If we want to meet a goal or achieve something, we have to be unequivocal about what we want and how we get there. We must have clear and well-defined objectives to reach our goals. All the groundwork needed to get things in motion should be in tandem with the objectives. It takes discipline and consistency to ensure progress. As we aspire to be more like Christ, we have to be intentional about our commitment to please Him, and to relate to others as He would want us to.
9 So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words that are easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance. 11 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me. 12 Even so, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel (1 Corinthians 14).
Man is not an island; we were created for relationships. Language and communication are building blocks that connect people. When we speak, people will respond to how our words make them feel. When we misconstrue what people are saying, we can become offended or confused. As Christians, we have to communicate God’s Truth with simplicity. Spiritual gifts are qualities that God imparts to us to serve Him and others. They are not meant to make us superior to others. We should use our spiritual knowledge, enlightenment and revelation to mature us in Christ, while building relationships with others.
If we are to share God’s Truth with others, we have to use an approach that they can relate to. We should speak to people at their level of understanding, without sounding highfalutin. God desires a relationship with us. He is mysterious, but He is not too complicated to relate to. When people can apply God’s Ways to their daily lives, they will be more receptive to Him. They will even be more receptive, when we are relatable; and not peculiar. He is our Father, and He speaks to us as His children. We should not make God, and His Word convoluted for anyone to be able to understand. We should not make the Christian way of living seem so complicated.
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him (1 John 4).
Whatever we do for God, must be done out of love. We know God by His Love. Love is a spiritual gift that God has endowed everyone; it originated from Him. Love defines God in entirety. Love draws people to each other. It is an endearing language that we can all understand. Everyone who loves is born of God; belongs to Him, and is made in His Likeness. God sent His Only Son to die for us, as the greatest expression of His Love. He sent The Lord Jesus, so that we might live through Him. Love is expressed through Christ. In Christ, God’s Love is perfect and makes us perfect in Him. We must learn to love one another through Christ’s Love. We don’t love as we should, when we love others based on how we feel about them. If we are to share with others about Christ, we must do so out of love, and not condemnation. We live through Christ, so that He reveals Himself through us. We are not redeemed to show ourselves off to others; but to let the Life of Christ shine through.
12 “And now, Israel, what does The Lord your God require of you? but to fear The Lord your God, to walk in all His Ways and to love Him, to serve The Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the Commandments of The Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good” (Deuteronomy 10).
The ultimate goal of our lives is to fear The Lord our God; walk in His Ways, serve and love Him with all our being, and observe to do as He has commanded us. This is the life we have been called to, and it involves every area of our lives: our relationships, responsibilities and our lifestyles. Fear and love for God should determine our motives. Everything we become hinges on our perception of God. When we are conscious of God, we will treat others with kindness, and love them as we love ourselves. If everything we do becomes a service to God, we will apply ourselves diligently. Loving God with all our heart, will cause us to keep a reign on our emotions and thoughts. It will go well with us, if we implement God’s Ways to our daily choices, and attitude toward life. Fear The Lord your God; regard Him with reverence because He directs your life according to His Will.
14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live; so The Lord God of hosts will be with you, as you have spoken. 15 Hate evil, love good. Establish justice in the gate. It may be that The Lord God of hosts will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph (Amos 5).
Hate evil and love good. God hates wickedness. He is Holy and He is Good. Those who belong to Him are like their Father in Heaven. Do not live for wickedness and do not tolerate it; hate evil. Live in the Presence of The Lord hosts, and you will know good from evil. Pursue justice for the oppressed. Abhor anything that is gained by oppressing others or taking advantage of them. Let justice and goodness define your life. God is gracious to those who turn away from doing what is wicked to pursue righteousness. He will not forsake those who please Him.
3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them (Ephesians 5).
If we are to become mature and fruitful in our lives, with Christ, we must be wary of any distraction that would bring us up short. We are a work in progress, as long as we continue to make advances. We should not be regressing, by partaking in what will defile us. How we spend our time reveals a lot about our priorities and values. We should not revel in putridity. God does not wink at filthy and unclean practices. He will judge the rebellious, vile and disobedient. They have no inheritance in His Kingdom; they are bound for eternity in hell. Since Christ dwells in us, we ensure that we do not pollute His Presence. Our conversations and interactions with others should be seasoned with integrity. We should not allow ourselves to be captivated by foolishness and filthy jokes. Conversations will always have an impact on us, one way or the other.
8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with The Lord. 9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of The Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences (2 Corinthians 5).
We know that we are all going the way of all flesh. We only get this one chance to live meaningful lives. We must be confident about what we want and how to achieve it. How we live for God here, will determine if we will spend eternity with Him. Whether we are present here, we live to please Him, so that we are always conscious of Him. Christ will judge each one of us according to how we lived here; by our choices, associations, priorities and intentions. Yes, Christ will judge us because He abides in us and knows everything about us. He also came as a Man, so He knows the challenges of humanity. We must be aware of what our actions will earn us. We know ourselves well enough, and so does God. We can fool others, but we can’t fool God. We should be intentional about pleasing The Lord, each day we draw a breath.
Whatever we do in speech or deed must have significance and relevance to our aspirations. We were redeemed by The Precious Blood of Christ, not to just get by here on Earth, but to live according to His Great Power in us. God’s intention for His people was to make them in His Image and Likeness. As He is Holy, so are we called to be. We have an obligation to communicate to others about Christ by the way we live our lives. We must not make God’s Truth complicated, nor should we turn others off with sanctimonious piousness. We have to choose to love God and others, and make it the objective of everything we do. God must be feared, as we carry on with our responsibilities, relationships and goals. We live through Christ and we will always be in His Presence. We must do what is good and pleasing before Him, and do so with intent and purpose. He will not forsake those who have set their sights to honor Him.
13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is Holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I Am Holy (1 Peter 1).”