Many years ago, God impressed upon me that our children begin life reflecting on Bible stories as just that, stories. Over the many years, I served as a K-8 principal and a Bible study teacher, I learned that our children are eager to learn more than the character traits and behavior told in school and at home. Once exposed, they want to emulate Christ-like behaviors. They want to apply the Word in their day-to-day living. This blog will assist you in developing your child’s application season of living by the Word of God.
I have two sites. My first website, Youngchristianwarriors.com, initially focused on our children, answering the question parents often posed – when should we begin training our children to live like Christ? Below is a partial list of posts I wrote in 2017, focusing on Christian child development. The later posts mirror lisasdailyinspirations.com posts and are still worth perusing. I hope all parents find the posts beneficial.
As Christians we* should always be alert. Selfish ambition and vain conceit are traps. ~ Lisa Blair
When we focus on others and not ourselves, we are the servants Christ encourages us to be.
The world promotes ‘it’s about you’ in every arena. Everywhere you look the focus is on the individual. The Internet is replete with Instagrams, TikTok, Facebook and many more. We have been indoctrinated by the evil ones ploy to separate us from God pushing the ‘me first’ philosophy.
God is all knowing and alerts us of the ploy of self righteousness and vain conceit through the inspired writings of Apostle Paul, the author of Philippians 2:3-4. I am inserting various versions to clarify, evil is always lurking and we must stay alert and dedicate our lives to making the world a better place by living like Christ.
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Philippians 2:3-4 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/php.2.3-4.NLT
“Let nothing be done out of strife or conceit, but in humility let each esteem the other better than himself. Let each of you look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4 MEV https://bible.com/bible/1171/php.2.3-4.MEV
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4 NKJV https://bible.com/bible/114/php.2.3-4.NKJV
Each version is clear – like Christ, we should esteem ourselves as servants. Servitude in this instance is not waiting for instruction by the world, it is knowing that we were created to build our personal and public lives with humility. We don’t have to daily announce our greatness or victories. We possess greatness and victories as part of our DNA.
Our DNA proves we are part of the bloodline of Christ, part of the Trinity. Our DNA began before the beginning of time, before God created the earth and everything on it, including us.
Jeremiah 1:5 and Ephesians 1:3-6 informs us that God made us and therefore knew us before we were born.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before Him in love; He predestined us to adoption as sons to Himself through Jesus Christ according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace which He graciously bestowed on us in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:3-6 MEV https://bible.com/bible/1171/eph.1.3-6.MEV
* When I use the plural, we, I always include me. My posts are not written excluding me from the discussion. I am also struggling to live life exuding Christlike behaviors, by applying His attitude as Christians. It is not always an easy path, we are in the battle of good and evil and often find ourselves lured by the bright lights of this world. The scriptures in the Bible is the only thing that can point us to Christ, especially in our weaker moments. The Holy Spirit is the only person that can redirect us, though our Christian friends, as the scripture informs, can pull us aside and talk truth without offense-in short help set us back on the path.
Remember, we are not our own.
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,” 1 Corinthians 6:19 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/1co.6.19.NLT
In closing, please know that every time I think about you (my readers), I thank God for you. God knew us before we were born and knows the challenges that lie before us. I pray that He keeps you covered and places a hedge of protection around you.
Do you live according to the Word? What do those around you see?
~ Lisa Blair
I am sharing a video from Grace for Purpose. It is a great reminder about the path we must travel. As we travel the path, do we exhibit a Christ-like character in all that we do? Will the witnesses report that we faced challenges but throughout it all reflected a Christ-like character?
The witnesses are those in heaven who observe us during our life on earth.
You never lose your God given spiritual gifts, talents and skills, herein referred to as your power. You may lock it away, deny it, or place it into hibernation, but you never lose your power. It is embedded in your destiny, your power is composed of the skills talents, and abilities needed for you to mature to be the person God designed you to be to advance His work.
Ephesians 2:10 reads, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
1 Peter 44:10-11 reinforces that, “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts”, other scriptures identify the many gifts that we use during the course of our lives. [See How does God distribute spiritual gifts on gotquestionss.org]
Romans 12:2, encourages us to see and live life differently. ”Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
There are times in our lives when difficulties arise and we question whether we are capable of correcting the path. It seems pretty clear, but this wrought with free will. The answer is yes and no. Yes because the Holy Spirit directs us in how to best utilize the characteristics of Christ we acquired when we received salvation through our belief that Jesus (part of the Trinity) is our Lord and Savior. Meaning we relinquish selfish motives in favor of being led by the Holy Spirit, who can direct our path. No, because we attempt to put ourselves first, do it on our own, ignoring the voice or nudging of the Spirit.
In an earlier post, I stated that we are not supposed to be paralyzed by life’s challenges. I now want to share that we possess the power/skills/talents to move forward. If we take time to inventory our skills and talents and pray to the Lord for guidance. He will lead us forward. His path may not lead down the expected path, but the arrival to the destination will certainty be more satisfying and more purposefully. When struggling we must always remember that we were created to perform God’s work. We were created with the innate skill sets needed. Skill sets that mature as we mature in the Word and dedicate our lives to God’s purpose for us.
1 Corinthians 2:12 reinforces that the (Holy) Spirit indwells within us: “Now, we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”
Wow, are you saying that we have power?‘s that it’s not simply a carnal quest to make it to the top? Yes, like with all things, we possess free will. We can develop God’s gifts, skills, and talents to move in our own direction and climb up the ladder of success, climbing over others and working to separate ourselves from co-workers, or we can use those skills to become stronger in our careers placing the focus on God embodying by the characteristics of Christ in all that we do.
Hebrews 13:20-22, Weymouth New Testament: “Now may God who gives peace, and brought Jesus, our Lord, up again from among the dead—even Him who, by virtue of the blood of the eternal Covenant, is the great Shepherd of the sheep— fully equip you with every grace that you may need for the doing of His will, producing in us that which will truly please Him through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory to the Ages of the Ages! Amen.”
When we become Christians, we have been set apart from others. We no longer strive for absolute power as our pre-Christian selves did. Carnal power no longer motivates us to push through, destroy others, and fail families. We have been called according to His power.
Paul wrote in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His power.”
When we existed in our carnal state, we struggled for absolute power and in the process we often found that it destroys absolutely, it alters who you are is a fax year every thought it focuses on greed intolerance, hate, impatience, jealousy, and envy. In our carnal state we lived in alien territory by ourselves.
Once we put on our Christlike self all of the above our self righteousness begins to fade away. While our goals may be to become a CEO or an administrator or doctor or lawyer or an astronaut, the way in which we attain them changes. How we use our careers impacts us and consequently others differently.
Colossians 3:9-10 instructs – ”Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”
In closing, we were born with different levels of skills, and talents, we possess a trove of them. It is up to us how we use that power. We can choose to use them as they were designed – for the benefit of others, or for the benefits of self. We never lose the power, we may have to dig deep within and bring it back to the surface but it is there for the taking it is our gift from God. It is part of the DNA our Lord has placed in us long long before we were considered by our parents. He knew us long before we chose Him as our Lord and Savior. He knew us before we knew ourselves, and according to His wisdom and plans gave us all the talents and skills needed in this life. He gave us the power to choose how we use them.