How To Ask The Lord For Help On Math Test Four Essential Qualities of a Committed Christian

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Four Essential Qualities of a Committed Christian

It is Jesus who awakens in you the desire to do something great with your life, the will to follow an ideal… the courage to commit yourself with humility and patience to improving yourself and society, making the world more humane and more brotherly . ~ Pope John Paul II

When I got married several decades ago, I have to admit that I didn’t have much faith that marriage would work. I’d been married before (which didn’t go well), and I really didn’t think any guy (especially a 1960s hippie type) was – could be – committed to a long-term relationship. Mentally, I gave us a year, maybe two.

Almost forty years later, we are still together. This is a testament to our commitment and faith in each other. We stood the test of time and survived many major and minor crises and ordeals. I have to say it was worth it. The benefits of our long-term relationship far outweigh any suffering and sacrifice along the way.

The Bible compares our relationship with Christ to marriage, and this relationship requires commitment from us as believers. The marriage vow, “Till death do us part,” is meant for life, for richer or poorer, in sickness or in health, happy or mad. With Christ, however, death is not when we part, it is when we celebrate together in heaven!

Some might say that the institution of marriage is outdated, that it makes little sense in today’s world. I have heard the same about Christianity. However, Divine Truth does not become inconsequential, inadequate or obsolete. As we strive to emulate Christ, to honor Him not only as Savior but as Lord of our lives, we must commit to following the mandates of our Covenant with Him.

The apostle Paul asked the Ephesians to do this walk worthy of the vocation to which you are called (v. 4:1). He wrote similar instructions to the Colossians, saying, “walk (live and conduct yourself) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work, and growing and increasing constantly in and by knowledge .of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance and recognition]” (Col. 1:10 AMP). He also wrote to the church in Thessalonica: … walk worthy of God, who has called you to his Kingdom and glory (I Thess. 2:12-13). In other words, he wanted them to honor their commitment as followers of Jesus Christ.

This is essentially what any marriage is about: developing a deeper knowledge and relationship with the other partner. To be worthy means to deserve; in this case, deserving, or deserving, the designation of Christian. Later in this chapter, he reminded the Ephesians to do this grow up in Him in all things, who is the Head, even Christ (v. 15). The Amplified Bible says, “Let us grow in every way and in all things.”

Paul and the other apostles spent a lot of time reiterating the principles of the Christian life. Because? Paul answered this question in his letter to the Corinthians: I fed you with milk and not meat; for hitherto ye have not been able to bear it, neither now are ye able (I Cor. 3:2). In other words, they (and we) don’t follow the basics, so there’s no point in trying to dig deeper. Asking God for deeper revelation before we are fully developed in the basics of Christianity is like trying to do algebra or trig before we have learned basic math.

We all know the list, of course: the things we are told to do so that we bear much fruit (results) for the kingdom. If we live like the rest of the world, our Christian witness is weak or non-existent. People should be able to look at us and see the love of Christ, a strong faith, kindness and compassion. But let’s dig a little deeper.

Faith But without faith it is impossible to please him. For he who comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. (Heb. 11:6). Faith means absolute trust. We must believe with all our hearts that what God said in His Word is absolute and that He will do what He said. Is your faith strong enough to withstand the test of sickness or lack, knowing without a doubt that God not only can, but will change your situation? Or do you worry and worry about it, crying and asking for answers?

The longer you are in a relationship, the more you learn to trust the other person. I trust my husband. I know I can absolutely trust him to protect and provide everything I need. If all the other people in the world let me down or try to hurt me, I know they won’t. I know the same about God and I can say like the psalmist: i trust you [leaning and believing on You, committing all and confidently looking to You, without fear or doubt] (Ps 86:2 AMP).

loveI give you a new commandment: that you love one another as I have loved you… (John 13:34-35). There are at least 440 verses in the Bible that talk about love, over a hundred more than faith. When Jesus was asked which commandment was the greatest, he chose love. This world should be so filled with God’s love that there is no room for hate, lack, depression, or any of the devil’s tools. In the “chapter of love”, First Corinthians 13, Paul explained it though I have all faith…but I have not charity, I am nothing (v. 2).

The depth of love we demonstrate is the measuring stick of true Christianity. It is easy to love friends, a little more difficult to walk in love with our relatives constantly; and even harder to find compassion for the grumpy and difficult people around us. Yet this is what we are commanded to do: to put aside our human feelings and demonstrate agape love: love [that] puts up with a lot and is patient and kind…never jealous…jealous…conceited…rude…doesn’t push his way [and] is not sensitive, irritated or resentful (I Cor. 13:4-5 AMP). Verse 5 continues: [love] he pays no attention to an evil suffered. Doing so requires a strong commitment to God, trusting Him to take care of us no matter what anyone else does.

The forgivenessand be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. (Eph. 4:14). From the hand of love is forgiveness. Forgiveness is a decision, not a feeling. We must learn to forgive on purpose – because God asks us to – not because we “feel” like it.

There have been many times when I have had to walk away from my husband because he upset me about something. I’ve learned (the hard way I might add) to push those feelings away and say, “You and me, Lord. You’re all I need.” It’s my way of devoting myself to Him because I know He cares about me. I like how Amplified explains it: spread all your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns once and for all] (I Peter 5:7). My commitment to both God and my spouse requires that I forgive and forget instantly. I have to let it go. Holding a grudge is no way to maintain a relationship. This is true for everyone with everyone. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:15). God expects it – demands it – of us.

Patience Be not slothful, but followers of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Heb. 6:12). Patience is the ability to maintain joy, peace, love, etc. despite the irritations and delays that inevitably occur.

Can you stand in a long line at the checkout counter without showing impatience? Can you be content with what you have while waiting in faith for God to change your situation in His time? Can you honestly say, “I trust you” without trying to solve the problem on your own?

I remember how impatient I was as a child. I wanted it all and I wanted it NOW! Waiting was quite a challenge. The result was unbearable debt, constant worry and struggle, all because I had to have whatever it was at the time!

My father had a saying printed at the top of the time cards in our family business: “Do what’s right. Do it right because it’s right.” Patience helps us do the things we don’t want to do, wait for the things we want because it’s the right thing to do, and do the right thing regardless of how we feel. And you shall do what is just and good in the eyes of the Lord, so that it may go well with you, and you may enter and possess the good land… (Deut. 6:18).

There are many other qualities to imitate and practice as part of our commitment to God, but these four—faith, love, patience, and forgiveness—are essential. As we focus on His wisdom and ways, He has promised guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] he has stayed in you, because he commits to you, leans on you and trusts you. (Is. 26:3 AMP) If we do our part, He will see to it that His promises are fulfilled in our lives. All it takes is commitment.

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