May 05

Traits Of A Growing Christian!

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A Christian never stops growing. It is one defining characteristic of those who follow Jesus.

“And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain and when he was set, his disciplines came unto him: And he opened his mouth and he taught them.” – Matthew 5:1-2

 

Physical growth results from a mixture of hormones, discipline, nutrition, exercise and rest. Similarly, spiritual growth results from the work of the Holy Spirit, increased understanding of and love for God, repentance and obedience. Here are seven traits of a growing Christian.

 

Ardent love for the truth.

The growing Christian seeks the truth without reserve.  He asks questions, expresses doubts, listens to sermons and lectures, reads books, memorizes Scripture, observes other Christians, takes notes and reflects on different points of view.

 

Supreme love for God.

Ultimately, the growing Christian lives out of his deep love for God. “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). The growing Christian considers the unfading love God has for him. He considers the kindness and goodness God has shown him. This results in the love of the Christian for God. “Love God” comes first on the Christian’s priority list. This love will kick-start all growth and learning.

 

Intense desire to know him more.

The Christian also has an insatiable desire to know God more. What pleases him? What does he value? What hurts and angers him? How does he work? How does he speak?

 

Willingness to make any personal sacrifice in order to learn and grow.

This growth consumes the attention of the Christian. To grow and learn, the Christian must ultimately be willing to throw off anything that stunts his growth. He wakes up early to study the Word of God. He puts the phone down. He doesn’t rush to get through it. He takes his time, slowly digesting the Word of God.

 

The commitment to grow as fast as he learns.

The growing Christian makes the commitment to line his life up with the Word of God. When the pastor explains that “Love is patient,” the Christian immediately goes out and has more patience with his wife and kids. He has more patience with the clerk at the grocery store. He has more patience when someone cuts him off in traffic. He is committed to applying the Word of God to every aspect or facet of his life.

 

A fixed purpose of heart to know and to do the whole truth, not just a part. 

If a Christian doesn’t kill or steal but lies and hates, he still is not living a holy life before God. The Christian does not have the option of picking some Scriptures and rejecting others. As he is seeking the truth, God will bring sin to his attention. He must repent and commit himself to obedience.

 

A state of mind that will not divert to make provision for the flesh.

A growing Christian never gives himself an excuse to live in sin. “I know this is true, but…” This is depleting God’s power in his life. It is kicking him off the throne of his life. It gives Satan a foothold to destroy him. “I know this is true, but I’m weak.” Or “I know this is true, but I cannot do that.” Or “I know this is what is right, but I want to do things my own way.” This is a dangerous path that will ultimately lead to destruction and death. Rather, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).

 

 

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May 05

7 Traits Of True Mourners

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There are two groups of people: the proud in spirit and the poor in spirit. The proud in spirit are destined for hell and the poor in spirit belong to the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” – Matthew 5:4

 

There are seven basic traits of poor in spirit.

 

The poor in spirit are humble.

They are submissive to God and his Word. They are yielded to the will of God and will obey him at any cost to themselves at any time for any reason. They know their position before God who is all-powerful, all-knowing and present everywhere. The proud in spirit rule their own kingdoms from their own self-made thrones. They do as they please whenever they would like. They deceive, manipulate and steal from others. These people think they rule above God.

 

The poor in spirit are contrite and penitent.

They realize they are guilty of sin against God and have offended him deeply. They realize they deserve the eternal, conscious torments of hell. They are very sorrowful over any sin they have committed against him. They know that God is holy, and they are not. The proud in spirit are self-righteous. They do not believe they have sinned against God or anyone else. They do not believe they need to apologize or repent to anyone for anything.

 

The poor in spirit have true confession of faith.

They make a true confession of faith. That does not mean one day they confess that Jesus is Lord, repent of all their sins and commit themselves to God, and then the next day they give return to living their own sinful lives. Those who do this have not made true confession of faith. The poor in spirit confess they belong to Jesus and commit themselves to God, day in and day out.

 

The poor in spirit condemn themselves for sin and suffering.

They admit they have sinned. They do not try and blame someone else for their own failings. They do not excuse themselves because they were stressed out, tired or hungry. They simply proclaim their own guilty sentence and accept the consequences of their sins.

 

The poor in spirit have sincere, honest exposure before God and men. 

They voluntary expose themselves before God and men. They do not try and hide their sin. They do not confess their sin only if they are caught or pressure is put on them. Once they realize they have sinned, they confess their sin to God and expose themselves before those who they have sinned against.

 

The poor in spirit rely on the Lord for salvation alone.

They depend on the grace and mercy of God. They trust in what Jesus has done for them. They trust that Jesus has taken all their sin and given them salvation and righteousness. They do not rely on their own good works or their church checklist. They do not find escapes in sexual escapades, in drug or alcohol abuse or in work. They trust in Christ alone, and run to him for all help, comfort and salvation.

 

The poor in spirit plead for mercy.  

They plead for mercy from Jesus. Psalms 2:12 tells us, “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” We must ask Jesus for forgiveness and receive his righteousness