– A study in character
Although this three part article is called, Tools for The End Times, its real focus is on character. In our walk with Christ, the development of character is what it’s all about.
So let’s continue to look at what Jesus Christ has said we should be like, or work toward when we become a new creature in Him.
Colossians 3:12-17 12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
So, first off, when we are called and become part of the elect of Christ’s, and to be holy, “or set apart” the first thing we are supposed to do is put on Tender Mercies.
So what is it to put on Tender Mercies? I suppose if we break the words down we have tender, which is gentle, and or soft; mercies would, of course mean to be merciful. I guess that would mean we are to be gentle and forgiving toward others. Are we?
Imagine how many less church breakups, as well as, marriage breakups there would be if we all took Christ seriously and put on Tender Mercies.
Next we are to put on Kindness. Kindness is another one of those words that are pretty self-explanatory. Let’s look at some other words that could be interchangeable with Kindness. Affection, amiability, charity, cordiality, courtesy, decency, gentleness, good will, goodness, grace, graciousness, tenderness, thoughtfulness, tolerance, understanding, unselfishness.
Would others describe you or I that way? Definitely something to think about, right?
Next on the list is Humility. What does it mean to have Humility? How about lowliness, meekness, self-abasement, submissiveness and unpretentiousness. I believe these are the positive aspects to Humility. Keep in mind that Humility does not equate with weakness. Jesus Christ showed great Humility, yet He had access to the power of God. To look at His nature, you will see strength, honor, love and the heart and passion of a warrior. A true follower of Christ will know when he or she is called to be humble and when it’s time not to be.
Next we have Meekness. Meekness and Humility have very close to the same meaning with many of the same synonyms. I really like the definition I found on Wikipedia for Meekness. God-fearing, righteous, humble, teachable, and patient under suffering; willing to follow gospel teachings; an attribute of a true disciple.
Are we patient under suffering? Are we teachable, humble, and righteous?
Then we have Long-Suffering which is Patience, and one of the character traits that most of us struggle with most. Long-Suffering or Patience means having the capacity to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming angry or upset. Some good synonyms for Patience might be bearing, calmness, composure, endurance, even temper, long-suffering, perseverance, persistence, poise, resignation, restraint, self-control, serenity and staying power.
I don’t know about you, but I still have some work to do in this area.
After Jesus tells us what we need to put on; we are admonished to bear with one another, forgive one another, love, let the peace of God rule our hearts, be thankful, have the Word live in us, teach and admonish one another, and sing with grace in our hearts.
Isn’t it interesting that the exact things we need to follow what Jesus said is in the very beginning of the scriptures we started with. He tells us just what we need to live according to His will.
In order for us to be able to admonish one another in a Godly way, for us to be able to forgive one another, love one another, let God’s peace rule our hearts, be always thankful, and let the World live in us, as well as, sing with grace in our hearts we need to put on put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness and long-suffering. You’ve got to love it.
Unfortunately, these characteristics aren’t things we’re born with, but rather things that are developed in us over time, with God’s help.
I’m pretty sure that’s why James tells us to count it all joy when we experience trials and trouble. It’s not that they’re fun, but it is through trials, tribulations, and life experiences that we develop the character needed to serve God now, in the end times, and in His Kingdom throughout all eternity.
Let’s also not forget about the armor God has given us to put on in order to be protected from the evil one, and be prepared to do spiritual battle.
Ephesians 6:10-18 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
If we will put on the whole armor of God while filling our minds and keep our focus on the following, we’ll be in pretty good shape.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
As well as, 1st Corinthians 13 and Galatians 5:22-23 which we’ve already covered.
And to wrap this up, let us look at Romans 8:31-39.
Romans 8:31-39 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“If you like what you’ve read, please share it with a friend; and recommend YourSpiritMindandBody.com to anyone you feel would benefit from it”. Please also check out my Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/XsKD1p and like me while you’re at it. Thanks!