|Ephesians 4:30-32 (TLB)
|30 Don’t cause the Holy Spirit sorrow by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who marks you to be present on that day when salvation from sin will be complete.
31 Stop being mean, bad-tempered, and angry. Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others should have no place in your lives. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ.
|This is an awesome passage today, in that it tells us what pleases our Father; Some major things that we should strive to avoid in our character; but most importantly, some things that we should be doing that really exemplifies and pleases Christ.
|Many people look at the Bible as a Book of ‘don’ts’ for there is so much that we are told not to do. This could be the case for those who have a guilty conscience for all that they are doing that probably do not please our Maker. For I have found in several cases where, although we are told about our wrong doings, we can also find even stronger teachings on what we should be doing that would please God. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, told the Ephesians, and I truly believe that his Words are still echoing to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ today, that there are some things that we do that are so contrary to the will of Christ, that it downright sorrows, or grieves the Holy Spirit. No doubt there are tons of guilty consciences hitting each reader by now, for that same sweet Holy Spirit also speaks to us personally about what displeases Him. But let’s have a look at what Paul taught, and let’s particularly draw a parallel between what the Holy Spirit dislikes, vs what pleases God:
Now, although Paul didn’t say that the first list of characteristics were not of Christ, it did say that the second list – especially forgiveness, was the image, or practice that imitates how God has forgiven us because we belong to Christ. Friends, we must always keep in mind that our natural, sinful selves will lead us towards the characteristics mentioned in the first bullet. A surrendered life, seeking to please the Master – Jesus Christ, will always seek to do the things mentioned in the second bullet. It may be a good idea to keep the two lists posted in a prominent place to remind us when we are acting ungodly and displeasing the Holy Spirit, so that we may quickly seek God’s help to overcome and change our evil ways. Being a child in the Algreen home, caused me to always strive to please my Algreen parents. Being a child of the King of all kings, should always cause you and I to strive towards pleasing Jesus Christ in every aspect of our lives. There’s a song that includes the words ‘they will know us by our love’, meaning that the world will recognize Christians by their love – the love and character of Jesus Christ. How are you perceived by others Brother and Sister? Is it obvious to whom you belong, based on your actions and characteristics?
|Lord Jesus, You set an awesome example for us to follow. So in reading this passage today and hearing Paul teach on the characteristics that please Your Holy Spirit, we can reflect back on Your Word and see example after example where You demonstrated these same characteristics. Whereas, the qualities on the ‘don’t’ list are all ones that You warned about in many of Your teachings. So Lord, we have been reminded of what pleases the Holy Spirit, and what grieves Him. Please touch Your children today so that we may make wise decisions in every aspect of our lives, especially in our character. May we please You by obeying Your teachings and Your example. In humbleness of heart and seeking to serve You obediently today, I ask these things in the worthy name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord, AMEN!
|There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|
Archive for the ‘Character’ Category
May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Please read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………
Today’s Bible Reference: James 3:14–18
Today’s Bible Text: If your heart is full of bitter jealousy and selfishness, don’t brag or lie to cover up the truth. That kind of wisdom doesn’t come from above. It is earthly and selfish and comes from the devil himself. Whenever people are jealous or selfish, they cause trouble and do all sorts of cruel things. But the wisdom that comes from above leads us to be pure, friendly, gentle, sensible, kind, helpful, genuine, and sincere. When peacemakers plant seeds of peace, they will harvest justice.
The Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)
My Take Away: Often we will hear someone say that we don’t need to tell them who our parents are, because they had already determined that, based on the character qualities that they observed in us! Similarly, James is warning us that our character qualities will prove who we are being influenced by spiritually. Look at the qualities in these two columns and determine what the majority of your character qualities are telling the world about who is leading your life:
|From The Devil||From Above|
|Will cause trouble & do all sorts of cruel things||Will harvest justice (peace and righteousness)|
Friends, I could only imagine that you may be feeling a lot more transparent than you ever planned to, but the Word of God is very clear. Another scripture tells us that by your fruits they will know you. May I remind you that these qualities of which we are studying about, comes from hanging around the key players. If you hang around God and His Word, you will learn and practice His characteristics automatically, because You want to become more like Him. I believe you are plenty smart enough to figure out what happens when you don’t hang around God, or read His Word, or try to live by the things taught in His Word, but please take particular note of the last line in each column above. Those are the results of the character qualities that you produce. We have both kinds of people in our world today. Which column do you fall into? Only God can help you improve your life qualities, if you’re not happy with where you are at. Please consider allowing Him to do that.
Prayer: Lord God, it’s You that I long to be like in every aspect of my life. Being reminded today of how glaringly obvious this is to everyone I come into contact with, drives me to a greater determination to make sure that they only see Jesus and your rich qualities that will draw mankind to Yourself. Lord, I pray that my readers will join me in saying that this life would be meaningless if we travel through it without impacting individuals for Your kingdom. Lord, may Your perfect will be accomplished in and through Your humble servants today so that the lost might see the King of all kings, even in us. You alone are holy Lord, so please have Your will and way in our lives, so that the unsaved may see and yearn for Your holiness. I ask these things in the precious and holy name of Jesus, AMEN!
Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!
THE HOLY BIBLE – 1 Who can live in your tent, Lord? Who can dwell on your holy mountain? 2 The person who lives free of blame, does what is right, and speaks the truth sincerely; 3 who does no damage with their talk, does no harm to a friend, doesn’t insult a neighbor; 4 someone who despises those who act wickedly, but who honors those who honor the Lord; someone who keeps their promise even when it hurts; 5 someone who doesn’t lend money with interest, who won’t accept a bribe against any innocent person. Whoever does these things will never stumble. – Psalm 15 – Common English Bible (CEB)
THOUGHTS: I believe that most of us strive to do things right, or pleasing to those that we hang around! However, in the Christian’s walk in life, we have a greater power that we aim to please, for as children of God, knowing that God went to the extreme of giving up His only Son for us, we look to His Word for guidance on how we believe He would like for us to live. With that knowledge, how then should we live, so that our integrity would not be in question? The Psalmist actually rehearsed this for us, or shall I say that God gave us this guidance through His servant David! I am not questioning your ability to read these characteristics for yourself friend, but I am merely rehearsing them to myself, and sharing that process with you! Here’s what I see in this Psalm:
- We must have a pattern of life that is blameless – This word means genuine, free from moral or ethical spots, corruption, and inconsistencies, though not morally perfect – since this is humanly impossible. In other words, such a person is a man or woman of upright integrity (Job 1:1).
- Our actions must reflect righteousness – We must live in harmony with God’s will and standards.
- We must speak the truth sincerely – rather than being double-tongued, saying what is true some of the time and lying at other times. Concocting stories against others so that we might look better. (2c).
- We must not slander other people – by saying things that are untrue and destructive about them. I think of gossiping, and backbiting. (3a).
- We must not do evil to our neighbor – (i.e., those that we come into contact with, (3b); Prov. 14:17–24).
- We must not initiate or circulate information that would discredit others (3c). This shows intent to harm others.
- We must not approve of those who turn away from the Lord – we must not approve of sin, or disregard for the things of God or His principles. (4a).
- We must honor those who choose to follow God’s ways (4b) – encourage them, pray for them and help them succeed in the ways of the Lord.
- We must keep his promises even when it costs us to do so (4c) – of course this is not financial cost, but it may be at the cost of losing certain friends, or perhaps losing a promotion at work, or something similar.
- We should not charge interest on money that we loan to our Christian brothers – this could very easily lead to us taking advantage of their weakness (5a; Exod. 22:25; Lev. 25:36).
- We must not accept a bribe that might lead to hurting an innocent person – for although this may be to our own advantage, it may bring hardship on others (5b; Deut. 27:25).
