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Monday, October 28, 2013

Molded into Godly Character through the Word, People and Circumstances

In summary of Ephesians 4:24 it says, “and you must put on the new self, which is created in God's likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy”

Bottom Line:
Put on the new you, your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

What this means to me:
I am to put on my new self, a new person with a whole new nature, one created to be like God, truly righteous and holy (set apart for his use.)  Overall, my character is essentially built out of the sum of my habits; it is how I habitually act. God uses his Word, people, and circumstances in my life to mold me.  All three of these are indispensable for my full character development. First, God's Word provides the truth I need to grow.  Secondly, God's people in my life provide the support I need to grow; and the circumstances I experience provide the environment I have to practice Christ likeness. The study and application of God's Word, the connection regularly with other believers (my current growth group), and my learning to trust God in difficult circumstances, all help me become more like Jesus.  Bible study and prayer alone are only two of the three key aspects to my continued growth. God uses people as the third aspect. God usually prefers to work through people rather than perform miracles, such that I will depend on others for fellowship. He wants myself and others to grow together.  Spiritual maturity is not a solitary, or individual pursuit!   I will not grow to Christ likeness in isolation. I must be around other people and interact with them. This is best accomplished as part of a church and community.  In summary, true spiritual maturity is learning to love like Jesus, and you can't practice being like Jesus without being in relationship with other people.