Character: Part 9

Colossians 4:5-6, 12

      By nature I’m an introvert. I enjoy listening to what people have to say, when they have something worth listening to that is. I most often than not will just listen and not have anything to say about whatever the subject matter is. This is because I am learning about the person or the people about me. When asked how is it that I’m ahead of what someone is doing, I inform them it’s because I listen to what is coming from their mouth as well as listening to what is not coming from their mouth.

     In other words a person is known by what is said and what is done. In our speech we try to impress another but our motive is often the true character of the person. For example, let’s take a group of people who are conversing and smiling with one another. A couple of acquaintances from the group leave. Everyone may think that the conversation was wonderful and that the two or more that left were a delight. Only to find out later that they felt the conversation was a bore and so was the speaker. The true motives were in their body language but most often we don’t pick up on that because we are not true listeners.

     We must be attentive to everyone and everything. We must not miss opportunities to share JESUS with those who don’t know HIM. We don’t always have to share HIM verbally we can share HIM in our character. More people are aware that I’m a minister from my character than by my witnessing to them through my speech. I always do this, ask how is it that they know that I’m a minister, I did not tell you. And the answer is always the same someone else told them because of how they felt around me or because I don’t step out of character to fit in. I just present myself lovingly.

     Incorporate praying tirelessly into your life. You may be thinking, how am I to pray all day, I have other things to do. It’s so simple you will wonder why you never thought of it that way. First understand that pray is just conversation between you and GOD. Secondly you can speak with HIM just like you speak with anyone else. You don’t get on your knees to speak with other so don’t think that you are only praying if you are on your knees. You speak with yourself and answer for that matter why not take self out of the picture and view yourself speaking with GOD and listen for HIM to answer. You speak to an inanimate object or to others in cars while in traffic thought they can’t hear you. Why not speak with GOD who can hear you? These are forms of prayer. So you see, you can pray all day and do so without drawing attention. You will know or should know when you really need to be alone in your prayer closet with GOD for deep prayer.

     Be firm; mature and confident in everything that GOD wants you to do. This includes building on your character.

Character: Part 8

1 Corinthians 3:13; 5:33; 10:23

     I love babies. Not just because they are new and full of life and hope for the future. It’s because they ever remind me that life in the natural and life in the spirit is a process.

     Take notice, when a baby is born you will hear the babe cry, I’ve been told that some babes come into this world with eyes open and silent. The Dr. can tell that the babe is breathing well, however what joy it brings to the mother when she hears for the first time her babe cry. Then we notice that the babe has a natural ability to suckle, within the hour of birth the nurse will direct the mother to feed her new child. Those were the first steps toward the process of natural life for the human once born.

     There really is no difference when we come to JESUS. I’ve not met many people who when accepting JESUS that have not cried or laughed for joy. I don’t know many people who after accepting JESUS are not willing to share JESUS with others. This is the first steps toward the process of spiritual life for us.

     The process never ends in the natural until we leave this earth and the process never ends for the CHRISTian even though we will leave this earth for heaven. If in our character we don’t change, we will remain babies still searching for milk and grabbing at whatever makes us feel good. Babies don’t stay on milk as matters of fact babies don’t remain babies. They grow up and so should we. Their appetites change and so should ours. They immolate what has been taught to them in the natural be it evil or kind and we likewise should immolate what we are being taught in the spiritual which is always good. It is GOD alone who is good.

     We must discontinue viewing ourselves as if we are important within ourselves and other are beneath us. We are nothing without JESUS and any growth that we have obtained was done because of HIM and not us. We are to encourage one another in love and not judgment as we grow into the character of JESUS.

     Each and every human that has breath in their body is a servant of good or evil. Those who have accepted JESUS into the heart has made it a house for GOD. When we refuse to grow in positive character the foundation for which our character is built on is no good. GOD provided the foundation that we needed. JESUS is the only good foundation by which we can build. We must first inventory the materials that must be removed and thrown away and evaluate the materials that we will replace the old with. Take precious care that we choose the correct materials needed because our character will be put into some tough situations and we must be able to stand. If we use motives or materials that are not inspected and provided to us by JESUS and we use what has been provided to us within our own nature those motives and materials are considered cheap and worthless.