Friends, David concluded that this type person will experience stability in his life as well as enjoy intimate fellowship with God. A believer needs to make sure he is walking in the will of God consistently to enjoy fellowship with God and stability in his life. Are you prepared to do this friend?
PRAYER: Lord, You are so patient with us. In spite of our weaknesses in caving in to life’s demands, You have shown Your precious and everlasting love for us. You have given us a lot to think about in this Psalm today Lord, for it has hit on many of our weaknesses. However, You have also reminded us throughout Your Word how gracious You are to guide us and lead us into Your righteousness, when we have a desire to do so. Please touch Your children today so that we might find a new determination in this Psalm to go on and be even more committed in our walk, our righteousness and Your will for our lives. We need so badly to be more like You in every way, so that those that we come into contact with may be transformed into Your likeness. May this be a day that those who have still not made a choice to follow You will gain strength from You, and see every reason in our walk and talk to follow through in accepting You as their Lord and Savior. I ask these things in the strong name of Jesus, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!
The Holy Bible
3 We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. 4 In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 5 We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. 6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.
(Bible Translation and Location: The New Living Translation – 2 Corinthians 6:3-6)
Whether we like it or not, folk that knew (or know) your ancestors can easily identify you, and it may not always be because you look so much like them! Often it’s because of the way you act, the things you say, or even the way you look at life. As a young couple I remember my wife and I commenting about some of the things that her mom and dad said and did. Today we marvel at my wife when she does and/or says some of the very same things that we particularly noted as a young couple! I always admire the heart of Paul in wanting to do the right thing and to do it in a way pleasing to God while not allowing it to be a hindrance to someone else. Besides this passage, remember Paul also said that he would just as soon be anything God wants him to be in order that some might recognize and accept Jesus as their Savior. In this passage though, I was particularly moved by verse (6) where he listed the attributes by which he and his coworkers proved whose they were. Because these are character attributes spoken about elsewhere in the Bible as well, I believe that these are being pounded into our minds as Godly attributes, that we should frequently examine our own lives to insure that they exude from us in our everyday lives. Think about it friends these very characteristics were demonstrated by Jesus and taught by Him as ones that we should strive for and make a part of our character. Here they are: Purity (moral uprightness, of a single mind towards God); Understanding/Knowledge (understanding what you believe and what God expects of you. Being sensitive to the will of God); Patience (dealing with even the most challenging people without getting upset with them); Kindness (being sympathetic towards others, and allowing that to reflect in your actions); and Love (genuine love is the desire to do what is best for those around you). So friends I believe that my ‘dare’ to us today is that we ‘dare’ be bold in our witness for God. May we constantly pray for these characteristics to be prevalent in our lives, to the extent that others will recognize our Master through our actions, and therefore desire to know Him in a very personal way. In this way, they also may go on to exude the same attributes in their lives. Being ‘Christian’ means being just like Christ (little ‘christs’). For those that know Him, and live these characteristics out in their lives, they will be well on their way to their goal. To my friends that have not accepted Jesus yet, please consider accepting Him today. He will also help you to mature into a person who can reflect His image, so that you too can help someone else along. Use information in the footnote to receive help, should you need it.
Lord Jesus, I thank You for all you did for me on Calvary so that I might have life eternal with You! Thank You for the example You showed to me, and for all those saints who have influenced my walk for You. I am well aware that if ever this world needed to see You in action, through Your saints alive and included in these challenging days, is today. I pray for Your strength, Your direction, Your wisdom, and Your almighty touch so that others might see Your character lived out in my daily walk and in my talk. I pray for my readers that they also will develop a yearning to know You better and desire a character aligned with the example You set for us, and that You remind us of in Your Word. As Paul and all of the saints gone on before us have demonstrated to us, may we also be an example to those that watch us and follow our footsteps daily. I am proud to be known as Your child, Lord Jesus, may I represent You well. Please be especially challenging to my readers today, so that they too may have a deeper desire to depict You in all areas of their lives. I ask this in the precious name of Jesus, my Lord, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day‘s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!