Five Christian Goals: Serving Like Christ (Head) – Part 8

(Click here to search for all the posts in this series…)

Matthew 16:24 – 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. (NKJV; emphasis mine)

We are studying five primary goals of the Christian life, taking each goal in three steps of natural progression: knowledge (head), conviction (heart), and action (hands). All five goals are:

  1. Living Like Christ
  2. Proclaiming Christ
  3. Serving Like Christ
  4. Worshipping Christ
  5. Fellowship in Christ

So far we’ve learned that we must live like Christ and we must proclaim Christ. To demonstrate the authenticity of both, and to realize THE most fulfilling and God-pleasing life we attain, our next goal is to SERVE like Christ. In keeping with the pattern for this series, we will learn (head) some of what the Bible says about serving (I say “some” because ‘servanthood’ could be volumes of lessons), then we will learn how it should change our life (heart), and finally, practical steps to serving others (hands).

It has been several weeks since I wrote the last part of this lesson because my daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia, and things have been pretty out of sorts. However, I’m glad for the time since then because I have seen Christian service modeled in many different ways during that time. My wife and I have served our daughter and family. Our family has served us by helping in countless ways take care of the other kids while much of our attention had to be on Abby. Our Christian family has served us in a list of ways, helping at every turn, over and above what we could have ever imagined or asked for.

So the real life lessons about serving I’ve watched in the past six weeks, will make bringing you a lesson about serving more real-life and substantive.

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (NKJV)

First of all, you may wonder WHY we must be servant-minded, servant-hearted. While we could give an entire list of reasons, only one is necessary: because Jesus served us. Jesus is our role model. He lived life for us as a demonstration and inspiration that we must imitate.

Jesus came to serve when He deserved to be served by others. He was perfect. We are full of sin and wickedness. He was humble. We are prideful and selfish. He healed, loved and saved. We hurt, hate and kill. This leaves us without excuse or reason NOT to serve others. If Jesus came to serve us, how much more should we then serve each other?

Don’t pass over this point lightly, or too quickly. STOP for minute and think about it. If your life is not characterized by a servant attitude, by acts of service, and by a love for serving, then what does that say? Are we better than Jesus? Do we deserve more than Jesus? Are we to be served by others, and think primarily of ourselves, while the King of the Universe washes feet and dries tears?

What we think about SERVING affects every aspect of our Christian life.

John 13:14-17 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. (NKJV)

Service to others is maybe the single most foundational characteristic of a mature, victorious Christian life. Service is the outpouring and fruit of genuine love. All the praying, giving, studying and Church involvement in the world means nothing if there is no love (1Cor 13:1-13). Love is made manifest most tangibly by our servant attitude towards all those around us. A true Christian demeanor of service is a mixture of humility, self sacrifice, deference to others, eternal perspective and obedience.

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. (NKJV)

Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-31… you’ll find that we are all parts of one body. Just like the human body has many parts, the Church body is made up of different parts working as one. We all have different functions of service. The Shepherd who teaches is no more honored or valuable than the widow who gives her time to comfort the sick. The doctor who heals the sick is no more valuable than the person who gives cares for the orphan. The wealthy who give large sums of money to missions work are no more valuable than the man who fixes the broken water heater at the elderly couple’s house.

God does not measure service by quantity or type.
He measures service by attitude and motivation.

We have no need of measuring or comparing our service to what others have done. We need only to pray, ask God what He would have us to do, and then obey with all our heart. If God says “take them a meal” and you do, you have been a good and faithful servant. If God say “sell all you have, and give it to the poor” and you do, then you have been a good and faithful servant. If God says, “go to the nursing home, and spend time with the lonely and forgotten”, and you obey… then you are a good and faithful servant.

We must not judge a “servant’s heart” by what we see on the outside (Luke 21:1-4). We must not compare our own service to others. We our only accountable to God, for what God leads us to do personally with respects to serving. No man, Christian leader, or church organization should impose standards of service on individuals. On the other hand, we must be careful that we are not trying to put on an image that is not true so that we look more ‘servant-hearted’ to others than we really are (Acts 5:1-11).

Finally, being a true servant helps us to mature, protects us spiritually, and keeps us anchored in the truth:

Ephesians 4:11-16 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (NKJV)

I’m convinced that one of the primary reasons so many Christians are chasing after sensationalism and supernatural experience, being “tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine” today is because:

Serving is boring.