     When trials of life come; are you able to stand the pressure? Will you refer back to your old nature of character or will you rely on the nature given to you by JESUS?

     When we are in right standing with JESUS because of our character we can deal with the insanity around us. Without evil motives we can judge rightly as we are given a right to do amongst ourselves in pure love to confront sin amongst us. As we would want sin to be confronted; should it be witnessed by our brother or sister in CHRIST? I understand that we don’t attack sin as we ought because we have grown into the, it’s your thing do what you wanna do lifestyle and it not your concern. This is so far from the truth. This is one reason why it’s difficult for the world to come to JESUS. We are allowing the same filth that goes on outside of the body of CHRIST to take place within the body of CHRIST. We must walk in the authority given to us in CHRIST JESUS. We must attack sin within the power given to us who is JESUS.

     We are not to allow anyone to reduce JESUS by any measure when they claim to be a part of the body of CHRIST. We are to rise in JESUS not bring JESUS down to our level. We must not allow anything to go within us or in the body. We must stop tolerating sin from anyone who claims to be a CHRISTian.

     Now before I conclude, let me make this very clear. We are not to beat up our brothers and sisters in CHRIST. We are not to compete with our brothers and sisters in CHRIST. We are not to become self-righteous towards our brothers and sisters in CHRIST. We are to love them into correctness. If after we have spoken with them in private and or we take them before the Pastor of the church in which that person attends or we never cease in our prayer that they will come into the correct character of JESUS. Then we are to simple cut them off until they have chosen to get right with GOD. Of the 3 suggestion which are biblical we should never stop praying for their deliverance. Once they have made amends with GOD and decide to come back into the fold and to your companionship accept that person with open arms.

Character: Part 7

Romans 3:4; 10-18; 20; 5:4

      GOD be praised! I’m sitting here writing this part of the Integrity series and GOD has reminded me to share yet something else about me. I do this with great joy because I am not ashamed of my past. I bless the name of JESUS for showing me how much sinned yet remained in my saved being.

     There was a time when I was so full of anger, however I was not aware. No one either dared to tell me or they never saw the rage that dwelled within me because I was kind acting. I have two failed marriages, the second time I remarried I informed my husband why my first marriage fell apart. To my surprise part of why my marriage fell apart was happening within my second marriage also.

     Less than 24 hours after I informed my second husband about my first husband’s infidelity I find my second husband in the act of the same. Like most women, I went after the other woman and whipped up on her. Then I went to my husband and whipped up on him. I felt so guilty about what I had done I called the police myself and turned myself in. Good thing too because after I made the phone call I turned around and heard the other woman speaking. I could not believe she entered my home so I began whipping up on her again, however my rage was so out of control that I nearly killed the woman. The police took me to jail and booked my on 2nd degree assault with intent to kill. When the police began to question me I told them everything that had truly happened not trying to make myself appear as the victim.

     My character was that of truth. No matter how many times they questioned me the truth consistently prevailed. I had no idea that they spoke with all those who witnessed the fight. I had no idea that my husband and the other woman were questioned. I had no idea that they were comparing what I had said to what everyone else was saying. All I knew was truth and that I had made GOD look bad.

     I spent 3 months in the county jail of where I had resided at that time. GOD allowed this to happen to me because HE had to get out of me what was destroying me and embarrassing HIM. No matter what went on judicially GOD was in control. No matter how many lies were hurled towards my character GOD revealed to the judicial system that it was not so. Each time I was to appear in court to face my accusers the Holy Spirit would say to me allow your Attorney to do all the speaking for you and only say what HE tells you to say. Now that brought joy to my soul because in the natural my Attorney was a woman. I knew that the Holy Spirit was speaking of JESUS.

     For 3 months JESUS spoke to my Attorney and the Judge. As the Holy Spirit, was removing the anger from my life. Once I was delivered from anger within 7 days of the deliverance I was released to go home. It was another 3 months that I would return to court for sentencing which was to attend anger management for 90 days and was placed on probation. After my probation officer got to know me she could not believe that I was capable of the act in which I was charged for. I informed her that it was all true and I explained to her what GOD had done while in jail.

