Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

10/09/2019

Randall Caselman

 

Character Counts

 

  John chapter ten begins with Jesus affirming that He is the Good Shepherd. A shepherd places his sheep in a safe place, and then becomes the door to the sheepfold. Sheep within the fold are safe and secure, not only for their eternal salvation, but for this life. They go in and out and find pasture. Indeed, Jesus came to give us the good life, the abundant, full, and meaningful life here and now along with eternal life. The question becomes, are we living the good life, or do we see Christianity as only a "pie in the sky" hope of eternal life.

 

  Listen! If we live like Jesus, take on His character: Have His heart, mind, attitude, disposition, and behavior, we will live life above the common regardless of the storms that may come our way. Having the heart, the character of Jesus makes us saints for all seasons. Life will be good, abundant, full, regardless of the storms that may come our way. The bottom line is this; at the end of life, character is the only thing we place in the grave.

 

  Dictionaries define character as: "The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual." "The complex of mental and ethical traits individualizing a person, group or nation." "The essential nature that marks and distinguishes an individual or group."

 

  On the subject of Character, Pat Goggins wrote on Facebook, January 7th, 2016:

 

"Character is the only thing that goes in the casket with us. The only thing we take to the hereafter.

Character is returning extra change at the grocery store.

Character is keeping appointments and being on time, honoring our commitments, honoring our word.

Character is choosing the harder right instead of the easier wrong.

Character is setting priorities that honor God, family, country, and career.

Character in marriage is working through the tough times.

Character is being committed to the well-being of our family and friends, associates, and others, even if it is personally costly.

Character is setting a good example.

A married person of Character acts married all the time.

A person of Character is self-disciplined and self-controlled.

Character implies the courage to stand for what is right, if necessary, all alone to oppose what is wrong and to make the effort to discern the difference.

Character is being truthful in all things while being sensitive to the fact that sometimes the truth hurts and need not be spoken."

 

  Wow! Do we want to be a person like that, a person of Character? We should because we can think of a Scripture, a verse or two, that will affirm each of Pat's statements. Indeed, character is the way of Jesus, and should be the way of our life.

 

  Two familiar Scriptures about Character Traits that we need to read, reread, meditate upon, and apply to our daily walk. Let's challenge one another to do just that... Right now!

 

  2 Peter 1.3-11: "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is short-sighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

 

  Galatians 5.22 & 24-25: "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control... Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."

 

  Indeed, taking on the Character Traits of Jesus, conforming to His image, His likeness, is God's intent for each of us; so that we might live the good life, a godly life, life to its fullest. “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son..." (Romans 8.28-29).

 

—Randall Caselman