Summary: One of the most important things that you will do as a Christian is relentlessly work on your Christian character. So this morning we are going to start our series off with one element that is crucial when we talk about developing character and that is “O
One of the most important things that you will do as a Christian is relentlessly work on your Christian character. The American College defines character as: the aggregate of qualities that distinguishes one person or thing from another. This is a pretty powerful statement when we stop and evaluate the characteristics that we have as Christians.
For the next several weeks we will be going through a series that I have named “Developing Character” where we will be challenged to take a good long look at what the scriptures have to say about the elements that make up righteous character.
Now we have just heard the American College dictionary define character as the aggregate that makes us different and I believe that. But the real question is what does the Bible have to say about character? I believe that we can find a very good definition when we look at 2 Cor. 5:17.
2 Cor 5:17
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
What’s new in my character according to these verses?
1.My thought process is different – the way I think needs to be changes.
2.My actions are different – the way I behave is changes.
3.My ambitions are different – what’s important to me changes.
And because my thought process is changing and my ambitions are different and I behave differently now that I am a Christian my character is becoming more Christ like or it should be.
So this morning we are going to start our series off with one element that is crucial when we talk about developing character and that is “Obedience”. Now I know some of the guys are nudging their wives and saying, “ Hon, get out the pen and take notes this ones for you” but that’s not what I am talking about, I am specifically talking about “Obedience to God”.
There are some that are more obedient than others just like this elderly man in this story.
There was once an elderly couple that was traveling through upstate NY. As they were driving along they saw a sign that said, "Helicopter rides ahead". Pa said to Ma that he always wanted to ride in one of them helicopters.
So they pull into the place and find the pilot. Pa asks him how much for the ride. The pilots says, "$20 each." Pa scratches his chin and states that that’s an awful lot of money. "I would like to ride but that’s too much money". Feeling a little sorry for the old folks the pilot tells them, "Here is what I will do. If you or your wife don’t make a sound, I’ll take you up for free. But if either one of you says a word then you have to pay me $40".
Pa says "Sure, I’ll take that deal."
So they took off. They go just about straight up, and then the pilot does a power dive just above the trees. He turns the craft one way then the other. At times almost going upside down.
He finally lands and says, "Sir I am a man of my word, you never made a sound, that ride is for free."
Pa said, "Yup, I almost said something when ma fell out the side."
But when it comes to God I believe that submission to Gods will for your life is so important that until you really get a hold of this concept God cant fully bless you the way that He wants to.
Jesus Christ’ life was, and still is, the greatest example of what it means to live an obedient life for God. Jesus relinquished all His desires, all His passions, all His life in to the hands of God and lived a life that said, “Not my will God, but thine”.
1.Not my way God, but you way, not my desires first God but yours, Father.
2.And for us to be able to say, “Take my life oh God and conform it for your glory is one of the greatest things that you will ever do.
3.This type of lifestyle can only be done through obedience and nothing less.
The problem is that many find the word “obedience” offensive. We understand it as a negative command rather than a positive affirmation. Human nature doesn’t like to be told what to do. Let me prove my point. Are you ready for a test?
Ladies: give me your first reaction if your husband said to you, “When I get home from work tonight you have better have dinner ready, the house spotless, a glass of cold ice tea next to the TV controller on the arm of my favorite recliner.” What would be the atmosphere around the hacienda?