One of the greatest disciplines a Christian can ever put into practice is that of agape love in every attitude, thought, word, and deed. The practice of agape love requires a setting aside of our own feelings and desires for the benefit of others and for the sake of unity.
Godliness is transparent, selfless, filled with integrity and excellent character. Children of God’s kingdom should always view personal relationships as one of life’s highest priorities and sees failure in this area as most serious.
Paul taught that the absolute priority in believers’ lives’ must be God love. Love is what determines a person’s true spirituality, love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
Supporting Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 13:1-8, Eph. 5:1-2
An incomprehensible truth of the Bible: the incarnation – “a Child is born… a Son is given.” God would become a man. A newborn baby would be called “Mighty God, Everlasting Father.” We can accept this truth by faith.
Glory in the highest, as Mary brought forth her firstborn Son, a multitude of the heavenly host were praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And peace on earth, goodwill towards men!”
Paul tells us that He took the form of a servant and came as a man. “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name”
Supporting Scriptures: Isaiah 9:6, Is. 7:14, Luke 2:7, 13-14 Phil. 2:7,
Make honoring the Lord with your life your first priority, and trust Him to advance you in His time and in His way. Promoting ourselves will only result in His humbling us for our own sake. As Matt. 23:12 says, “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
In our own strength, we will always seek to promote ourselves; but through an ever-increasing love relationship with Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit within us, we can begin to cultivate an attitude that always exalts and glorifies God. We will become willing to say “you first” to others, even though we live in a “me first” world.
Supporting Scriptures: Matthew Chapter 23
Begin every day by talking to God in prayer and by committing each day to Him. David said, “My voice you shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to You” (v.3). We should not turn on the flatscreens TV’s, radio’s and the internet, we should begin each day by talking to the One who made us.
Starting the day without the fresh manna of God’s presence daily, will cause us to be inadequately equipped or prepared for the challenges of the day. Remember the adversary uses busyness to keep you from God, and to start your day right requires you be at peace, as peace with God is oneness with God. God is ready to keep His daily appointment with you, so don’t miss out!
Supporting Scriptures: Psalm 5:1-3, Mark 1:35
God desires that we develop great faith, by facing trials and challenges head on and not running or being indecisive. For our faith to grow requires that were tested, and that we endure, be watchful and consistent.
We must be strong in our faith for when a need arises and there is no way can meet these needs, solve the problem or settle our nerves, that we stand and be assured that we will prevail. It is our faith in what we believe which causes God to provide the strength and hope to persevere. Remember the God we serve is able to do exceeding more than we are capable of doing.
Supporting Scriptures: Matthew 8:5-10, Ephesians 3:20
When we think of virtues, many come to mind, including those listed as the fruit of the Spirit in Gal. 5:22, 23; “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” If however, pride is the greatest sin – and it is – then humility must be the greatest virtue in the Kingdom of God. Humility allows us to acknowledge that God has claim on our lives; that we are fallible, mortal creatures; and that it is God, not ourselves, who is Master of the universe. -Matthew 18:1-4
It is humility that says, “I am a sinner, that needs to be saved.” The truths of the kingdom of God are only perceived by those who are humble, no one who is proud will ever gain anything from God, because “God resist the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Those who are humble receive the grace of God and are given the secrets of the kingdom. Jesus Christ said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:33).
The secret to greatness is to be humble like an open and trusting little child. Proverbs 22:4 also teaches that the pathway to honor is humility.
John’s gospel introduces the Holy Spirit’s role in spiritual growth. The New Birth and Baptism with the Holy Spirit endow the believer with the life and gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher, Helper Advocate, and Guide. He is the source of our true spiritual understanding. Without spiritual rebirth by the Holy Spirit it is not possible to perceive of, let alone enter into the kingdom of God (3:3). Once we have been born of the spirit, He enables us to understand and live by the truth (14:25-26). Without the Spirit of God living within us, we can never understand or walk in the truth, because the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 2:14). It is the teaching of the Holy Spirit within us that helps us to know and understand the truth of God’s word (John 16:12-15).