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Character Development (Holy Spirit University (HSU) Series Part IV)

One of the roles of Holy Spirit is to reveal the Son of God and help us know Jesus. Holy Spirit is also a wealth of wisdom, love, joy, peace, power and helps to develop our character.

We, if we are believers in Jesus as Lord, are invited to live by the Spirit and not after the flesh.

The flesh represents the carnal nature of mankind. The flesh tends to be selfish and self focused. The mind of the flesh wars against God. The character of the flesh, carnal nature, is quite immature and self centered.

One of the ongoing classes in Holy Spirit University is character development. Though God loves us as we are, the intention is not to leave us the way He found us.

The invitation to salvation is more than keeping us from hell, it is an invitation for heaven to live in us and transform us from the inside out.

God knows exactly what is needed to develop our character so we grow to look like Jesus.

Character Counts:

Why does it matter that we grow to possess godly character? One, we are called to be God’s Ambassadors of heaven on earth; two, godly character brings God glory.

Have you ever met someone who is anti-God because they have had horrible experiences with Christians? I have. I went through a season in my own life where I dreaded church. I loved Jesus, His Bride was scary, judgmental, rude, and unloving at times.

Advertising for Heaven:

Our love and character is a billboard for Jesus! He stated His disciples would be recognizable by their great love.

What does our billboard say? Does it say, “God loves you. I love you!” Or does it say, “I can’t be trusted, your fears about trusting God are justified.”

The devil does not mind a body of believers who’s character is so questionable it resembles more of his kingdom than God’s. Carnal (flesh driven, selfish, rude, and unloving) Christians are some of the most effective tools to drive people away from God.

Growing Into Maturity with God:

God does not force us to grow up. He does provide His Spirit. He does place us in situations to grow and learn to rely on Him. He does invite us to listen, abide, know Him, and yield to Him.

As we yield to God, good fruit emerges (John 15:4-5). It does not happen by our striving, or extensive self help.

Good fruit and character development are a byproduct of abiding (relationship with God), intimacy (knowing God), yielding to God, and listening to Holy Spirit and following Him.

Romans 8 tells us the following:

For those who are living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh [which gratify the body], but those who are living according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit [His will and purpose]. Now the mind of the flesh is death [both now and forever—because it pursues sin]; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever]; the mind of the flesh [with its sinful pursuits] is actively hostile to God. It does not submit itself to God’s law, since it cannot, and those who are in the flesh [living a life that caters to sinful appetites and impulses] cannot please God.

However, you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives in you [directing and guiding you]. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him [and is not a child of God]. If Christ lives in you, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides]. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you (Romans 8:5-11 (AMP)).

If we are in Christ, the old has passed away and the new has come. We are invited to live out our new identity as sons and daughters of God.

As we walk with God we begin to resemble God. We become like the God’s we worship. Our lives begin to manifest the fruit of our deepest intimacy.

We can have Holy Spirit and He does not have us. Yielding is an exceptional way see the character of God manifest in our lives.

Papa God, help us to yield to you and the Holy Spirit’s leading. Help us to abide and cultivate intimacy with you. You love us, may we abide in that love, and manifest that love in the world. Grow us up in you. In Jesus powerful name. Amen.

Love in Christ,

Erin Lamb

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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Look At the Fruit (Character Matters)

Photo: Devon Franklin

Morning Thoughts: A tree produces fruit of it’s roots. Look at fruit, not just the words people speak or the title they carry.

The bible talks about wolves in sheeps clothing (Matthew 7:15) and we are to test things (1 John 4:1) and examine fruit (Matthew 7:18). Yet over the years I have seen countless people become enamored with people with poor character. Yes they may be gifted, talented, they may even preach well or see miracles. Yet they are not even remotely like Jesus in their treatment of people, character, lifestyle.

We are not to put people on pedestals and worship them. No matter their title or clout or what they say, we are to worship God and God alone. We are to examine character and test fruit. We are to look at how that person lives, treats others, behaves. It’s not passing judgement; it’s exercising wisdom.

We are also to test prophetic words, sermons, counsel and the things people speak into our lives or the lives of others. Does it align with scripture? Does it align with the character of God? In order to test something against the word and character of God we must study the bible with God and pursue knowing God for ourselves.

Discernment is more than knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.”

The purpose of examining fruit is not to throw stones nor develop a superiority complex. It provides wisdom so you know who to invite into deeper fellowship, who needs to sit at the inner table, and who’s counsel is valid.

It is also beneficial to invite God to examine our hearts and lives. What is the fruit coming off our tree? Is it love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, meekness (strength under control), and self control. What is our character? Are we trustworthy, faithful, loving, truthful, compassionate, unselfish, a servant, good to people, honoring, righteous, full of integrity?

No person is perfect, perfection is not the goal, yet we can save ourselves loads of heartache if we pay attention to fruit. We can also grow in maturity if we invite God to deal with us so we look, behave, and love more like Jesus.

