The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

06/12/2009

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Things To Strive For


"{This} you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak {and} slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and {all} that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for {once} he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the {law} of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his {own} heart, this man's religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of {our} God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, {and} to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1: 19-27."

Striving isn't a word common to our vocabularies these days. Nonetheless, it is a good descriptive term for the direction we want our lives to take. So, as Christians, what should we be "striving" for? As we seek to be the type of people that the Lord wants us to be, certain traits ought to be our goal. Self control should certainly be a Christian trait. James says, "let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (1:19). Thinking before we speak will surely keep us out of alot of trouble. I know that there have been many times in my life that I wished that my tongue had been "bridled." Self control is a good trait to strive for.

Paul tells Timothy to "keep yourself pure." Purity is another trait worth striving for. It is one of the virtues Paul talks of in Phil.4:8, as he gives us a wonderful list of Christian characteristics. None can be completely pure, but it is a worthwhile goal to strive for. We ought to strive to be receptive people. We ought to receive God's Word into our hearts with gladness, knowing that it is the wellspring of life.

A Christian should strive to be meek. "Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness and long suffering" (Col.3:12). Nobody likes a bully! Another trait worth striving for is that of obedience. James tells us to be doers of the Word not just hearers. People are more likely to respond to kind actions rather than just words. With this "doers' mentality, we should be filled with charity and compassion. "And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward" (Matt. 10:42).

Lastly, we should strive to be "unspotted." "That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having a spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it shall be holy and without blemish" (Eph. 5:27). Peter put it this way; "Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless" (2:14). Wow! I've put alot on our plates haven't I? Its why we strive...We want to have characteristics that the Lord will look at with gladness. e want our lives to be a reflection of the Son.....

Have a great day...Try to brighten a life today... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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