At least to them. Who wants to take clothes to the poor when we can go to the “miracle healing service”? Who wants to visit the sick and imprisoned when we can hear stories about visits to heaven, and people being raised from the dead through the television? Who wants to minister, confront and counsel those who have gone astray when we can fill our own storehouses through ‘seed faith’ and ‘prosperity’ living?

Servanthood is not flashy, doesn’t usually come with any recognition and requires us to give ourselves away (time, money, emotion, strength). There’s not much in it for US, humanly speaking. However, there is nothing more Godly, more rewarding (both eternally and temporally), more fulfilling or more enriching than being the servant God calls you to be.

The Christian life is OPPOSITE of the world: gain your life by giving it away; be fulfilled by fulfilling others; take care of yourself by caring for others. A servant heart is the basis for spiritual growth, fellowship with God, obedience, humility, contentment and happiness (just to name a few). A few verses to consider:

  • Philippians 2:3-4 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (NKJV)
  • Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good [serve] to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (NKJV)
  • 1 Corinthians 10:24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being. (NKJV)
  • Romans 15:2-3 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” (NKJV)
  • Mark 9:35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” (NKJV)

Do you want to be truly GREAT? There’s nothing wrong with that ambition done right:

  • Matthew 20:26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. (NKJV)

We should WANT to be great… in God’s eyes… where it will count for all eternity. Who cares if we are great to MAN. That means nothing, and only lasts a few short years. Be a servant. Be great. Be great in a way that counts for all eternity.

In the next part of this series, we’ll look at how you take this knowledge of servanthood (head), and have it become the conviction of your life (heart).

Lord God, help us to seek true greatness by becoming the servant You want us to be. Help us to see how Jesus served, and imitate Him. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
  1. What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
  2. What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
  3. What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?

(seriesid:54)


Five Christian Goals: Proclaiming Christ (Action) – Part 7

(Click here to search for all the posts in this series…)

(Matthew 16:24) – 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. (NKJV; emphasis mine)

We are studying five primary goals of the Christian life, taking each goal in three steps of natural progression: knowledge (head), conviction (heart), and action (hands). All five goals are:

  1. Living Like Christ
  2. Proclaiming Christ
  3. Serving Like Christ
  4. Worshipping Christ
  5. Fellowship in Christ

Knowledge of the Gospel (head) combined with the conviction to share it with others (heart) leaves us ready to actually figure out how (hands). There are several things to consider about how we utilize our own personal resources towards this purpose.

There are several resources we all have that can be used towards sharing the Gospel: time, skills, talents, financial blessings and emotional energy. Our knowledge and commitment to the Gospel are put into effect through the use of our energy and material blessings. As with all the goals of Christianity, if knowledge and conviction are not followed by action, it rings hollow. Kind of the whole “faith without works is dead” thing…

One paragraph hardly makes the point, so it is left to each of use to consider it more fully: how is my time dedicated to spreading the Gospel? Are my talents used to tell others about Christ? Do I allocate portions of my financial blessings to the spreading of the Good News?

We consider not only what we personally do in the effort of the Gospel, but also what we do to help enable OTHERS to spread the Word. We are only ONE, but collectively we can multiply our conviction to share Christ countless times as we invest our finances corporately. So part of putting this Christian goal into action is helping give what it takes to allow someone else to launch into action.

Another thing to consider is consistency and sacrifice. Sharing Christ should not be a leisurely effort when we happen to feel like it or when an opportunity makes it impossible avoid. We need to routinely, consistently, persistently and diligently be involved in both personally sharing Christ AND giving to others who multiply that effort like missionaries, Bible distributors, Christian orphanages and other “care” groups who share Christ as they help the needy.

The necessity and requirement of sharing the Gospel goes without saying, although it is largely neglected by most Christians. What I encourage people to do is to start with those people they already have relationships with and come in contact with. You don’t have to stop every stranger that walks by and share the Gospel. There are plenty of people in our sphere of influence that we can lure into a spiritual conversation by asking simple questions: do you believe in God? Have you ever been to church? Do you believe in life after death? Any of these types of interesting questions can open the door for you to simply share your belief in Christ and then ask a few simple questions that will cause THEM to think about the same.

