Summary: True seekers of God are people of character, compassion and conviction. Character is WHO you are, and it is a choice we make.
I want to start on a series entitled TRUE SEEKERS and touch on 3 aspects of being true seekers of God – what really defines a godly Christian.
• I want to share on these 3 areas: (1) character, (2) compassion, and (3) conviction.
• I call them the qualities of Christianity – that which set us apart from the rest. Basically it answers the question, “What makes a Christian?”
If we say we are people of God, or children of God, who know the truth and believe the truth, and live by the truth, then we need to show a uniquely different CHARACTER, a great COMPASSION, and a deep CONVICTION.
• We are called to be light and salt of the earth (character), we are to love even our enemies (a love that is forgiving and unconditional), and an uncompromising commitment to the truth of God.
• We are called to stand out in these 3 areas, and not blend with the rest of the world, in such an extent that we are indistinguishable.
First, let us talk about CHARACTER today. Let us read Matt 15:7-20.
(1) CHARACTER IS WHO YOU ARE, not WHAT you do or say
So it is clear from Jesus’ words, that you can say religious words and not be a true seeker of God. You can do Christian stuff and yet not be godly.
• It is not what is happening on the outside that makes you. It is what is on the inside.
• It is more than what you claim to know or believe in. It is more than how you look or sound. The Pharisees in Jesus’ time were very preoccupied with these.
• But God is concerned about what is inside.
A SS teacher once took a jar full of water. She put a lid on it loosely and tilts the jar. Water began to leak out and drips onto the floor.
She asked the class why did this happen? Some said because the lid was not tighten. Other answers were because the jar was tiled, and the pull of gravity.
The teacher gave yet another answer. She said, “It spilled because there is water on the inside.” What was on the inside is what comes out.
It is not what goes in that defines you; it is what comes out.
• That is CHARACTER. It is WHO you are.
• It is not just what you say or what you do, although what you say or do does reflect character, but sadly it is not always true.
• You can be saying or doing something that is not really you; you can be saying or doing things to impress.
• Which is why sadly, many feels that Christians are hypocrites.
Character is who you are in whatever circumstances you are put in. It is who you are even when nobody is watching.
• We neglect it most of the time because it is unseen, unless expressed.
• It is like the foundation of a house, and most of it is below the surface, unseen.
• This is what we want to build up. People call it “character building”. We want to “grow to be Christ-like” in our attitudes and behaviours.
God is most concerned about this. Jesus came to transform our lives – not just to give us a good life, although it is true that knowing Christ does bring us blessings.
• But Jesus did not come for that. He came to rid sin and change us from being a sinner to one who can reflect His righteousness and beauty.
• You can call this a righteous life, a sanctified life, or a holy life, but in short, it is your CHARACTER that we are talking about.
God is concerned about our CHARACTER. How others see you – that is your reputation, but how God sees you, that’s your character.
• Don’t be too concerned about how others see you. Be concerned about how God sees you.
• Moody: “If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself.”
(2) CHARACTER IS A CHOICE
Talent is a gift, personality is a gift, but character is a choice.
• No one is gifted naturally to be honest, to be kind. You have got to learn it.
• You see, you can be intelligent and indifferent, you can be talented and tactless, and you can be eloquent and evil (like Hitler).
Character has nothing to do with endowment; it is not what you are born with.
• We are born sinners but now by the grace of God, we have been born again. God has started this make-over in our lives.
• Phil 1:6 “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”