and much love we become strong and grow as nature planned. We were designed to have an increased appetite for food and human connection. Same with GOD when we come to HIM we hunger for HIM. The more time we spend with HIM the more we become like HIM in character.

 We must always be aware of one’s character. When a person does something repetitively this is that person’s true character. Humans have the ability to perform for what we want. Whether it’s something that they have or it’s something that we want another to do. We will perform to win that person’s confidence to give in to what we have motives for. This is called Charisma or Charm. In and of itself it’s not really bad, however, when we charm an individual we are practicing witchcraft on them and before they know it they have given into your desire. Charisma can be a good thing if it’s used in right motives. A person who has a bubbly personality or an ability to captivate and keep an audience when speaking on a subject has charisma. In the book of Matthew we are warned to beware of preachers who charm or use charisma with negative motives. Most people don’t get to spend quality time around a preacher. We don’t know their strengths and weakness. However, if you are a person who attends church service as often as possible during each week you can identify what type of character your Sheppard has. When your preacher directs you to become a more Godlike individual each and every time he/she speaks with or to you, you can be sure that you have a preacher with Godlike motives. As well as you hear great testimonies about your preacher in church as well as away. You are growing into the character of GOD as HE intended you to be. Also if the preacher has a family, you will see the reflection of the preacher’s character exhibited by the family.

 However, if you have a preacher that you don’t get to spend quality time with, and you are excited by what is seen and or said for the time that you are in the presence of him/her. You can’t with sincerity say that you know the motives of that preacher.

Unfortunately we have two types of preachers; those that have a sincere desire to gather lost souls and to edify the body of CHRIST.  And those who want to style and profile, take and not give, more in tune with self, how much money and recognition they can get.

 To truly know the character of a person we must spend a minimum of seven consecutive days with a person. Then if we are really watching and listening will we begin to see some insights to the true character of an individual.

 Now back to putting the spot light on self.

  • Is your character sinful?
  • Do you practice being offensive?
  • Are you evil in what you say, what you do or how you think?
  • Do you have criminal intent?
  • Do you act unlawfully, going against GOD, causing injury to another emotionally, physically or mentally?

These are considered trespasses. These are only just a few that I pulled on that can be found in our character when we don’t give up and give ourselves entirely to GOD so that we can receive a changed character.

 I found that another tool we can use to measure if our character is more what GOD desires or are we still full of stinking thinking.

You’ve gone to church, heard a wonderful sermon. You’ve said to yourself that you were going to change; thought that the sermon did not apply to your life or you agreed with the sermon and you intend to apply this to your life. NOW, you leave church feeling good; get into your car and uh oh someone has caused you to forget what you’ve just experienced. How fertile is your soil? How deep were the roots?

 Spiritual growth and maturity does not put trust in or find a need to hold onto our earthly treasures.

EX.: You know of a person who is beginning their independence as a young adult. The person has moved into an apartment, yet the person did not have or think to save and purchase a bed. Now this person has a place to live but does not have a bed. What would you do?

Let’s say you have more than one bed in your home, you don’t use it unless you have company. Did you give the bed to the person you know or did you say “I’ll be praying that GOD sends you a bed soon”.

I find the later to be my personal favorite…..Not!

 Our changed character would move us to provide if we truly have the means to provide because our changed character is filled with love. Love compels you to give or sell what you have to help another.

As you read; Matthew 3:11; 5:48; 7:15; 9:10; 13:21 and 19:21.

Ask yourself where you need to have the Holy Spirit work in your character. Take notice as to how you re-act to situations or conversations.

 We all need to grow in maturity and take on the character of GOD so that we may be perfect as GOD is. We may not all cross our t’s or dot our I’s before we leave this earth. However, each day should be a day that we strive to change from being full of us to being full of GOD.

 We will be in the book of Mark later this week.

 I hope you are finding this a help and know that regardless of my knowing you or not I do love you. 

GOD Bless you!

 

 

 

Character

Part I

In the hopes to do this study of Integrity any justice it was important for me to study also on Character. Integrity and Character go hand in hand; one cannot exist without the other. As a matter of fact these words are synonyms of one another.

 The Bible is full of people of negative and positive characters. However I’m choosing to stay close to the positive due to the fact we are experts at the negative and must become acquainted with the positive.

 From the Old Testament I gleaned from these books:

Exodus; 1 Samuel; 1 Chronicles; Psalms; Proverbs; Isaiah; Jeremiah; Ezekiel and Ecclesiastes.

 I suggest that in your study time that you research these books and read about all the people who walked in negative and positive characters. You will find that nothing has changed with the exception of time in how soon one executes their part in the negative. Take note on how GOD punished or rewarded character. Remembering that GOD is the same in the past, present and future. So it would be wise to make good decisions in our walk with GOD.