Remember, it’s not YOUR job to get someone to say “yes” to God. That’s the downfall of the Christian “sales packages” that are frequently taught today. God alone gives the result. We just plant the seeds and water the ground. Sometimes we come across a “ripe” one that is ready to be harvested, and of course, that is a GREAT joy and experience. But more often, we find ourselves only planting and watering. We cannot force a false harvest with sales techniques. Planting and watering.. that is our call to action with regards to the primary Christian goal of proclaiming Christ.

My favorite approach to sharing the Gospel, and I believe the most effective (and Biblical) by far, is what Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron teach at www.wayofthemaster.com. I encourage you to check out their material.

Lord God, help us to be committed to sharing the Gospel and utilizing all aspects of our life in the effort. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
  1. What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
  2. What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
  3. What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?

(seriesid:54)


Five Christian Goals: Proclaiming Christ (Conviction) – Part 6

(Click here to search for all the posts in this series…)

(Matthew 16:24) – 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. (NKJV; emphasis mine)

We are studying five primary goals of the Christian life, taking each goal in three steps of natural progression: knowledge (head), conviction (heart), and action (hands). All five goals are:

  1. Living Like Christ
  2. Proclaiming Christ
  3. Serving Like Christ
  4. Worshipping Christ
  5. Fellowship in Christ

Now that we have the knowledge (head) that we need to proclaim Christ to others, we must cultivate the proper attitude and motivation to do so (heart, conviction). It is one thing to KNOW we must share our faith, it’s quite another to be truly convicted of the reasons for it.

First, I believe that the conviction to share Christ comes from being “poor in spirit”.

Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (NKJV)

Most sermons or teaching I hear on this completely miss the meaning of this phrase. We hear lessons about humility and the idea of understanding we are “small” compared to God. While there is some truth in those perspectives, it doesn’t come close to the depth of the phrase.

To be “poor in spirit” means to realize, recognize and understand your total “lostness” and inability to do anything about it. Picture a blind, deaf and dumb, paralyzed beggar in a poverty stricken, war-torn country. They are at the total mercy of others. They cannot work for themselves. They can obtain anything for themselves. They cannot improve their situation by their own effort. They have absolutely no personal means by which to do anything about their need. They need to be rescued by someone else. They are at the total discretion, mercy and whim of someone else to help them.

THAT is being “poor in spirit”. When we have a correct understanding of what it means to be lost, unsaved and separated from God, we understand this description. We are sinners, slaves to wickedness. We can do NOTHING to merit, earn or demand salvation. We can do nothing to change, improve or remedy our situation. We are in total need of being rescued by God. If He does not do it, we are doomed. We are HELPLESS and dependent on someone saving us.

That is being “poor in spirit”… far more than just being humble. What does this have to do with proclaiming Christ?

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. (NKJV)

We can be truly merciful because we are “poor in spirit”. We realize that other peole are in the same situation we were in. They need to be rescued. They are lost. They are helpless. Mercy is recognizing this and doing what we can for them. What can we do? Tell them about the RESCUER! When we understand “poor in spirit” we have no problem with being genuinely and properly convicted about proclaiming Christ to others through our lives, our mouths and our choices.

When it gets right down to it, there is really only thing that matters in this life: when this “vapor” of temporary life is over, where will you spend eternity? A million years into eternity, what do you think we will look back and consider IMPORTANT in this life? It’s not that accumulating wealth, or having fun, or pursuing goals is a waste of time. However, those things are only SUCCESSFUL to the degree they are joined with the opportunity and effort to rescue as many “poor in spirit” as possible (more on this later).

Does that mean we must do it personally or is this the job of full time ministry workers and church programs? It’s a fair question. We can’t expect new Believers to have the answers, even for questions that mature Believers see as “obvious”.

Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (NKJV)

We have a personal responsibility, as well as a corporate responsibility (which is what? Personal responsibility pooled together). Notice the use over and over of “YOU” in the verses referring to both individual and the whole Body corporately. Again, there is no “corporate” without “individual”. Hardly a groundbreaking revelation, but it is important that we are convicted and committed to the PERSONAL proclamation of Christ in our individual lives.

Another important factor is that we understand what is truly important in life.

Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NKJV)

Proclaiming Christ is the greatest treasure, greatest gift and greatest investment we can ever expend our life energy on. When we are having a “spiritual” conversation, we nod our heads in agreement with this statement… but regrettably, our calendars, checkbooks and actions do not line up accordingly. It’s easy to talk about and agree that proclaiming Christ is our greatest opportunity… it’s quite another to actually live like it.

