JOHN SHIRK – The definition of quietness is “making little or no noise.” In the Bible, quietness means something a bit deeper. It includes making little or no noise, but also means “to be undisturbed-to be at peace.”
In Isaiah 30:15, the LORD says, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”
If we have renounced sin and turned to Christ for salvation, we can have the peace that passes understanding. We can be assured that we belong to Jesus and are included in His family of believers. Our conscience is clear before God when are compelled by His love to do what is right.
We live in a noisy and disturbed world. We can find rest for our soul by taking time each day to find a quiet place and spend time with God. In Bible study and prayer, life’s most important relationship is cultivated. Our perspective becomes clear on what really matters, and our heart is refreshed as we reflect on His identity and destiny. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.”
Quietness is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.
JOHN SHIRK – A servant is someone who is devoted to following or supporting someone. Humility and service go hand in hand.
According to John Piper, “Humility gets down low and lifts others up. Humility looks to the needs of others and gives time and effort to help with those needs. Jesus took the form of a servant and humbled himself to the point of death.”
Jesus also clothed Himself with service when he used a basin and a towel to wash His disciples’ feet. Afterwards, Jesus taught them, saying, “Now, that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” As we serve others because of our love for Jesus, God is able to use us as cleansing agents of His grace.
Through Jesus’ example and words, Jesus was getting this point across, “The greatest among you will be your servant.”
A servant spirit is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.
JOHN SHIRK – Brilliance is defined by extreme brightness or exceptional clarity.
In the book of Revelation, John had a vision of Jesus with His face shining in all its brilliance. Jesus referred to Himself as the light of the world, but He also told His followers, “You are the light of the world.”
Jesus is the big light like the sun that shines brilliantly in the middle of the day. His followers are little lights, like the stars of the universe.
Reflecting the light of Jesus to a world in spiritual darkness is a brilliant idea. Actually, it’s more than just an idea. It’s a way of life that receives the warmth of God’s love into our hearts and is compelled to pass it along to other people. God’s love is a powerful influence that sheds light on our need for the grace of the Lord Jesus.
Daniel 12:3 pictures eternity this way for those who shine the light of the Gospel with their words and testimony: “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”
Brilliance is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.
JOHN SHIRK – Tenacity is the refusal to let go of God and the determination to hold on to everything that is helpful in building our relationship with God.
One example of tenaciousness in the Bible was when Ruth clung to her mother-in-law Naomi despite Naomi’s instructions to leave her.
Ruth said, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”
This type of tenacity led to Ruth being grafted into the lineage of Jesus Christ. Her story became part of His story.
What does it take for us to be aligned with God’s purposes? A tenacious faith in Jesus is one quality that will keep us on track for the long haul. First Thessalonians 5:21 says, “hold on to the good; avoid every kind of evil.”
Tenacity is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.
JOHN SHIRK – Relevant words are timely words that fit a given setting or situation.
Proverbs 15:23 tells us that a man finds joy in giving an apt reply-and how good is a timely word.
Proverbs 25:11 speaks of the value of using relevant words. “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”
One way in which Christians remain relevant in today’s culture is by applying the timeless truths of the Scripture to the topics of today, using language that is understood by ordinary people. While the times change, God’s truth remains the same, and is useful for shaping our character to be more like Jesus. With relevance in mind, we consider how we might use the right words at the right moment to help someone in need.
Relevance is a quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.
JOHN SHIRK – To have a caring heart is to attach importance to someone. Care for others spurs us to action, where we offer time and attention to someone who needs a helping hand.
One example of this kind of outreach is foster care, where a child is placed in the care of a family until a more permanent arrangement is made for the child.
Another kind of care is pastoral care, compared to a shepherd tending the flock. Peter was instructed by the Lord Jesus, “Take care of my sheep.” Church leaders and pastors can have a huge impact in helping God’s people by caring for their needs.
One of the reasons that we can be confident to cast all our anxiety on God is because He cares for us. When other people sense that we truly care about them with the compassion of Jesus, their hearts are sometimes ready to respond to this extraordinary love. When it comes to being a witness for Jesus, people won’t generally care how much we know until they know how much we care.
Care is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.
JOHN SHIRK – There are two definitions of motivation worth noting:
The first definition is “reason for behaving in a particular way.” This goes to the heart of why we do what we do, which God cares about.
The Bible tells us that our motives are weighed by the Lord.
The second definition is the desire or willingness to do something.
Jesus is the One who brings both definitions together in our lives. When He captures our heart, He becomes our desire in life and our reason for our activities. He can give us a clear conscience and full assurance of His grace when our faith is in Him. He gives us a reason for living beyond ourselves. And while that road may be difficult and filled with grief, we will never be without hope. Because we have the peace of God to comfort us, and the love of God to motivate us until our time on this earth is completed.
The Apostle Paul described his motivating influence in Philippians 1:21. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Motivation is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.
JOHN SHIRK – Wisdom makes use of knowledge and experience to make good decisions.
The Magi, commonly known as the Wise Men, made a good decision when they responded to the star to move toward Jesus. When they arrived, they worshipped Him.
Wisdom has a starting place. Proverbs 9:10 tells us that “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
A relationship with God based on reverence for Christ is an indication that we are receptive to God’s Word and committed to doing God’s will. The way of wisdom is demonstrated in other godly character qualities. James 3:17 says, “The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” That is the recipe for wisdom that bears good fruit in God’s Kingdom.
Wisdom is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.
JOHN SHIRK – To be persuaded is to hold a strong belief that something is true-to be convinced.
If we fail to stand for something that is true, then we run the risk of falling for anything. There are plenty of pitfalls in this world that can bring us down.
But the Lord is able to lift us up and take us beyond the vanity of material and temporary treasures. He offers us something that we can believe in. His grace.
This grace came through the saving work of Jesus Christ at the cross and empty tomb. His death and resurrection makes it possible for us to be forgiven of our sins and to experience a new life that leads to eternal life with Jesus. That is a message we can believe in. That is a message of real and lasting hope.
Romans, chapter 4 talks about Abraham as a man of faith. One of the characteristics of his faith is that he was “fully persuaded” that God had power to do what He had promised.
Persuasion is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.
JOHN SHIRK – Rest is a period of relaxation and refreshment. A place of rest is often a peaceful place, where we can find relief from the stresses of our workday.
One of the Ten Commandments is “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God.”
God set the pattern for us by creating the world in six days and resting on the seventh day. There is something healthy about taking time out of our week to rest. It helps to avoid burn out; thereby, making our work more productive when we are working. It also can be a time of reflection and worship of God. When we rest in the Lord, the refreshment is not just physical, but also spiritual.
Ultimately, Jesus is the fulfillment of the Sabbath-rest. He said, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Rest is a quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.