Posted by: dailywordofdestiny | December 18, 2013

GOD IS!


God controls all history and He revealed Jesus’ birth to shepherds in the field. The angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord… Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests” (Luke 2: 8-14). Christ Jesus, Emmanuel (God with us); God’s mystery, hidden for ages and generations, was disclosed to the shepherds and is still being revealed to the world today; it is the same message! God chose the shepherds, you, and me to make known among the Gentiles, the glorious riches of the mystery, which is Christ in us the hope of glory (Colossians 1: 26, 27; see also Acts 10: 34- 43). Hallelujah!

One of the ways we are identified as a disciple of Christ is by the evidence of fruit in our daily lives (Genesis 1: 12; Matthew 7: 15-20; Matthew 12: 33; John 15: 1-17). The nine forms of spiritual fruit are listed in Galatians 5: 22, 23: love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. The fruit seen in our lives is the character of Christ manifesting through those whom He indwells. When all the forms of the fruit are fully developed, it is as if Jesus by the Holy Spirit is incarnated in us. LOVE—the primary form of fruit—is listed first. The others that follow may be understood as different ways in which the fruit of love manifests itself. Joy is love rejoicing, peace is love resting, patience is love forebearing, kindness is love serving others, goodness is love seeking the best for others, faithfulness is love keeping its promises, gentleness is love ministering to the hurts of others, and self-control is love in control.

There is no real success in the development of Christian character without hard work (diligence) on our part (2 Timothy 2: 6). After the seed of God’s Word is implanted in our heart, faith begins to grow (Hebrews 11: 1-3) and it is in faith that the development of character is fully formed. Peter outlines the process in 2 Peter 1: 5-7 and you can see seven stages of development built upon each other within that verse (add to your faith virtue, then add on knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and then love).

The last three stages of Christian character are worth looking at a bit more closely:

Godliness is the mark of a person whose life is centered in God. The person has become a vessel of the presence of God (2 Corinthians 4: 7; 2 Timothy 2: 20, 21). Wherever such a person goes, the atmosphere will be filled with the fragrance of Christ and those about the person will be aware of it within themselves (foul language stops, girls wriggle in discomfort as they tug their tops up a bit higher, etc.). It has nothing to do with us; the presence of God’s Spirit within us brings conviction of sin (John 16: 8-11).

Brotherly kindness is second to last in our development and do you know why? It is the kind of love that Christians should have for one another, but quite frankly, it is often not easy to love one another! This is confirmed throughout the two thousand year Church history; one that has been riddled with strife, contention, and even open hatred between “rival groups of Christians”; all claiming to be the “real deal”, the “true Church.” When we accept Christ as our Savior, there is not an instant transformation in our character; it can take years to develop! smile There will need to be continual washing with God’s Word (Ephesians 5: 26) and as we bump up against each other in our personal relationships, rough edges are worn down and become smooth. It is in spiritual maturity that we come to love our fellow Christians, not for who they are in themselves, but for what they mean to Jesus, who shed His life-blood for each of them! Hallelujah!

Agape love is the final stage of development and it represents the full, ripe fruit of Christian character. It is the manifest love of God’s own love for the unthankful and the unholy. It is the kind of love that allows me to “bless those who curse me, do good to those who hate me, and to pray for those who spitefully use me and persecute me” (Matthew 5: 44). Christ demonstrated this love on the cross as He prayed for those who crucified Him (Luke 23: 34). It is the love that allowed Stephen to pray for those who were stoning him (Acts 7: 60). I am reminded of the words in 1 Corinthians 13: 12, 13, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love: But the greatest of these is love.”

Once again we will hear a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns! Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice He judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns. He has a mane written on Him that no one knows but Himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following Him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations” (Revelation 19: 6-16; 22:12, 13).

“He will rule them with an iron scepter.”
He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.
On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS!


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