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NORMALCY

 

Christian Character
Striving For Normalcy
“The Character of the Lamb”

 

 

What IS character? What makes a person's character, "Christian"?  

God's Word teaches that character is formed by the indwelling person of Jesus WITHIN a person's life. That indwelling Presence gives the Believer a new conscience, and transforms how a Christian Believer will think, speak and act. Here are some examples of HOW Christ changes our character:

CHRISTIAN CHARACTER IS. . .
1) Keeping your word when you make a promise. That means being on time and WHERE you tell people you will be. That means, also, not OVER-PROMISING people what you will or will not do in an over-anxious attempt to get their approval.

2) Speaking TO PEOPLE, rather than ABOUT THEM. If a true believer will practice Luke 17:3, he/she will not gossip, backbite or in any way share information ABOUT people that slanders them or causes them pain.

3) Respecting the rights, boundaries and feelings of others. Recognizing that others have rights, and as the Bible teaches, “preferring your brother above yourself." (Romans 12:10)

4) Knowing that for every CAUSE there is an EFFECT. There is an immutable law of sowing and reaping that all believers (and non-believers) must recognize. (See Gal. 6:7) You either sow good seed or you sow weeds. Your actions are determined by your character. And your actions over a period of time in relationship with others will define character.

5) Speaking the truth even if it causes you pain. The Bible calls it, "speaking the truth in love." (See Eph. 4-25) We do not intentionally cause
people pain, but they may feel pain if darkness is in their hearts.

6) Standing up for the truth even when you have to stand alone. Jesus did it; so must we who bear His Name and walk with Him.

7) Being accountable for your own sin, and not blaming others. Adam tried to blame BOTH God and his wife, Eve, for his sin; it didn't work. Blaming God and/or others for your sins won’t work in your current situation, either.

8) Being willing to work by the sweat of your own brow. It is easy to have
others do things for us, that we ourselves are capable of doing. (Codependency) Biblical teaching says that if we don't work, we don't eat. (2 Thess. 3:10)

9) Knowing how to say NO, and meaning it. Jesus modeled for us how to say no, and mean it. James taught us in James 5:12, "Let your yea’s be yea and your nay’s, nay."

10) Giving up trying to control, manipulate and coheres others into submission to your will. There is only one person you have effective control over in your life: that's the one who stares back at you when you look into the mirror. And only you and Jesus can control self with its pride, greed and self-centeredness.


11) Loving people too much to slander them.


12) Consistency in your relationship with Christ, others in the Body of Christ, and with people who are outside the Body of Christ. Enduring to the end wins for us the victor's crown. See Rev. chapters 2 and 3.


13) Treating all people as though they were Jesus. In Matthew 24 Jesus tells us that when we do good deeds for others it is as though we are doing them unto Him.


14) Facing the issues of life rather than ignoring, avoiding or denying them. Jesus always took His appointed tasks with His face set "like a flint." He, for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross. See Hebrews 12.

15) Making debts that we intend to pay. Can you imagine Jesus declaring bankruptcy? The ten Commandments (Ex. 20:15) instruct us carefully about taking that which is not ours, and coveting that which is not ours. Paul declares boldly, "Let him that stole, steal no more...". Eph. 4:28.


16) Expecting others to "take care of us," and assume responsibility for our actions (and consequences) and emotions. Paul tells us to "bear our own burden." Gal. 6:5. There is no paradox here in Gal. 6:2, just a problem that English isn't specific enough to carefully translate. The Gal. 6:5 word for "burden," means the "life-load that all women/men are intended to bear in order to grow and develop in character. If someone relieves you of that MINIMUM responsibility, you will forever remain an adult-child, and your Christian character will never grow.


17) Saying what you mean and meaning what you say. The CURSE of the Christian traditional-church communication is INDIRECTNESS. The Lord Jesus was bold enough to hold the sinner(s) accountable for their own words and their own actions. He was assertive. You always get a "straight-shot" with Jesus.


18) Praying for others instead of listening to and for the evil report about a brother and/or sister in Christ. Listening to the evil report always leads to spiritual defilement and death. Remember always to speak the truth in love for defilement happens with the MOUTH. See Matt. 15:11)


19) Making up your OWN MIND about what are right paths for you, and not always calling others to "tell you what to do, or how to think or react to a person or a situation." It IS TRUE that "in the multitude of counselors there is safety (Prov. 11:14)." But Solomon assumes that you are consulting "Godly, anointed counselors," and not the unequipped neighbor over the back fence, or the congregational “party-line” gossip.

