character

Read Romans 5:1-5. This time, it’s right here in front of you:

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance,  perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5 TNIV)

This passage is about the convergence of two streams. One stream flows full of what we have as Christians. The other stream flows with what we do with what we have as Christians. In other words, this word is all about what people rescued by Jesus Christ do toward living out Christ’s life today, and as a result, what is developed within them.

Go back through and read the passage, this time making a list of what you and I have as a result of Christ’s work. Here’s what I came up with …

We’re justified with God. Peace with God is what we have now. We have constant access to his grace. Hope of the glory of God is our hope. Our hearts are the receptacles God has poured his love into. We are gifted people, having been given God’s own Holy Spirit as a gift.

Now go back through and read it again, this time identifying the second stream – what we’ll do with these things. Here’s what I noticed …

We will boast of God and his work. We will glory not in ourselves, but God. We will look at the things we suffer in this life because we believe in a whole new way. We will never turn our back on him, his gifts or our purpose, rather, we will persevere.

Now these two streams flow together. And where they converge we find a entirely new something being developed within us. A river of character.

Father God, I know you have an end in mind. Your objective is not to give me gifts or to watch me work with what you give me. What you want to see happen is the formation of a whole new me. For me to develop character and to become a different character. In Jesus name, I pray, may my life be ever about this. Amen.

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