What are Christian characteristics?



Question: “What are Christian characteristics? What does God expect of His children?”



Bible Answers

In many respects, God is a parent just like many of us are parents.


What do we want for our children?  We want them to be healthy, respectful, obedient, and loving.  Some children are a joy to be around, while other children bring only heartache.  While we try to be loving, we are naturally drawn to the child that brings us pleasure.


Jesus said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these (Matthew 19:14). We are instructed to come to Jesus as little children. How do little children respond to their earthly father? They run to him, they love him, they trust him completely, they normally obey him, and they want to please him.  This is also how we are to come to our heavenly Father.


What characteristics does God want in His children?  Most of all, He wants a loving relationship with His children. We develop a relationship with God by learning about Him in His Word, by spending time with Him in prayer, talking with Him, and in worshipping Him. Love is the most important characteristic we can have and encompasses all the other characteristics that flow from love.


Love

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these (Mark 12:30-31).


And the greatest act of love for your neighbor (others) is to share your testimony of Jesus with them.  To invite them to receive Jesus.


…they fell face downward on the pavement, worshipping God and praising him for his goodness and his eternal love (2 Chronicles 7:3).


By nature, we spend the most of our free time with the person or thing that is most important to us, the one we love the greatest. God loves us so much that He gave His only Son to save us. And we are commanded that our God should be the most important love in our lives. How do we love the Lord? We love the Lord by making Him the most important part of our life through worship, learning about God in His Word, through our time and communication. If you love God, you will want to please Him. He will be more important to you than all other things in life, your love for Him will grow beyond all other loves.


As we learn to love God with all of our heart and trust in Him completely through washing our mind with His Word, we will find God’s joy, peace, and freedom being manifested in our lives.


Trust

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge [ask] him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).


When we do not know a person we are not likely to trust them. We learn to know God through His Word and developing a relationship.  It is through faith and trust that we learn to turn our entire life over to God.  It is through complete trust that we can daily continue in a surrendered relationship with the Lord.


Trusting God never fails.  His will for us is what is best for us.  All other things in which we place our trust can fail. God never fails!  . . .Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you (1 Chronicles 28:20). While we can completely trust God to fulfill His promises, we must also realize that God determines the timing.  Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him (Ps 37:7).


By letting go completely, we trust God that whatever happens is what He wants for us for this time. The Lord can then make you the person He wants you to be, a person of true faith.  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him (Romans 15:13).


We have a choice of who will be the captain of our ship. When we surrender all of our life to God, both the big issues, and the small daily issues, we find a new freedom. We no longer have anything to worry about because one wiser than us is now in control.


Faith

Faith is trusting God and His Word. The apostle Paul explained that without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6).  Faith believes in things that do not exist as if they do, it believes in what common sense says it isn’t. Faith believes that God’s Word is true even when our natural senses do not see it.


Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things visible (Hebrews 11:3).


The world was framed by the Word of God. He said … Let there be… and there was. God had faith that His own Word would come to pass. We know from the Scripture that Jesus also had faith in His own Words and in His Father.


Jesus said, Have faith in God… That whosoever shall say … and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he said shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he said (Mark 11:22-24).


God has given us a measure of faith to start with. …think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you (Romans 12:3). Jesus said, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).


How do you grow your faith?  …faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).


Obedience

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Romans 6:16).


And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 28:2).


Disobedience is sin and like all sin, is unacceptable to God. While obeying God brings us closer to Him, unforgiveness and sin separate us from God.  God is holy and He will not permit sin in His presence. This is why God will not permit those who hold onto their sin into His home/heaven. We need to take all (not just some) of our sins to God in sincere repentance. In His love and mercy, He will forgive us and wash our sins away. This then restores our relationship with God.


People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy (Proverbs 28:13).


But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness (1 John 1:9).


As Jesus was praying to the Father for His disciples, this was the only thing He said of them. You gave them to me and they have obeyed your word (John 7:6).


Do not expect to receive blessings from God in your life if you are not being obedient to Him. Being obedient to God does not refer to just some areas of your life; it refers to being completely obedient.  It means putting God first, ahead of our desires.


Surrender

A Christian not only calls the Lord Savior, but should also call Him Lord. God can only be our Lord when we completely surrender to Him.  It is when we say “God, I give you all I am and all I have.” It goes beyond trusting God with selected areas of our life, to trusting Him with our entire life. Surrendering to God is the completion of the “Trusting God with all your heart” process. God only becomes our Lord when we have completely surrendered to Him.  


Your decision of who will be running your life will determine the course your life will take. It will determine your success at pleasing God and the degree of God’s blessings.


Surrender means that God and advancing His Kingdom, often called evangelism, is more important to you than the temporary things of the world.  Surrender is putting God first above all else.


Prayer

Prayer is the only way to communion with God.  It is the only way to build a relationship with God, and it is how we defeat the enemy.



If Jesus, the apostles, the early church, and Paul all spent a large amount of time in prayer, and we are commanded to pray, then shouldn’t we also be dedicating time daily to be in prayer to our Lord and savior?


Summary

God wants to have a loving relationship with us. As we grow in love and God’s Word, we will develop faith, trust, and obedience that will permit us to have the needed confidence to surrender our life completely to God’s will through prayer. We learn that we are nothing and He is everything. He must become greater; I must become less (John 3:30).


Loving God means that we are lifting Him up and no longer lifting ourselves up. …those who humble themselves will be exalted (Matt 23:12). By loving Him, having faith in Him and His Word, and trusting Him completely with our life, we will experience the joy of walking with Him, and of being the child that God is looking for.


A Christian existence that is pleasing to the Lord is expressed by three Christian characteristics.  


They are: we love God, we trust God, and we obey God.


May you know the great joy and peace of being that trusting child of the Lord.



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