What’s Up, Dude?
The question today is the foundation for today’s sermon: What’s up, Dude? You see, God wants us to examine ourselves (1 Corinthians 11:28; Galations 6:4) and figure out where we are in the present of our lives. That means we will be looking back, somewhat, at where we have been, and we will be looking forward to where we have placed our goals, our resolutions of new beginnings. But, mostly, it is an examination of where we ARE, not where we HAVE BEEN, nor where we might think we WILL BE! God wants us to let go of the old in our personal histories, and Let God be glorified in our present! He wants us to make Him a present – freely and willingly given – of our present life, today, and each next day, a present present presented to God!
This is Part II in our new series on Christian Character. Last week, we focused on New Beginnings, at the beginning of the New Year, and we did some foundational work in the heart issues, reviewing the hearts of Saul and David, as we brought into focus that it is out of the fullness of our hearts that we welcome, or uninvited, or merely put up with the Holy Spirit in our lives. And so as we consider what our hearts have to do with it, we learn that our hearts have everything to do with Christian Character. After all, God loved David so much because David, even as a young man, was a man after God’s own heart. May it be so with us, each one of us.
Today, we are going to study certain qualities of Christian Character. This so, even though you may think it is all summed up in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (Fear God and obey His commandments—and be ready for judgmental inspection). This is a bit of “There’s the formula, but this time we are going to help you work out the details.” Once you invite the Holy Spirit into your life you are like the recalcitrant young colt taught submission, obedience and manners by spending a week in a pasture being tied to an old Jack donkey: at the end of the week, the young colt is no longer “recalcitrant” and is now quite willing to go wherever the old donkey wants him to go. I wish we could learn as fast as such a young horse! So, today, we review seven of the qualities of Christian Character, what we call The Seven “C’s” of Christian Character:
- Christ in Me (Salvation): Galations 3:26-29; Philippians 3:10-11; I Timothy 4:9-10 (The real question in life as you examine yourself is where do you put your HOPE?)
- Commitment (Faith): Hebrews 11:1 (concept of where is our HOPE?); Psalm 71:14-16 (per Mary Eklund’s Word from HS+ today.)
- Calling: Romans 8:28-30; 1 Timothy 2:1-6
- Courage: Galations 2:20; Galations 4:8-9 (Mortify Flesh; Say No to Temptations Fleshly Un-Accoutability—You can’t live a “No strings attached life” as a Christian!)
- Conditioning (Hebrews 5:13-14) (Constant Use – stay in the present in living the life of Christ and making decisions for Him and as He would make them)
- Cleansing: II Corinthians 7:1; I John 1:9 (Work at it through repentance and the other “C’s”)
- Conduct: Hebrews 5:7-9. (Prayers, Reverent Submission, Obedience and Suffering); Philippians 2:12-16a (Hold the Standard of God and Christ in a crooked and perverse generation—Work it out!); I Timothy 4:7-8 (train yourself to be Godly); James 1:27 (Practice True Religion – helping the widows and orphans); Matthew 22:36-38 and I Corinthians 13:13 (God’s greatest commandments are that we love, and love never fails).
Summary: Romans 5:1-6 (Have you examined yourself today as to the Seven C’s of Christian Character? What’s up, Dude, in your life: inside and outside of you. It is your life, after all . . . . or is it your life? It will be tough, but tough is Good and good for you to do so! Overcome childhood (and adult) woundings, scarrings, offenses, strongholds, blind spots, generational curses, fleshly weaknesses – that is working out your salvation with fear and trembling. Work it out! Live free from sin and death because of Christ, and abide in His Joy and Peace. Oh, and by the way, help the widows and orphans, for that is the true test of whether love reigns in your heart and life! Your true religion is not just what is going on inside of you, but what is coming out of you! So, “What’s up, Dude?, what’s really up with you?” To God be the glory, in Him, and in you, now and forever!