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Character is Everything

In my last post, we looked at the purpose of God’s grace.  It brings about God’s will in us.  What is that will?  It’s to bring the message of His salvation and favor to the world.

For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.”  I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:2

This is God’s priority.  Bringing the message of salvation to the world we live in.

But what about us?  Is this our priority?  There are so many other things that we want to do and experience.  To some, God’s will is inconvenient.

Paul is getting to that.

We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.
2 Corinthians 6:3

This is something that every believer has to come to grips with.  How people view our ministry is based largely on how they view us personally.  Paul is literally saying that he doesn’t want to create an offence that would cause the ministry to be blamed.

That’s why we need to be constantly working on our character.  It’s the character of the minister that determines the perception of the ministry.

Unfortunately, there are those who think it’s just the opposite.  They feel that people should think highly of them because of what their ministry is accomplishing.

We have to understand that how we live is a reflection of Christ.  The world judges the Christian message based upon what they’ve seen in the believers they’ve met.  Sometimes they’re left with a negative opinion.

We need to accurately reflect the love of Christ no matter what we’re going through.  Paul now goes through a list of these qualities.  I think that it’s important for us to hear them.  So I’m going to take a couple of posts to explain what he’s saying to us.

And yes, some of them sound very inconvenient.

Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses;
2 Corinthians 6:4

The key is, Paul wants everyone to know that he’s a servant of God.  He doesn’t serve his own needs or wants.  He doesn’t serve the world or even the churches.  He serves God.

That has to be the foundation of our attitude.  We live and act at the Lord’s good pleasure.  We’re in the service of the King of the universe.  We want His kingdom to be accurately represented.

We serve with that in mind.  We desire the character of Christ to shine through us.  That’s the only way to draw people to the cross.

Question: How does your character reflect your service to Christ?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2020 in Leadership, Ministry, Spiritual Walk

 

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Being the Light

MoonThe New Testament speaks a lot about our spiritual light. But do we ever stop to consider the implications of this? I want to take a few posts to talk about it.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:12

The bottom line is that Jesus Christ is the Light. The world is in darkness. Christ – the Light – came into the world.

We know from history and experience that the world, for the most part, hated the light that He brought. That’s because people who live in darkness, are afraid of the light. It makes them uncomfortable. Many times it reveals things they don’t want to see.

Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering.
Hebrews 10:32

We’ve learned that salvation comes through embracing that light. Of course, those of us who desire to live in this light have learned that there’s some discomfort to it. But we have to make the decision that I’m going to live in this light, whatever that means.

The Bible says an interesting thing about John the Baptist. It can be applied to us as well.

He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
John 1:7-8

He wasn’t THE light, but merely a witness to the light. In the same way, we are witnesses to the light. But we have to understand what that means.

Jesus testified to the work that took place through John the Baptist.

“John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.”
John 5:35

In His ministry, Jesus said that John was a light that the people enjoyed for a while. It’s the same with us. We are called the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). How can we be the light, yet not be the light?

It’s all a matter of perspective. Like John, we are a witness to the light.

In Psalm 89:37, the Bible says that the moon is the great witness in the sky. The sun is light. The moon is not light, just a big rock. However, it is a witness to the light of the sun.

From the perspective of people on earth the moon is a light. In the same way, we are not the Light, only a witness to it. But from the perspective of people living in darkness we are the light of the world.

This is our job, just like the moon, to faithfully reflect the light of Christ into the world. That’s why it’s so important that we be positioned properly. It’s also why there are “new moon, half-moon, and full moon” type Christians.

Our goal should be to reflect as much of the life of Christ as we possibly can.

Question: How well are you at reflecting Christ to the world?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
 

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