     I’m certain she had to listen with reservation because most of the inmates who have a JESUS experience in jail do not bring JESUS out of the jail with them. I went in knowing JESUS. I was just introduced to another side of HIM that I kept reading about but kept falling short of.

After completing anger management the instructor wrote that they could not understand why I was there, it was clear to them and to the other students that I did not have an anger issue.

When I returned to court after completing the anger management class the judge said the following to me.

“It’s not a practice I make in this decision that I have come to. I fully believe that just as men have to be punished for domestic violence that women must be upheld for the same punishment. The judicial system has gone over your past life with a fine tooth comb and there is nothing that we can find that shows to us that crime is a hit and miss or a lifestyle of yours. We have spoken with people who have known you for years and those who just met you in your community and we can find no one that has anything negative to say about you. The judicial system has looked over your school and employment records and we have found nothing about you that was once at anytime given pause to steer you from a life of negativity to that of positivity. We must also take into consideration that at no time did your accusers come to court to hear what their attorneys was doing on their behalf. Now it is my decision that not only have you served your time in full but that you will have your record sponged immediately.”

     This goes to show me and anyone else that regardless of the lies that humans will tell GOD is true and HIS Word will prevail. HE does not care if humans reject HIM because HIS Word is true. So we must not care if others reject us when we speak about our testimony and how GOD helped us and how HE will help them. When I say doesn’t care what is meant by that is we care, GOD cares but we can’t allow that rejection to stop us from being and doing what GOD wants. GOD is going to still be in control; HE is still going to save; deliver and transform the lives that want to be saved; delivered and transformed into HIS image.  

     So now I am being justified in my faith all that has been removed from my being has been replaced with the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Yet I’m not perfect, however, I do strive for perfection.

Character: Part 6

Acts 6:3

      How are you perceived by others?

Are you argumentative; belligerent; course; depressed; envious; foul; greedy; hateful; idolatrous; jealous; loose; murdering; noisy; oppressed; pious; quarrelsome; rebellious; sensuality; treasonous; venomous; warped? These are only a few words off the top of my head that I could think of that are of bad character.

     One, who has good character and is growing in good character, is one who has such qualities.

Are you appealing; charismatic; dependable; enjoyable; faithful; gentle; humble; joyful, kind; loving; optimistic; patient; relishable; self-controlled; truthful; walking in wisdom; zealous for GOD in love. And again these are only a few words off the top of my head that I could think of.

     All who are born again into CHRIST JESUS are called into ministry, however, this does not mean that we are all called into the fivefold ministry which is the Apostle; Evangelist; Pastor; Prophet and Teacher.

     We must understand that we win more souls to GOD through CHRIST JESUS by our character than by our words. It is up to us to reveal the love of JESUS by our character. If we speak as those who are lost and do the things that those who are lost does, how will we ever glorify the CHRIST which really means the anointing that is given to us by JESUS?

Character: Part 5

John 17

What a great read this is. When reading, reflect on each verse.

Write down your character as it is right now; be real with how you operate in the everyday normality of your life. You can fully accomplish this task by asking family members that you trust to be honest with you. Ask your neighbors, co-workers, acquaintances and friends. This is the road in which we can get a picture of the true you as you reveal yourself to them. Often, we can’t see ourselves as we really are towards people and circumstances. It’s gonna hurt but its okay. You’ll survive.

     Then you will be ready to write down the character traits shown by JESUS in this prayer to HIS FATHER GOD. Once this is completed ask yourself where is it that you need help in your spiritual growth. We all desire to be transformed by the renewal of our minds which is in CHRIST JESUS. However, we can’t get there without a map. I believe that this is just one of the great maps given to us to follow.

     Here is an example: JESUS asked HIS DAD to glorify HIM that HE may glorify HIS DAD. Are you glorified in CHRIST JESUS? Does your character reflect glory towards CHRIST JESUS by what you say and do in your motives?

     Always remember it’s a process. We must desire to change first then within the Holy Spirit we can change.

 

 

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.

 

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