More Than… In Life, Love, and the Hereafter II
ABCDE... To be MORE THAN In life, love, and the hereafter - Never be Less Than. We can never settle for being less than we can be - or less than God intended that we be. To be MORE THAN in life, love and the hereafter - Two Are be Better Than One. It will take the help and support of a prayer partner, a trusted friend, a good brother or sister in Christ. To be MORE THAN in life, love and the hereafter - Conquering Won't Always Look Like Winning.
This is significant. To unpack something this significant with any real sense of clarity and personal connection we have to define and then process the opportunities, obstacles, and outcomes to becoming MORE THAN Conquerors in life love and hereafter. Not to be cute (I was going for memorable), but I put this process in simple terms. ABCDE - each letter represents the name of a critical component that has shaped or influenced our life our love and our hereafter.
A = Attitude
B = Behavior
C = Culture
D = Demonic
E = Emotion
[behavior quotes and facts]
How do you change your behavior? Change what you worship. Timothy Keller
No one is born with greed, prejudice, bigotry, patriotism and hatred; these are all learned behavior patterns. Jacque Fresco
Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature. Ezra Taft Benson
There is never a right way to behave the wrong way. Anonymous
A study on human behavior has revealed that 90 percent of the population can be classified into four basic personality types: optimistic, pessimistic, trusting and envious. However, the latter of the four types, envious, is the most common, with 30 percent compared to 20 percent for each of the other groups. Psychology Today
the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, recurring responses toward others and self, an established pattern or habit of action or reaction
[behavior key words]:
Hurtful/Helpful - Hostile/Peaceful - Learned/Revealed - Passive/Aggressive - Mean/Kind - Good/Evil
2 Timothy 1:6-7
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you will only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them, 14 and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
Right Thoughts - Right Heart - Right Behavior. It is in these simplistic yet profound truths of God's word that we get the revelation (discovery) and insight (answers) to our behavior. Although many would like it to be, our behavior is no mystery. It may be complicated, complex, and confusing but it is not a mystery. We know what we know about what we have thought - said - done. We know that when our thoughts are right, that our heart is right. And when know that when our heart is right our behavior is right. That is not a mystery. It is acknowledging ownership and taking responsibility for who we are and what we do. Are there complications, complexities and confusion to this kind of reality? Yes, without a doubt. However, none of this unique to you and I - this stuff goes all the way back to the garden - to Adam and Eve. And in one of the most honest and God-breathed inspirations of the entire Bible, Paul the Apostle of Jesus wrote these words...
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me 21 So I find it to be a law - that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
Does that clear things up - LOL? This is not the place in scripture or life where we settle for LESS THAN in our behavior just because it demands we be MORE THAN. It is also not the place where we disengage, give in, or give up only because we don't understand. That is not the point Paul was making or place he was creating. His inspiration and messaging were directed towards a place of honest acknowledgement to a point of very real and present struggle with our behavior. It is a natural and spiritual reality that our behavior is directly impacted every moment of every day by the desires of both good and evil -they both show up for work every day. But... that is not the place God intended we stay - that would be accepting LESS THAN and not reaching for MORE THAN.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
I John 3:19-22
By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Here is the revelation/proclamation that God gave me to share with you in regard to becoming MORE THAN in our BEHAVIOR. This is the closer. You can leave here and use this - its real.
"With relentless resistance I am going to over-take what I have allowed myself to become - to be taken-over by who God has intended me to be. To honor God and the people I love with what I think, say and do I am going to trust His process - embrace the grind - and endure the struggle."
To BE MORE THAN Jesus Said...
trust His process... if anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. (Mark 8:34)
embrace the grind... work while it is day, because the night is coming, and no one will be able to work. (John 9:4)
endure the struggle... But he that endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:13)
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