Today, we have sadly taken a wrong turn. We no longer show respect to one another. We have failed miserably in teaching important principles to our younger generations. Our lack of character is evident, and we need to make a U-turn and correct this.
How did we manage to go so far off course? We took a precious gift that was offered to us and tossed it aside. We have become ungrateful, disrespectful and obnoxious. Allow me to expound on this further.
Christian character should be a strength of moral fiber. It is the excellence of a spiritual man. It is based on a solid foundation of integrity, honesty, and the concern for the well-being of others. It should define us, and we should desire to be clothed with character. We have been washed by the blood of Jesus and we need to discard the filthy rags and clothe ourselves as a child of God by proudly wearing our “character” so the world can see who we live for and why we are so blessed by His grace.
Take a moment and let’s examine the greatest example of character: God. As we daily lean into His word we see His character not only defined, but rather displayed throughout The Bible. It begins with His name. He is the Great I Am, The Alpha and The Omega, The Word, Our Creator, and He is the Holiest of Holy. I start here because His Holiness is the highest power and it is above all His other characteristics. Isaiah 6:3 clearly states this.
“And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
He alone is Holy, and we can only become holy by having a personal relationship with Him. On our own we are nothing, but with Him, we become something. This is the very testament to His character.
Not only does His power supersede anything we could possibly do or say, but He shows us another character trait to be in awe of. The next trait is His Mercy. His compassion and forgiveness are endless, abundant and vast and well within His power. He chooses to daily renew His mercy and extends forgiveness to us. We have second and third chances that we have not, nor could ever earn. He chooses to give us another chance when He patiently sets aside His wrath and extends His mercy even though we do not deserve it. Again, this speaks volumes about His character as we learn in Ephesians 2:4-5.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.”
Another trait we cannot, nor we mustn’t ever overlook, is His grace. His grace is free and unmerited. It is a gift He willingly offers us that demonstrates His love for us. Sadly, a lot of people reject this gift because they either do not believe or they feel bound by the strings attached. Man can be obstinate and fail to make a sacrifice or surrender their life to God. We lean too heavily on what we perceive we must do to have salvation and do not see it as the gift it is. It cannot be earned through works and this is not something that we should take credit for. Again, it is a gift as Ephesians 2:8-9 points out.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Another characteristic that man fails to acknowledge is love. We are selfish and self-seeking. We could never understand what love is until we were taught the true meaning of love. He is the founder of, the greatest teacher of, and the only one that can define what love is, what it means and why it exists. In His word we see many examples of His love and we learn how important it means to show and live in love. Let’s see love as 1 John 4:8 defines it.
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
It is alive because of Him. It is an active verb because we need to not only seek it, but to extend it to others as He has commanded.
He is omnipotent. His power is everlasting, and He is capable and can do all things. In Genesis He formed and created the earth. He made something out of nothing. He took dust and made man. He took a rib and created woman. He can bring about whatever He pleases. How can we not be awestruck by that? Jeremiah 10:12 testifies to this.
“It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.”
Are you beginning to see a clearer picture of who He is and all that He can do? Wait, there is more! He is our Redeemer. He paid the ransom for us because He found a value within us. He asks that we turn from our sins, repent and come to Him. It is because of His sacrifice that we can come to Him and it is an honor to be obedient to Him.
Isaiah 59:20 “And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the Lord.”
He is always there for us. Yes, He is our refuge that we can turn to in times of trouble. All we need to do is pour out our heart to Him, ask for what we need, and let Him refresh us. In Psalm 62:8 it begins when we place our trust in Him.
“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.”
There is not only wisdom in Psalms, there is much acknowledgement and testimony to His provisions that have been sent to us. We gain strength, receive encouragement, and it points us to the hope and assurance of His presence as well. Psalm 46:1, 119:114 and 27:5 are prime examples of this.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”
“You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word”
“For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock”
Today as you sit down and read this I would like you to meditate on the message, but also to take a moment and be grateful for what our Mighty and Wonderous Lord has done and continues to do for us. May it strengthen you and teach you the importance of character. We have the greatest example to learn from. Listen to the Teacher and then apply the wisdom He so generously and freely offers us. We can move ahead and be the Ambassadors He calls us to be. We can toss the filthy rags aside because of all He has done for us His chosen children. We can clothe ourselves in white and exhibit the character He has specifically designed for us. Do not question His love or His attributes but be a shining light for this world to see. You were impacted and came to Him. Now we have an opportunity to impact others so that they may know His name and seek Him. Burn brightly, love abundantly and do so for Him! God Bless!