~ 7 Keys To Becoming More Like Christ ~
Ephesians 4:17-32 is a great chapter for all who seek to become more Christ-like.
Desire To Improve (Are you happy with progress so far?) ~ “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus” (verses 17-21).
Decide To Change (from your former habits) ~ “That you put off your former conduct—the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (verse 22).
Develop New Thinking Patterns (consciously develop new attitudes) ~ “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (verse 23).
Determine To Obey God (make it your number one priority) ~ “And that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another. ‘Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need” (verses 24-28).
Deliberately Choose Your Words (speak grace—not garbage) ~ “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (verses 29-30).
Direct Your Emotions (through the power of the Spirit of God) ~ “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice” (verse 31).
Demonstrate Results (through Christ’s power in you) ~ “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (verse 32).
Summary ~ “But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets’” (Matthew 22:34-40).
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW
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