Tuesday, July 9, 2024

What is Your Conduct Like?

What is Your Conduct Like?
by David Brenneman 

‭"Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents—which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me." Philippians 1:27-30.
‭"Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:1-11.
How are you really in living life?
How would you describe your behavior in dealing with yourself? With others? Would it be described of you that the love of Christ is within you?  

For most people it's not difficult to begin listing faults of others. 

It's much harder to look in the mirror and be objective about ourselves to the point of wanting to do something about what we see. 

Satan takes the form of a snake, deceives Eve. Eve takes the forbidden fruit, eats and convinces Adam to try it too. Sin is introduced. Separation from God is coming in ways they couldn't understand. Which is an irony considering the tree of which they ate. It's said that the tree leaves they used to cover themselves actually were a very bad idea. Bringing great skin irritation. The first sacrifices come next. Animals killed to bring about clothing for Adam and Eve. Blood is spilled in the name of sin. 

Cain kills Able his brother. In this moment Able becomes the only person in Paradise. My thought is that probably Jesus took care of him until others would show up. 

Our conduct can separate us from others and ourselves. We can become people that even we don't recognize. We create images for others to see and it takes great effort to maintain it. It can snowball into more and more decisions to keep it going rather than putting the brakes on. 

How truthful are you with you?

Do you put any REAL time, energy and effort into your relationship with Jesus? 

Until we get to Heaven, we won't fully know, even a taste of the relationship Adam had before the fall of mankind. That pre-sin experience has never been known by anyone else. The absolute purity of that relationship with Jesus. 

Adam gets a lot of grief over that original sin and all that humanity has gone through because of it. 

All the forms of evil as yet seen and what's to come are a result of that original sin. 

That original sin impacts every single person alive. It doesn't matter who it is in this world at any given moment sin is at war with them. It's at war with you. There are no conscientious objectors in the Spiritual Warfare at hand. There are no neutral parties.  

Because of sin your conduct has issues. Because of sin we have to work at our relationship with Jesus more than with ordinary people. 

Denying our issues presents more issues. Denying that we need the Spirit's help in navigating life and other interpersonal relationships makes it harder. 

We need to be truthful with ourselves concerning this sin nature and how slippery a slope any sin can be. 

The original sin came about by a simple doubt of what God had said. 

We easily fall for much less. Be honest. For most people it barely takes a glance to give way to a sin.

Our conduct, our character, is under assault daily. Never in any blatant fashion. That would be too easy to figure out and fight. 

It's become something of a joke but the truth is the first part of the cure of anything is admitting there's a problem. 

We who have come to Christ had to confess with our mouth that we needed a Savior who is Christ Jesus. Then we could proceed to asking Him to be the forgiver of our sin and the Leader of our lives. 

When an injury becomes unbearable we finally go to a doctor. Admitting there's an issue starts us on the road to healing. 

When addiction grips us, until we admit it's real and true, we're not going to break its grip.  

We also should never be a different person to different people. How many Christ's are there?  

We have one faith, one hope, one baptism in Christ Jesus our Lord.  

Praying for your conduct is as important as praying for the healing of your body. The most important, most influential, aspect of your life in God's plan for you is for those around you as well as yourself is to see Jesus in you. 

The character of Christ is what was left of the Disciples after the years of ministry that Jesus poured into them. Go and do likewise was their marching orders. 

If indeed the character of Christ is yours and growing, then indeed you're on the right track.  

So, when you are real with you, who do you see? An ego or your Savior? 

Funny thing about a mirror. It's a truth revealer. It doesn't show what we want to see. It shows what is reality.

You need to ask the God of all Truth to show you the real you.   

Peter, after betraying Jesus, denying Him, was beyond devastated. He was lost and aimlessly trying to pick up the pieces of his life. Went from confessing Jesus as Lord to what he did. Scripture says that he wept bitterly.  

His character appeared to be in pieces. When Jesus restored him, He showed Peter that it wasn't just in pieces, it was being put back together in a way that would glorify God. The parts of Peter that were no longer necessary were discarded.  

I have had a few times in my life where I wept bitterly at an altar. I felt like I was shattered. Which was absolutely true. Jesus needed to in order to get rid of that which wasn't good for His plan and purpose for my life.

It changed my conduct. You coming to terms with the reality of you before Jesus will likewise bring about heart change. Your conduct should change. Your character ought to change in ways that free you.

Are you willing to ask Jesus to show you the real you? To ask Him to do whatever He wants to and needs to in you? It's your living out your salvation in Christ that will open the eyes of those who are growing in Christ as well as those who have yet to come to Christ for salvation. Your conduct and your character will either draw people or push them away.

Pray for you to be real.

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.   

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