Again, to emphasize, it’s not that work, money, education, goals and other pursuits are a waste of time. The value of them will be ultimately determined by how much they became and opportunity to achieve the ultimate goal: proclaiming Christ the Rescuer to the poor in spirit.

In the next part, we talk about “living like it”… putting conviction into action (hands). Does everyone have to be an evangelist? Must you “witness” to every single person you run across, no matter how brief? Is there a set method for witnessing? We’ll discussing those things next time as discover how to move proclaiming Christ from our hearts (conviction) to our hands (action).

Lord God, help us to be committed, for the right reasons, to proclaiming Christ in every way, every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
  1. What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
  2. What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
  3. What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?

(seriesid:54)


Five Christian Goals: Proclaiming Christ (Knowledge) – Part 5

(Click here to search for all the posts in this series…)

(Matthew 16:24) – 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. (NKJV; emphasis mine)

We are studying five primary goals of the Christian life, taking each goal in three steps of natural progression: knowledge (head), conviction (heart), and action (hands). All five goals are:

  1. Living Like Christ
  2. Proclaiming Christ
  3. Serving Like Christ
  4. Worshipping Christ
  5. Fellowship in Christ

As we strive for the goal of living like Christ, it comes as a natural second goal that we should then share the knowledge of that life with others. More specifically, we proclaim the source of that life: Christ.

While sharing our personal experience of how Christ has changed our specific life, we need to wrap our proclamation of Christ in the cloak of God’s Word (knowledge). We study, learn and become accurately and Biblically educated (head) about Christ, evangelism and the Gospel. We understand and become aware of the role and necessity of missions, evangelism and personal witnessing. We know what the Gospel is, and how to share it from our personal experience.

I’m not a personal fan of the many techniques that are taught on how to “share the Gospel” (with the exception of Ray Comfort who I think it right on Biblically – www.livingwaters.com).. I think many of them are excellent “sales” techniques designed to get people to respond and say “yes” because they strike the right emotions and leave you with a feeling of “I’d be stupid to turn that down”. However, the 5% sustained commitment that follows over the next few years (that’s what statistics bear out), exposes something lacking or even simply wrong about this approach of “appeal, technique and step-by-step template” which is often a sales pitch in Christian clothes.

It would seem that the Bible itself bears out a different aproach. Jesus always met the person at the point where their life that was blocking them from God. He convicted the rich young ruler about money (Matt 19:16-26), and the woman at the well about immorality (John 4:7-26).

Granted, Jesus could instantly know every persons heart and circumstances. We can only know those things about people we spend time with and invest our lives in. So it would seem a good approach too for our friends and family. For those we only briefly contact, it is my personal opinion that simply sharing the difference in our life “before and after” Christ testifies to the power of salvation and the Gospel. I’m not advocating that as another “technique”, it’s just my own preference.

Yes, there are times we should gently press someone to a point of decision, but I think this must be a Spirit-prompted effort rather than a “technique” we’ve learned. I sense that most times we are called to plant seed and water, and God will bring the harvest in His timing. Most evangelistic training have you pressing for a “decision” which I think is a source of much false “success”.

Again, I don’t advocate a “technique” or “salvation presentation system”. As I said, I’m not a fan of these because they APPEAR to be effective at getting a certain response from people, but not in changing lives over the long haul. The power of the Gospel comes from the message itself, and the evidence of our own changed, blessed and joyful life.

We also proclaim Christ by how we live our life. Separation from the world (2Cor 6:17), purity (James 4:8), good stewardship of God’s blessings (Matt 25:14-30, discipline (2Pet 1:6), humility (Col 3:12), serving others (Phil 2:3-8)… all these thing powerfully proclaim Christ to a world that lives opposite of these traits. So we must study Scripture and imitate other mature Believers to learn how to transform our own lives in all these areas. As “living sacrifices” (Rom 12:1) we proclaim Christ to the world.

It is one thing to KNOW how to proclaim Christ… it is another to be convicted and committed to doing it.

Often, (especially as I get older and lose physical strength, speed and coordination) I tell someone I’m teaching tennis or some other sport, “I can teach it alot better than I can do it”. This works for sports, but is not appropriate for proclaiming Christ. We must being “doing it” and teaching it (proclaiming) although I have to admit as a Bible teacher that I rarely, if ever, can live up to what I teach (a common pain for all Bible teachers). But living up to a teaching about discipline or purity is not the same as living a Christian life and proclaiming Christ. No matter what stage of our spiritual walk we are in, we can proclaim Christ honestly as long as we sincerely are seeking daily transformation in to His image.

