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Character Is Destiny

• Greg Boyd

We become what we practice. We practice what we imagine is the goal of where we are going. As Christ followers, we are to set the goal of living in love so that we can practice love to become more loving.

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Heraclitus said, “Allow yourself to think only those thoughts that match your principles and can bear the bright light of day. Day by day, your choices, your thoughts, your actions fashion the person you become. Your integrity determines your destiny.” Every thought, every choice, every action forms our character in a certain direction. Heraclitus was saying that we should make sure our thoughts are in accordance with the principles we hold, or we will be led astray.

In the focus scripture for this week, Paul said that we are to be formed to be Christlike when we see the prize, and then put in the work to move toward that prize. He tells us that disciples must prepare to run with that  kind of intense dedication and passion, and disciples should be in “strict training,” just as an athlete would before an important race. Disciples must be willing to make sacrifices, endure some pain, as an athlete trains by buffeting their own body to prepare for that race.

The “prize” that is Paul’s goal, which God empowered him to passionately pursue, is simply the prize of being able to know Christ. It’s the prize of having developed a character that has a greater capacity to experience and reflect his love. Paul is aware that he could not strive for Christlikeness without the empowering of the Holy Spirit, but he’s also aware that God isn’t going to do this for him. He has to strive for it.

Receiving and living in God’s love to the point of being able to give it away is the prize that is set before us. There is nothing more important, as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13. It does not matter how impressive our spiritual life is if there is no love. Everything depends upon the love we give to others.

To grow in this love, Greg challenges us with three basic practices. First, Get All Our Life From Christ. God designed us to receive his love so that we might be empowered to give it away. Secondly, Agree with God About the Unsurpassable Worth of Everyone. Christ died for everyone, no matter what we think about them. Therefore, we are called to bless them without question of whether they deserve it. Finally, Pray For Our Enemies. These three practices (G.A.P.) will form our character, set our destiny and move us toward Christ love.

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Topics: Discipleship, Love

Sermon Series: Sermon on the Mount, Cross Examination

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The MuseCast: May 24

Focus Scripture:

  • I Corinthians 9:24-27

    Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

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One thought on “Character Is Destiny

  1. Lynne Plummer says:

    Great message Greg – your BACK. You were never gone just clouded in pain and
    mental anguish. We all need your passion.

    Another resource for you:

    I have been told he’s amazing combining medical and message.
    Hard to get into.

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