20) The ability to receive a rebuke, and not naively shrug it off or treat the rebuke with scorn. A FOOL cannot receive a rebuke. The Lord instructs the righteous and the righteous respond to His rebuke. We rebuke and/or admonish the ones in whom we love. We ignore the faults of them in whom we feel indifferently toward. (Authority Issues)


21) Loving people too much to want to control them. Each individual in life operates as a free moral agent. Christian character is developed when a person is in a situation of life where they can ultimately make their own decisions and choices, and learn from their failures. This is necessary for all growth in Christian character and relationships.

Healing the Broken-Hearted

Courtesy of Sheepfold Ministries, Sharon, PA 16146
Rev. Philip B. Roland /Pastor Bruce Richael

Christian Character
Can you pass the test?

1. Is another person’s spouse “safe” with you?
2. Can you be trusted with another father’s daughter?
3. Are little children “safe” in your arms?
4. Do you “sexualize” opposite sex relationships?
5. Can you say “no” to all pornography, including inter-net porn?
6. Assuming you were a Sunday School Teacher, would your children be able to look at any of your daily or weekend activities and say to their parents, “Look! there’s my Sunday School Teacher?”
7. Can you honestly say that you have kept yourself “unspotted from the world?”
8. Has anyone lately accused you of being Christian?
9. Before you condemn others of sexual sin, have you examined your own lustful heart?
10. Has your own struggle against good and evil in your own heart ever caused you to “hunger and thirst for righteousness?”
11. Before you insist on your fellow-believer removing the splinter from their eye, have you taken a look at the two-by-four protruding from your own eye?

EITHER YOU WILL DEVELOP CHARACTER OR YOU WILL BECOME ONE!

COURTESY OF SHEEPFOLD MINISTRIES, Pastor Phil Roland, 2003

 

 

Sheepfold Ministries, June 6, 1999
Pastor Phil Roland
Marks of Maturity
Gal 6:17 / 2 Cor. 11:24-27
“There are “marks/Indicators” of maturity in Christ. These marks happen from adversity, deprivation and personal loss.

True believers will not get bitter, only better. Pastor Phil

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Mat 5:48

Stigmata = Marks, Scars or Brands of ownership left by the Divine Rod of Discipline. . .Eg. Jacob’s Thigh

There are Five basic Marks of Maturity:


I. The Mark of Humility -
A. World views Humility as Foolishness
B. D. L. Moody - Psalm 14:1

II. The Mark of Forgiveness -
A. Joseph and His Brothers - Genesis Chapters 37-50
B. Theme of the entire Bible - Genesis 50:20

III. The Mark of Truth -
A. No liars can inherit the Kingdom of God - Rev. 21:8
B. Ananias and Saphira - Acts 5:4
C. Jesus said, “I am the way, I am the truth. . . “ John 14:6

IV. The Mark of Love -
A. 1 Cor. 13 - A More Excellent Way
B. You give love, you cannot take it

V. The Mark of Serving Others -
A. Matt. 10:20-28 - The one who is greatest in God’s Kingdom is the servant of all. . .

B. Matt. 10:24 - The servant is not above his Master

C. 2 Chronicles 16:9
“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed (KJV “Perfect”) to Him.”

Marks of Maturity TEXTS
Matt. 5:48 “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Gal 6:17 Finally, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
2 Cor 11:23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again.
2 Cor 11:24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.
2 Cor 11:25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea,
2 Cor 11:26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers.
2 Cor 11:27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.
2 Cor 11:28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.
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1 Cor 12:31 But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.
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Psa 14:1 For the director of music. Of David. The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.”
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Gen 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
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Rev 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
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John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
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Mat 20:20 Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.
Mat 20:21 "What is it you want?" he asked. She said, "Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom."
Mat 20:22 "You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said to them. "Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?" "We can," they answered.
Mat 20:23 Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father."
Mat 20:24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers.
Mat 20:25 Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.
Mat 20:26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
Mat 20:27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave--
Mat 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
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Mat 10:24 "A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.
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2 Chr 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed (KJV “Perfect”) to Him. You’ve done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war."