Today’s study was great. I was soaking wet and in the middle of Dinner Bell and enjoyed it very much. We often talk about character but rarely define it well. Today and tomorrow, Blackaby is laying out eight qualities that make up a good character in a person.
The first one he discussed was holiness. We often think of holiness in terms of “I can’t be holy”. But, we can! Matter of fact, we have the Holy Spirit living within us. It takes a concerted effort not to be holy! Okay, so Blackaby didn’t come up with that, I did. It’s still true. Blackaby defines holiness this way:
To be set apart and separate from anything that does not please God
Now tell me this: If the Holy Spirit lives within me, how can I be anything but holy? Ah, there’s the rub. I have to choose to allow the Holy Spirit to control me, I have to choose to allow the Holy Spirit to have His way. In Isaiah chapter 6, God reveals Himself to Isaiah and Isaiah immediately becomes aware of his lack of holiness.
Next, he moved to a pure heart. He defines a pure heart as:
To be singular in substance, without any imperfections or impurities.
Matthew 5:8 says “blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God”. 1 Samuel 16:7 says that “God looks at the heart”. How do we obtain a pure heart? By confessing our sins and moving on.
1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous,ï»¿ forgivingï»¿ï»¿ us our sins and cleansingï»¿ï»¿ us from all unrighteousness.
Don’t you just love that! Awesome.
The third quality Blackaby listed today is a “contrite heart”, which he defines thus:
“humble and repentant before God”
Not much more to say about that. Somewhat back to that paradox from yesterday, God pulls us to him and refines us but we have to make the choice.
The fourth quality is to have a fear of God. This is a tough one for me and for most because we spend so much time talking about God’s love that we tend to underestimate or overlook that God is GOD! Blackaby defines it this way:
Demonstrates an understanding of who God is and what He is able to do. Fear of God results in a fear of sin and its consequences.
We need to fear sin and the consequences of it in our lives. Most of us spend our time fearing ridicule from other men â€“ Jesus said:
Matthew 10:28 Doï»¿ï»¿ not be afraid of those who kill the bodyï»¿ but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.ï»¿ï»¿
Overall, it was a good study today. Talked to CH just now and he agreed.