Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Vicki Tekwani, Tabernacle of Christ, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 18 June 2017.
Developing A Christ-like Character
All of us experience challenges at some point in our lives. Pastor Tekwani took hold of God’s Word even when the situation spoke louder than God’s Word. God has a better plan for us.
“God is more interested in your character than your comfort, and he's more concerned about your holiness than your happiness.”
One of the important skills that Pastor Vicki learned in life is people-skills. As we interact with others, at times their action towards us may trigger our response or reaction. We should learn to respond the correct way, that is Christ-like, and not to react like the world. Our character will determine our response. Character is so important that Jesus shared about it in Matthew 5.
Blessed are the meek: for they will inherit
the earth. (Matthew 5:5)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6)
Blessed are the merciful: for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:7)
Christianity is not about good works but about doing the will of God. It is our relationship that brings us to heaven and not our good works.
There is a quote that says, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; (Ephesians 4:13, NKJV)
1. A Servant Attitude
Your attitude must be like my own, for I, the Messiah, did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28, Living Bible TLB)
Many leadership gurus or experts speak about “servant leadership” and this is actually learnt from a person who came to earth 2000 years ago – Jesus. Jesus learned to submit to God and only begun His ministry 30 years later, even though He could have started earlier.
Phillips Brooks, a preacher from the 19th Century once said, “Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.”
God can just come up and help you when you humble yourself. Jesus focused on serving others and not being served. We serve God through serving others.
Not lording it over those assigned to your care [do not be arrogant or overbearing], but be examples [of Christian living] to the flock [set a pattern of integrity for your congregation]. (1 Peter 5:3 AMP)
2. A Gentle Heart of Compassion
But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. (Matthew 9:36 NKJV)
God wants us to have compassion and feel for others. We need to “use things and love people, not love things and use people.”
Jesus, no matter how busy He was, always made time to help others along the way (e.g. woman who was bleeding for 12 years and blind Bartimaeus).
We need to make time for others. When we are offended, smile and shake hands with others. We need to learn to remove bitterness and unforgiveness in our heart. Ask God for a new heart and compassion.
3. A Spirit of Boldness
“All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
We need to live a life of boldness. What is God asking us to do but we have not done it yet? We need to use the talents God has blessed us with for His glory by serving His will. There is always someone near us that we could reach out to, and share the Good News so that they will know Jesus personally.
But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 AMP)