 When we think of some ones positive character, we should be looking for someone who has the qualities or features of kindness. A positive moral nature; strength; how one feels when we think of how a person acts, is it considered nice? The conduct of knowing right and wrong yet doing what’s right. The reputation of how others perceive as truth that is a foundation of what you say and do. A rule of action in your conduct. Upright; honorable. Practicing what is right versus that which is wrong.

 GOD took the time to write out the Ten Commandments. This is the measuring rod of how we are to behave. It has been said and I tend to agree since I applied this principle to my own children. That between the ages of 1-6 you write on their lives as to what type of individual that person becomes. Teach the child to have no restraints and the child will grow up into a mature age without structure or law as to become productive. The child has grown up defiant a negative character. Teach the child to obey and the child is more likely to grow up positive in character; knowing right from wrong and will more often than not choose to do what is right.

 The 10 Commandments

1.You will have no other gods

2.You will not bow yourself down to any image or serve them

3.DO NOT take the name of The LORD in vain

4.The 7th day of a week is Holy

5.Honor your Father and Mother

6.DO NOT kill

7.DO NOT commit adultery

8.DO NOT steal

9.DO NOT lie

10.DO NOT covet 

I wrote these commandments out for two reasons:

1.To show that this is the measuring rod by which we should teach our kids so that they will become positive, productive citizens and

2.To realize that no matter how positive our character is; if we have failed at just one of these commandments it’s a declaration that we can’t fulfill this without the help of GOD.  

Are we willing to examine our own self behavior or are we willing to examine another? Criticizing or judging the character of someone else is always easier to do. When you speak about another person who has flaws you deflect the attention from self. Have you ever considered criticizing or judging yourself to others? I’m certain the answer is no, who wants to take charge of their short comings when it’s so very easy to pick apart someone else. 

Remember, positive character traits are qualities or features of kindness.

Change

 

The change of nature: from what it once was to what we want to be. Transform from doing evil to doing good. It’s a gradual process the change or transformation is a modification or alteration of self.

Each and every one of us needs to make a change. We know this why? Because we come to JESUS knowing that we have done wrong and that we need HIS help to change from what we are to what HE wants us to be. HE does not want us to be HIS robots, HE just wants us to be the very best us and we can’t be that without HIM.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world; let GOD transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then and only then will you learn to know GOD’s will for you; which is good – pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

Branding, Piercing & Tattoos

 

 

We frown at them, shriek at them and ignore them, yet we don’t explain and show what GOD has to say about tattoos.

You have been forgiven of all your sins; your heart is on fire to serve the true and living GOD. You attend Sunday school, church and bible study. But there is an issue that our young people face that is a growing and very popular fad, the tattoo.

I have sat back and watched Pastors, Deacons and the list continues come back revealing a new tattoo, piercing or branding that has been placed on their bodies. But we smile and say nothing.

What gets me is the tattoo that is printed on the body of a different tongue. Our young people can barely speak their native tongue of English and yet they pay someone to disfigure the Temple of GOD with a language that maybe translated or not into what you were told that it say.

Amplified Bible
1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not discern and understand that you are God’s temple (His sanctuary), and that God’s Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you [to be at home in you, collectively as a church and also individually]?

1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own,
Tattoos are something that we may have done when were apart of the world. But now we are joint heirs in the Kingdom of GOD, we live by a higher standard.
John 15:19 If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world [no longer one with it], but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you.
Branding/a mark made by burning to indicate ownership, formerly put upon by criminals, a disgrace, and a stigma.
Piercing/to make a hoe by boring or perforating.
Tattoo/the act of marking skin w indelible patterns, pictures, legends by puncturing and inserting ink.
We need to search scripture for anything that rubs us the wrong way and be responsible for one another. Open the Bible have the person to read the scripture that supports what you would like to speak about. Open the lines of communication. Then share that the action that was done in ignorance is to be forgiven by our ABBA FATHER.
We learn by what we see, not so much by what is said. Be an example setter, Kings, Queens, Prince’s and Princess’s do not blemish their royal skin.

Blessings

 

 

GOD blesses HIS people when HE bestows on them temporal (which is earthly) or spiritual (which is eternal) gifts. We bless GOD when we thank HIM for HIS mercies. A man blesses himself/herself when he/she invokes GOD’s blessing or rejoices in GOD’s goodness to him/herself. One blesses another when he/she expresses prayer to GOD for his/her welfare.

You may also tell someone GOD Bless you; however, this should not be done as if it’s just a casual hi or bye. You must have very pure motives for the welfare of another and you must believe that only GOD can and will bless that person.

 We all should want to experience GOD’s blessing in and on our lives. We all should want others to experience GOD’s blessing in and on their lives as well. Never keep anything that is good to yourself. GOD is the very best that can be shared with everyone.

 Blessed are those who trust in The LORD and have made The LORD their hope and confidence. Jeremiah 17:7