We don’t have time here to study each passage, but here is a list of verses you can personally investigate: Luke 24:46-48; John 3:16; Eph. 2:8-9; 1 Cor. 15:1-8; Rom. 3:21-26; Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 4:2; Matt. 25:14-29; Luke 19:11-27.

Next time, we’ll look at how to take the knowledge of proclaiming Christ (head) and make it our personal conviction (heart).

Lord God, help us to know the Gospel and how to share it. Help us to know why we should share it and to understand how a lost and dying world is in need of it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
  1. What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
  2. What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
  3. What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?

(seriesid:54)


Five Christian Goals: Living Like Christ (Action) – Part 4

(Click here to search for all the posts in this series…)

(Matthew 16:24) – 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. (NKJV; emphasis mine)

We are studying five primary goals of the Christian life, taking each goal in three steps of natural progression: knowledge (head), conviction (heart), and action (hands). All five goals are:

  1. Living Like Christ
  2. Proclaiming Christ
  3. Serving Like Christ
  4. Worshipping Christ
  5. Fellowship in Christ

Okay, we’ve looked at how to gain the knowledge (head) we need to live like Christ, and how that knowledge becomes committed conviction in our life (heart). Let’s finish goal number one today by going over some practical action steps (hands). I always chuckle when I hear someone say “if only God would just tell us how He wants us to live, bing-bang-boom, then I would do it.”. When it comes to instruction on practical living, the Bible has much to say. Here’s just a taste from a feast of verse on practical living:

Just Do It

James 1:22-27 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. (NKJV)

  • You have to do (action), not just hear (head) or you’ll deceive yourself (heart).
  • A hearer who doesn’t do is like someone who can’t remember what he really looks like.
  • You will be blessed as a “doer”.
  • If you think you are being Godly by your “doing” but you don’t control your tongue, you fool yourself
  • If you want to be assured of pleasing God, help widows and orphans…
  • …and wash away as many of the worldly spots (wicked influence, fleshly pleasure, Godless goals, etc) as you can.

The Great Fall

Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” (NKJV)

  • Again, you have to hear and DO
  • “Doing” is wise and builds a strong Godly life foundation that can withstand the storms of turmoil and suffering
  • Those who hear but do not DO, are foolish (Biblical word for moron, devoid of sense, stupid)
  • The foolish non-doer has an unreliable life foundation the will end in a GREAT fall (ruined life, loss, regret)

Spirit Led

Galatians 5:16-25 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (NKJV)

  • Walk, which is “doing”
  • Walk in the Spirit, and the you won’t give in to your flesh so much because you can’t indulge the flesh at the same time you are living by the Spirit; they are mutually exclusive
  • Walking and “doing” in the Spirit is liberating; it is the truly free and contented life
  • Measure your life by the two lists of evil and good to see to what degree you are walking by the Spirit
  • As Christians we have already crucified our fleshly passions and desires; we just keep trying to resurrect them all the time! They are dead, we need to learn to quit trying to raise them from the dead.

Diligent Worker

2 Timothy 2:15-17 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, (NKJV)

  • Diligent: steady, earnest, energetic and painstaking effort
  • Diligently work to be approved to God; this is not working towards your salvation, but rather working to live a life that is worthy of the salvation that Jesus gave His life for
  • An approved life is a guiltless and regret-free life
  • Do not participate in idle gossip or useless arguments, nor get involved in irreverent or vulgar conversations which will always lead to greater sinfulness.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

That’s just a taste of what the Bible tells us about the practical Christlike life. For more, start with John 15 & 16, Matthew 5, and pretty much the whole book of James.

To live a Christlike life, you must first learn what it is (head) through Bible study and the example/teaching of other spirtually mature Believer; allow that knowledge to become the commitment and conviction of your life (heart); and finally, change your life, actions, motives and behaviors to match those convictions (hands).

Tomorrow, should the Lord not return today, we will begin our look at goal two: proclaiming Christ.

Lord God, help us to take the knowledge we gain about Christ and move it into our hearts. Help us to then put our hearts into action by living a Christlike life in all that we say, do and think.. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (NKJV)
  1. What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
  2. What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
  3. What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?

(seriesid:54)