As I begin the second portion of this series, I will breakdown the chapters and versus from the book of Matthew.
When we come to GOD through JESUS, at some point in our lives we make the decision to get baptized. Some people are baptized when they are children, some are baptized when they are young adults and they understand that this is a religious duty.
I personally don’t see baptism as a religious act or duty but an outward showing that we are sharing in the experience of death and the resurrection. An outward intent to have our old lives turned in for a Kingdom life. A relationship with GOD through JESUS is not a religion. For most of us we never consider the thought that we desire to have a character change within us
John who was the precursor to JESUS baptized with water yet he constantly informs that who he baptized in water that JESUS was coming to baptize them in the Holy Spirit. It is the person of the Holy Spirit we need to activate that change. We cannot change in and of ourselves; if we could we would have not needed JESUS. Water baptism is an outward showing of the desire to change. Being baptized in the Holy Spirit is a definite change within.
We are always informed that we must be perfect as the GOD we serve is perfect. However, how does one achieve this task? We grow into maturity of godliness in our mind and character.
When I was a young mother, GOD told me to watch my son. How he grows naturally and applies that to my spiritual walk. Of course at first I did not understand so I asked HIM, what was I to look for? GOD told me to watch my son suckle; make recognition to his environment; acknowledge voices; grasping; crawling; walking and so on. I did and I noticed that as he began to mature in nature it was a process. This too is how we grow when we come to GOD through JESUS. It’s a process. We are not equipped to eat steak and potatoes so we suckle on pure milk. This is where we get all our required nourishment from. We are held; sang to; spoken to; and so on. This is a learning process for the child to engage in human contact. We are helping the child to develop. With tenderness and much love we become strong and grow as nature planned. We were designed to have an increased appetite for food and human connection. Same with GOD when we come to HIM we hunger for HIM. The more time we spend with HIM the more we become like HIM in character.
We must always be aware of one’s character. When a person does something repetitively this is that person’s true character. Humans have the ability to perform for what we want. Whether it’s something that they have or it’s something that we want another to do. We will perform to win that person’s confidence to give in to what we have motives for. This is called Charisma or Charm. In and of itself it’s not really bad, however, when we charm an individual we are practicing witchcraft on them and before they know it they have given into your desire. Charisma can be a good thing if it’s used in right motives. A person who has a bubbly personality or an ability to captivate and keep an audience when speaking on a subject has charisma. In the book of Matthew we are warned to beware of preachers who charm or use charisma with negative motives. Most people don’t get to spend quality time around a preacher. We don’t know their strengths and weakness. However, if you are a person who attends church service as often as possible during each week you can identify what type of character your Sheppard has. When your preacher directs you to become a more Godlike individual each and every time he/she speaks with or to you, you can be sure that you have a preacher with Godlike motives. As well as you hear great testimonies about your preacher in church as well as away. You are growing into the character of GOD as HE intended you to be. Also if the preacher has a family, you will see the reflection of the preacher’s character exhibited by the family.
However, if you have a preacher that you don’t get to spend quality time with, and you are excited by what is seen and or said for the time that you are in the presence of him/her. You can’t with sincerity say that you know the motives of that preacher.
Unfortunately we have two types of preachers; those that have a sincere desire to gather lost souls and to edify the body of CHRIST. And those who want to style and profile, take and not give, more in tune with self, how much money and recognition they can get.
To truly know the character of a person we must spend a minimum of seven consecutive days with a person. Then if we are really watching and listening will we begin to see some insights to the true character of an individual.
Now back to putting the spot light on self.
- Is your character sinful?
- Do you practice being offensive?
- Are you evil in what you say, what you do or how you think?
- Do you have criminal intent?
- Do you act unlawfully, going against GOD, causing injury to another emotionally, physically or mentally?
These are considered trespasses. These are only just a few that I pulled on that can be found in our character when we don’t give up and give ourselves entirely to GOD so that we can receive a changed character.
I found that another tool we can use to measure if our character is more what GOD desires or are we still full of stinking thinking.
You’ve gone to church, heard a wonderful sermon. You’ve said to yourself that you were going to change; thought that the sermon did not apply to your life or you agreed with the sermon and you intend to apply this to your life. NOW, you leave church feeling good; get into your car and uh oh someone has caused you to forget what you’ve just experienced. How fertile is your soil? How deep were the roots?
Spiritual growth and maturity does not put trust in or find a need to hold onto our earthly treasures.
EX.: You know of a person who is beginning their independence as a young adult. The person has moved into an apartment, yet the person did not have or think to save and purchase a bed. Now this person has a place to live but does not have a bed. What would you do?
Let’s say you have more than one bed in your home, you don’t use it unless you have company. Did you give the bed to the person you know or did you say “I’ll be praying that GOD sends you a bed soon”.
I find the later to be my personal favorite…..Not!
Our changed character would move us to provide if we truly have the means to provide because our changed character is filled with love. Love compels you to give or sell what you have to help another.
As you read; Matthew 3:11; 5:48; 7:15; 9:10; 13:21 and 19:21.
Ask yourself where you need to have the Holy Spirit work in your character. Take notice as to how you re-act to situations or conversations.
We all need to grow in maturity and take on the character of GOD so that we may be perfect as GOD is. We may not all cross our t’s or dot our I’s before we leave this earth. However, each day should be a day that we strive to change from being full of us to being full of GOD.
We will be in the book of Mark later this week.
I hope you are finding this a help and know that regardless of my knowing you or not I do love you.
GOD Bless you!