The Character of the Church

Scripture Reading: II Corinthians 5:20

  • Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Since the church is made up of the Body of Believers, this means that we as Christian individuals represent the character of the Lord in the church. II Corinthians 5:20 says that we are ambassadors for Christ. As a Christian, and as an ambassador for the Lord, it is most important that we represent our church in a manner displaying Godly characteristics.

Your character is the real you. It is who we are inside. It is that quality that determines how we respond to situations when no one is watching. Dwight L. Moody stated "character is what you are in the dark." Seeing that our character can affect others positively or negatively, necessitates the need to allow the Lord to examine our hearts in order to weed out anything of bad character.

One might ask, how do we build a Christian character that would leave a testimony to those watching our lives. Christ-like character is built by our commitment and surrender to the Lord.

To ensure that we are pure representatives for the Lord and His church, it is imperative our lives reflect humble and honest hearts rather than a proud spirit which gives a false impression of the Lord and the church. Ungodly character belittles righteous integrity in which all Christians should posess.

May each of us be challenged to live our lives to the utmost for the Lord's honor so we never hinder the Lord's working in those who do not know Him.

-- Pastor Mike Hendrix

Faith In The Character Of God

Scripture Reading: II Corinthians 4:7-9

  • (Vs. 7) But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
  • (Vs. 8) We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
  • (Vs. 9) Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.

As human beings, we are guaranteed the presence of trials in our lives. To the Christian trials provide an opportunity to trust in and rely on the Lord for help.

Trials come in all form; spiritual burdens concerning our loved ones, our own needs, physical pain and suffering, financial stress, etc. If we focus on the problems alone without faith and do not trust in the One who is able to meet those needs, we will become disheartened and discouraged.

The Lord has promised to be with us and not to forsake us. He tells us that He will take our human frailties and weaknesses and make them strong points for His glory and honor. (Hebrews 11:34)

When you are facing the problems of life resist the temptation to focus on the problem. Instead, remain fixed on the faithful character of God. He has a purpose and a plan in everything He allows to come our way. Pressures only prove that which is genuine in our faith. We can only gain by realizing the weak areas that need strengthening.

Keep close to the Lord, and do not allow anything to hinder your relationship with Him. Our confidence will rise as the character of God becomes greater and more trustworthy to our spiritual understanding. This is accomplished by walking close to Him.

Read and take to heart the following thoughts that your heart might be encouraged in the never-changing character of our Lord.

  • I. Our confidence is boldness and assurance.
    • a. It rests on the character of God.
    • b. It is infinitely above reason.
    • c. Faith never goes contrary to reason -- it just rises above it.
  • II. The attitudes of confidence.
    • a. The man of faith does not rest on reason.
    • b. Some things are beyond the capacity of human reason.
    • c. Faith alone assures us of the things of God.
    • d. The brain staggers along behind the act of faith.
  • III. The purpose of God's promises.
    • a. A promise tells me what I can claim.
    • b. A promise tells me what God has planned for me.
    • c. A promise is an intelligent direction.
    • d. Promises rest upon the ability of the One who makes them.

-- Pastor Mike Hendrix

A Heavenly Guide Produces A Joyful Life

Scripture Reading: Psalm 1:1-3

  • (Vs. 1) Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
  • (Vs. 2) But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
  • (Vs 3) And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
  • Godly people:
    • 1. Order their lives around Godly counsel.
    • 2. Seek friends with fellow believers.
    • 3. Get enjoyment, encouragement, and refreshment from the Word of God.
    • 4. Successfully stand the storms of life.
    • 5. Are fruitful and prosper in His time.
    • 6. Are contented.
    • 7. Are not anxious or fretful.
    • 8. A sweet quietness marks them.

-- Pastor Mike Hendrix

Taking Care of Your Conscience

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 10:22

  • (Vs. 22) Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Some in the Christian church are not sure of what they believe about the human conscience. The Word of God reminds us that conscience is always on God's side, judging conduct in the light of the moral law, either excusing or accusing.

  • The definition of conscience:
    • 1. Always refers to right and wrong.
    • 2. In the Scriptures means an inward awareness.
    • 3. The secret presence of Christ, the ground of conscience.

By conscience, we mean that which always refers to right and wrong. Conscience never deals with theories. Conscience always deals with right and wrong, and the relation of the individual to that which is right or wrong.

Conscience singles a man out. It never deals in plurals, always in the singular. It never allows you to lean on another. It is as though no one else exists.

In the Scriptures, conscience refers to moral insight-it means to see completely, (an inward awareness). God allows us to know right from wrong in order for us to deal with in issues in our life. Dealing properly with sin in our lives is the only way to keep our hearts and conscience pure in God's sight. This is the only way we can live a victorious Christian life.

There is a ground of conscience. That ground of human conscience is the secret presence of Christ in the world. Christ is in the world, and His secret presence is the ground of human conscience. It is a moral awareness which brings about a moral responsibility on man's part. John 1:9 - "that was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." This light is the ground of moral conscience.

  • Examples of what men do with their conscience:
    • 1. They turn aside from a good conscience (I Timothy 1:5).
    • 2. Some allow their conscience to become seared (I Timothy 4:1,2).
    • 3. Some are living with a defiled conscience (Titus 1:15,16).
    • 4. The blessings of the conscience "sprinkled from evil works." (Hebrews 10:19-22).

Some men do have a good conscience, while others turn away from a good conscience in stubbornness. When man turns aside and will not listen, their "religion becomes vain janglings". As a result, it is easy to live carelessly because the conscience has been put away. All the sermons in the world will be wasted if there is not a good clear conscience. This results in one not being able to respond nor receive truth.

There are those who can only speak lies because their conscience has been seared with a hot iron. Their conscience has been turned aside. These usually fall away into false doctrine, running from truth. When a conscience has been seared, one has chosen to play with fire and has burned his conscience (calloused it until he can handle the hot iron of sin without cringing).

There are others who are living with a defiled conscience. These are men and women who are corrupt inwardly. Even their language has been affected. They have come to the place of not being capable of making right choices. They are spiritual shipwrecks. Their hearts and conscience are already hard.

It is fatal to silence the inward voice. The most blessed thing in the whole world is when God gives freedom to the laboring conscience -- the heart suddenly knows itself clean, and the burdens lift. One of the most wonderful experiences is to know "a sprinkled conscience".

It is most dangerous when men become afraid of listening to their conscience. The conscience can be damaged in this way. Don't damage your conscience -- if you do, you will damage your soul. It is always fatal to silence the inner voice -- your conscience.

-- Pastor Mike Hendrix

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