Wednesday, November 20, 2013

obvious characteristics

There are some things that are obvious.  You can tell when it is fall because the weather changes and the color of the leaves change around.  You can tell things about people as well.  Some things are just very obvious.  There ought to be some characteristics that are various obvious about Christians.

In His sermon on the mount Jesus shared what we call the beatitudes about some things that happen in the life of His followers.  Are these obvious in your life?

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.  God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.  God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.  God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.  God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.  God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.  10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

The people who seek God “realize their need for Him”.  The word used is poor.  We realize that our lives are empty and useless without Him filling us and us following Him.  That fact makes our lives rich as Jesus takes over.

The people who seek God also understand the advantage of mourning.  That is they are tuned into what pleases God and to what grieves God.  These people will be comforted by God.

The people who seek God are humble.  We should not seek to be first or to put others down.  Other people are important and need to see God.  Humility helps that happen.

The people who follow Jesus “hunger and thirst” for God and what is right.  We seek God and seek for things around us to be righteous.  That is in our actions and words.  That is helping others comes to know God.  That is when we see injustice happening that we do something about it.

The people who seek God share mercy.  This is kindness in action.  It steps in to serves because we recognize when a person needs help.

In following Jesus we seem to have “hearts that are pure”.  Maybe the term innocent.  Our motives are pure, and we seek again what is right.  These people have seen the dishonor of the world and desire to honor God.  It is when we are pure that God receives more and more honor.

The people who follow Jesus and seek God “work for peace”.  The presence of peace doesn’t mean the absence of war.  In the life of the Christian there is peace even in tough circumstances.  How we react to situations demonstrates whether we have peace or not.

And finally the people who are running after God know that persecution might happen.  Some people have been put in jail for believing in and following Jesus.  Through the years Christians have been mocked and treated poorly because of God.  We are blessed in America as we see only small pieces of this.  But we need to be ready for this possibility.

These ought to be obvious in our lives.  By following Jesus we point others to Him.  By having obvious characteristics in our lives others will know that we follow God and that God is good!

In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

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