Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
-Jesus reminds us to depend on Him fully. Further that, each one has a cross to carry. The cross symbolises the sacrifices we offer daily for oneself, others & God. Unless we are selfless (die to self) in obedience & humility, then we fail in our assignment by seeking the world first & thus lose our soul. Jesus gave us a new commandment to love God & our neighbor by which we fulfil the law & share in His grace.
-Character is written as shem in Hebrew & it means nature, image, likeness, figure, shape, personality, attribute, trait, quality & habit. It can be defined as the commitment to a set of values & standards without compromise. It is also self-imposed discipline integrating words & deeds.
-Samuel’s character reflected godly traits & he became great during his life time. His name in Hebrew means “God has heard” or “name of God”. He led a righteous life upholding the name of God as it was in his name. Since we are Christ-like & Gods children, we are also reminded to always share in His likeness & character. The same model applies to our children who look up to parents for provision & attributes. Apostle Paul mentions that parents should bring up their children in training & admonition of the Lord, not wrath. Since the opposite of wrath is peace, Paul advocates for the fear of the Lord in the household which results to peace. In the same fear, children grow, develop & will never depart from it. Parents should always remember that as much as God is watching them, their kids are learning from them & mature in the character exhibited. On the same wavelength, “evil character corrupts good habits”. Some friends assassinate our character & affect our relationship with family, friends, neighbours, society & God. The Holy Spirit through His fruit protects us from works of the flesh which give the offender a new brand name & identify. E.g. A person who lies is called a liar etc. The quest to please people allows our hearts to be swayed into bad habits & we eventually lack focus. Thus, one has to make a firm personal decision to sacrifice some friends so as to protect the wise principles of God in our lives. Further, good character opens us up to integrity which is founded on the holiness of God & protects us from shame. Jesus set the best example to us with His life & instructed us to be holy in all our conduct just as He is holy (1 Pet 1:16). Character is a process developed gradually over time by reading His word, prayer, watching & listening to positive vibes only. Following virtues of God, tribulations will come which call for perseverance; building up our character & hope in our final reward. This does not mean that we wait to develop character while laying on our death beds; but cultivate it & living by it as a stable man/woman who does not falter in word & deeds. It is only by His grace which is sufficient for all of us, that this can be achieved. Let us always remember to give thanks in all things, query all our thoughts in line with His word & hold fast our faith in Him so that we may experience His goodness as He has good plans for our lives.
Lord our Father, we thank You for Your everlasting love for us. We love You. You moulded us from the dust of the ground, mould our character as well in Your image & likeness. You are holy & have called us to be holy, help us we offer our lives entirely to You. Impart in us Your gifts, fruit & graces so that we may be aligned in Your good plans for us. All glory belong to You Lord. Amen
FB Page: Revelation of the Word