Love in Christ,

Erin L. Lamb

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2017 in Devotions, From the Author, God's Heart

 

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A Good Father

  

Happy Father’s Day! 

Thank you to all the men in the world who have been great examples to their children, loved well, inspired, disciplined and corrected well, led by example, and have deposited identity and life into their children. You are appreciated. 

The only perfect Father I know is our Heavenly Father. Don’t get me wrong, my earthly father is super stellar. He’s also human, he also only represents half of the nature of God. You see God is Spirit. We call Him Father rightly so, yet out of Himself He created male and female (Genesis 1:27). Our Heavenly Father is able to do what we traditionally consider what a father and mother would do and without sin. Therefore, He’s the perfect Father. 

I wanted to thank and applaud the great men out there. I also wanted to encourage those who have earthly fathers who abandoned, were absent, abusive, unkind, unloving, neglectful, addicts, or never encouraged them. You are deeply loved! God is your father. You are not defined by your earthly fathers sin. If you’re in Christ, you’ve been adopted into a Royal family. Adopted children are special. They are no mistake; they are chosen and wanted. So, if that’s you…let me speak into your spirit right now…

Papa I speak life, love, and acceptance into every person without a Godly earthly father. I bind the orphan spirit. I release the spirit of adoption. I bind fear and insecurity and loose healing and love. I ask for identities rooted, deeply rooted in Christ. I bind every generational sin that may try to plague them. Holy Spirit come and break every chain! May they know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of Your love. Overwhelm them today with love! Heal and restore. I loose a freedom to forgive every hurt and disappointment, in Jesus powerful name…amen. 

For those who’s fathers have passed away, lifting you up today. Our Heavenly Father never leaves or forsakes. He’s with you! He brings such comfort! I speak peace over your day. 

For the men without children, soon to be dads, or existing fathers, these are some things my Heavenly Father and earthly father taught me about this vital role in the family. 

A father loves well. It’s unconditional love that seeks what is best for the other person. It’s selfless love. It’s agape love. 

A father protects. He prays. His spiritual protection is so valuable. He doesn’t have to be the strongest man physically, he is strong in seeking the Lord for the protection of his family. My dad rises early every day to pray…like clockwork. 

A father provides. He provides a home free of control, bullying, strife, and chaos. He leads by being a servant. His wife and children know they have an advocate. He provides a place for God to be glorified. He places God at the center and provides a great example for his family by the way he lives and treats people. We didn’t grow up wealthy. My dad did make sure he provided a safe and stable place for us. He worked. He volunteered. He served. He cooked. He cleaned. He helped my mum. He took care of her when she was sick. He combed my hair (we shall burn some of those photos. Nice try dad). He provided a place where we knew he was for us. 

More than financial provision which society says is a man’s main contribution, I believe being present, contributing, providing leadership through serving, and investing in your family is one of the greatest gifts you can provide. Many kids have fathers who work non stop and have money, yet their children and wives don’t have them. 

A father provides identity. Our Heavenly Father gave us His name. There’s so much in a name. If you look around, the lack of identity has caused so many issues in our society. Mothers are so amazing. So are fathers. Fathers help establish identity in ways mothers cannot. Please don’t be upset with the messanger. God created men to express His attributes. This is one of those ways. If you’re a single mum, teach your son about God. Give him examples of Godly men if you can. Heavenly Father can do what humans cannot do. 

A good father has integrity and noble character. I cannot overstate this enough. He’s someone his son will imitate and his daughters will seek out men like him. 

A good father admits his faults and takes responsibility for his actions. He says, “How can I make this right?” 

He’s honest and faithful to keep his word. He’s dependable. 

A good father uses his words to build up, not tear down. He speaks life and blessing over his children. So many blessings are in scripture. Bless your wife and children. Words are powerful. Speak God’s words over them. 

A good father loves his wife! He’s faithful to her and the vows he made before God. She is his equal partner in Kingdom leadership. They may serve different roles at times, yet he does not treat her as a sidekick or inferior partner. He loves her as he loves himself. 

A good father is generous. Our Heavenly Father is so generous! It’s beyond comprehensible at times. Fathers love to give. I’ve seen this in my heavenly and earthly father. 

A good father corrects his children. He points them to truth and disciplines in love when they deviate off that path. 

If you’re a man and you’re saying, “Gosh those are big shoes to fill,” it’s true. Yet I’ve seen several men in my life get this right and their secret is they abide in Christ. They let the love of God flow through them and they allow the Holy Spirit to guide them. It’s not about perfection. It’s about abiding (John 15:5) and submitting to God. He has the Fathering thing down perfectly. He provides assistance to anyone who asks. 

You are so loved men! You are celebrated and appreciated!!! 🎉🙌🏼 Praying for and wishing for more great men in the world. Praying for you! You can not be replaced. You have a significant role in the Kingdom. We ladies want to see you succeed. We are cheering for you! I am cheering for you! 

Love in Christ, 

Erin 

 
 

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