Christ-Centered Character

Galatians 4:19

My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you

The nucleus of a Christian life is Jesus Christ. He is the central core for all of life. When we acknowledge HIM as who he is, only then do we discover a path which leads toward fulfilling our human potential.

In business, we are trained to start with the end result in mind and then work backwards filling in all the steps necessary for its attainment. The same can be said about your life and mine.

In the above Scripture, the apostle Paul states the goal for each believer is to be made in the image of Jesus Christ from the inside-out. A process of having yours and mine attitude and character shaped into the very carbon copy of Jesus. Later in Chapter five he emphasizes the building material being the character attributes of the Holy Spirit being fully expressed through us. Paul compared the entire character-building process to childbirth.

C.S. Lewis in his writings like to define Christians as “little Christs”; like children being molded after their parents. A life-long process over time which ends with the son or daughter grown up with similar characteristics of their parent. The same is true of us believers.

When you start with the end of life, you will quickly acknowledge that we came with nothing into this world and we shall leave with no material possessions at the end. However, there is something we will take with us into the next phase of our lives – our soul.

The soul, which includes the entire bastion of one’s emotional attitudes, mental bank, and characteristic willpower, will one day be resurrected into a new body. Until then, like the new born child awaits in the womb of their mother being prepared for life outside of the womb, we likewise are being prepared in this life for a new adventure in the world tomorrow when we will be resurrected into eternity. The last chapters of the Bible showcase the new resurrected life we are currently being prepared to enter.

So, what does all this mean?

As a mother nurtures her begotten child, being careful to eat and drink healthy items which will assist in her child’s positive development, so must we the Church, nourish and feed believers until they mature into the image of Christ being formed in each one of us. Just as a responsible mother makes it her primary purpose for nine laborious months doing everything in her power to give birth to a healthy baby, likewise the Church needs to do the same.

Yet, just as there are mothers who have failed to fulfill their responsibility, there are also believers who have failed to participate in the process. The end result are children of the faith who may be mature in the eyes of the world, but are yet babes in the eyes of God. One Pew research study showed that most Christians understanding of their faith stopped when they quick going to Sunday school in the 8th grade. In other words, their growth and understanding of God’s work stopped at the same time. Physically, they grew up, but spiritually they are still baby’s drinking milk.

If you are unsatisfied with your spiritual walk with the Lord, maybe its time to join a small group of believers who understand the importance of sharing life and growing together in preparation for eternity. More Jesus and less me is a motto used by one of the small groups I had the privilege to participate for a number of years. Like iron sharpens iron, so one believer sharpens another. Of all the church activities I have participated in, the small group is where I believe the work of the church comes more alive in helping Christ be formed in you.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Three Success Factors: Character. Morality. Values.

Ephesians 4:20-24

But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you. (MSG)

Character is built upon the foundation of your soul. Your personality and innate traits and abilities make you unique. When you allow God’s Spirit full access into your inner chambers, you then begin to experience a fundamental shift in your thinking and worldview. You begin to view life from God’s perspective. Let your character be shaped by the Triune God and experience life’s most precious commodity: real, authentic living the way you were designed to be.

Romans 8:5-8

Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored. (MSG)

Morality is the bumper rail to keep you from destroying yourself and others. Like the bowling alley with rails to prevent the ball from leaving the lane, godly morals keep one from harming themselves or others in the long run. Morality keeps you in the game for the long term. Real freedom and a joyous life reside within morality.

Proverbs 3:13-18

You’re blessed when you meet Lady Wisdom, when you make friends with Madame Insight. She’s worth far more than money in the bank; her friendship is better than a big salary. Her value exceeds all the trappings of wealth; nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her. With one hand she gives long life, with the other she confers recognition. Her manner is beautiful, her life wonderfully complete. She’s the very Tree of Life to those who embrace her. Hold her tight—and be blessed! (MSG)

Matthew 13:44

“God’s kingdom is like a treasure hidden in a field for years and then accidentally found by a trespasser. The finder is ecstatic—what a find! —and proceeds to sell everything he owns to raise money and buy that field. (MSG)

Matthew 6:19-21

“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse! —stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. (MSG)

Values are the treasurers worthy to attain for an abundant life. What to pursue and knowing what is important, and which value leads to a more productive, fulfilling, and enjoyable life depends on your chosen selection. Everything has a price and return on investment. Everyone has an opinion, but God who created value sets the standard of rank. Certain values will look pleasant in the short term, but lead to a great fall and other values will initially look old-fashion but take you along the better route toward a life worth living.

Character. Morality. Values. Three friends you and I want to hang around with and get to better know each and every day. Choose wisely and these three will lay your foundation for a real, sustaining, fulfilling life.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360!
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


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