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Summary: We can never grow beyond our character...

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The Character Challenge (Part 1)

Pastor Jeff Christopherson

November 28, 2004

“Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” 1 Tim. 4:7-8

3 dimensions of training

I. Spiritual training without foundation is disastrous.

“Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales…”

II. Physical training with direction is beneficial.

“For physical training is of some value…”

III. Character training with spiritual & physical discipline…Rules!

“…rather, train yourself to be godly… godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”

1. I can never grow beyond my character.

2. Looking at my character strengths reveals my direction.

3. Looking at my character weaknesses reveals my capacity.

Summary:

•My character determines my life’s trajectory

•My character impacts the lives of all who are closest to me.

“Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 3:15-16

Scripture passages from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.

Digging Deeper @ Home Church

1. When you hear the word, ‘character’, what thought or image springs immediately to your mind?

2. What man or woman of character has had a great impact on your own character development?

3. Praise God together (through prayer and/or song) for His grace and faithfulness toward His children.

4. Turn to 1 Timothy 3:1-7. Acknowledging that this passage’s intent is for selecting spiritual leaders, what implications would a passage like this have for all Christ-followers?

• Read the passage together.

• Which of these character qualities can you see lived out by individuals in this group?

• How can those character qualities show the ‘spiritual bent’ of our lives?

5. As you reflect on the ‘13 tests of character,’ which one made you say ‘ouch’ the loudest?

• Why will it be necessary to work on shoring up this weakness?

• What insights does this group bring on how God develops this character quality in our lives?

6. Spend significant time in prayer ministering to one another. (Perhaps break into smaller groups of 3-4 people.)


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