Monday, February 25, 2013

The Purity Priority

Today’s devotional in the Love Expressed series focuses on reflecting the character of Christ in our words, thoughts, and actions. 
Gandhi famously said, “Thoughts become words. Words become actions. Actions become habits. Habits become character. And character becomes your destiny.” 
How do you love God with your entire mind? Do you even think that is possible? God created our minds and gave us this command, so it must be possible.  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth.  You can choose the way you think, because that is really action in the beginning.
 If you think in the light of what Christ has done and who Christ is, then your actions will automatically flow out of that. A forgiving person, a person with a gentle attitude, a person who reaches out to others, does not act just out of their own thoughts. They are thinking about God, and they are thinking about their neighbor, and they are thinking about life, and they are thinking about themselves, in the light of the cross of Jesus Christ. And out of that there flows a whole new way of life.
Our words play a huge part in our everyday lives.  Our actions speak louder than words, and they should serve as a guide for how to live life.  Our Character summarizes the essence of our walk with Christ being exhibited back to Him and then onto others.
As a Christian you are someone who is a model, a pacesetter; someone who influences others in positive ways according to biblical standards! Modeling Christian virtues, virtues of true spirituality, is crucial to effective ministry in the world.
St. Francis noted this in particular when he suggested that people preach the gospel but “use words if necessary.” His idea is that preaching could be active instead of verbal, and that words were secondary to action, and could be expressed in the common phrase, “practice what you preach.”
“Character is who you are when no one is watching."  But this also applies when the world is watching. Character is the product of daily, hourly actions, and words and thoughts; daily forgiveness, unselfishness, kindnesses, sympathies, charities, sacrifices for the good of others, struggles against temptation, submissiveness under trial. Remember that the deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today.

Let God's love move you to step out in faith and do what the Spirit leads you to do.  Do it in love.  Do it in faith.  Do it with hope, confidently expecting GOD to keep His Word. 
God's will for your life is not a reflection of your desires, plans, pursuits, ambitions, past successes or failures. Never forget that we are not here merely for our own spiritual benefit. If we are in fact servants, as Christ has called us to be, we will primarily be here for the benefit of others, to see them come to faith in Christ and to see them grow.
Thoughts – Words – Actions – Habits – Character – Destiny…it’s a daily choice.  Ask GOD to give you the supernatural grace to live a holy life. 

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