Help In Daily Living

Developing A Strong Character

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Mike Lemon (Host)


Series Code: HDL

Program Code: HDL000010

00:38 Hello and welcome to Help In Daily Living, today we are
00:41 going to be talking about developing a strong Christian
00:44 character, It's very important that we develop a strong
00:47 Christian character because our character is the only
00:49 thing we are going to take with us to heaven.
00:51 We really want to take with us our possessions,
00:55 our status, and maybe our houses, or our money.
00:59 But we can't take that with us.
01:01 Only our character, and what is our character?
01:03 It is our thoughts and our feelings, it's what we really
01:06 are inside, our beliefs.
01:08 Jesus tells us to develop a strong Christian character
01:13 means that we have to take a narrow road.
01:15 That is the road of duty and discipline, it is the road
01:20 not of ease, but the road of resistance.
01:23 There won't be many people following that road.
01:26 It will be a road that less people take.
01:28 Before we look at spiritual things we really have to turn
01:32 to God in prayer and ask Him to guide our thoughts, so I'm
01:36 going to ask Anna to lead us in a word of prayer.
01:38 Let's pray, Dear Father in heaven thank you so much for
01:42 the opportunity You give us to build characters and
01:45 that You have promised to be with us through all of them.
01:47 I would just ask that You would please send Your Holy
01:49 Spirit and angels to be with us and to give us wisdom
01:52 and understanding. In Your name I pray. Amen! - Amen!
01:59 When I think of a Christian in conflict I picture someone
02:02 who turns the other cheek.
02:03 But while I was a Christian I am to be a peaceful
02:06 loving and kind person, and I'm not to be easily
02:08 swayed by others.
02:09 I am to be true to principal and to stand true to Christ.
02:12 However in my own strength I can't find the balance
02:15 between being strong and assertive on the one hand and
02:18 lowly, meek and submissive on the other.
02:20 When Christ is present in my life, all of these character
02:23 traits are blended harmoniously.
02:25 One thing I must always remain true, I must always
02:29 stand for the right and not be swayed by
02:30 flattery bribes or intimidation.
02:33 I sing the mighty power of God,
02:35 just listen to those words.
02:37 God is mighty and powerful, God is not a wimp,
02:40 He is not a pushover, and we His people are called upon
02:43 to reveal His mighty power.
02:45 When I am faced with tough situations, I can stand with
02:49 confidence and with great strength God can give me to
02:52 stay true to Him, no matter what.
02:54 The one who created the mountains, seas, and all that is
02:57 in them is the same God who strengthens you and me.
03:12 I sing the mighty pow'r of God,
03:15 that made the mountains rise,
03:18 That spread the flowing seas abroad,
03:22 and built the lofty skies.
03:26 I sing the wisdom that ordained
03:29 the sun to rule the day;
03:33 The moon shines full at His command,
03:38 and all the stars obey.
03:45 I sing the goodness of the Lord,
03:49 That filled the earth with food
03:53 He formed the creatures with His Word,
03:57 and then pronounced them good.
04:01 Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed,
04:06 where'er I turn my eye,
04:10 If I survey the ground I tread,
04:15 or gaze upon the sky.
04:24 There's not a plant or flow'r below,
04:28 that makes Thy glories known,
04:32 And clouds arise, and tempests blow,
04:37 by order from Thy throne;
04:41 Creatures that borrow life from Thee
04:46 are subject to Thy care;
04:51 There's not a place where we can flee,
04:57 But, God, is present there.
05:07 God is there!
05:20 God wants us to sing His mighty power and He is powerful
05:25 in our lives.
05:26 We are weak but He is strong. Have you experienced His
05:30 strength in your life James?
05:31 Yeah, when I was a kid I wanted to serve God but at the
05:35 same time not give up my selfish habits.
05:38 I will never forget this one day I realized I was living
05:43 on the fence.
05:44 We were giving a Bible study to this guy in a mobile home,
05:49 a Bible worker and myself.
05:50 And we were giving this study, it was entitled
05:55 How to Give Your Heart to Christ.
05:59 As we've were studying this we were reading text and
06:03 filling in the answers and so on, but we got to this one
06:07 question that was called What is the cost of true
06:10 discipleship? The text that was in there was Luke 14:33.
06:17 It said, "so likewise, whosoever he be of you who forsaketh not
06:23 "all that ye hath, cannot be My disciple."
06:27 Wow! - and those were some pretty strong words because
06:31 at that point my life I had things in between God and myself
06:35 - talk about self-denial, I mean forsaking all that you have
06:40 to go after Christ.
06:41 And the second text said, Matthew 16:24, "if any man will
06:48 come "after me let him deny himself and take up his cross
06:52 "and follow Me." So I realize that the truth
06:55 I was sharing with this man, was the very truth
06:59 I had to apply to my life. - Wow!
07:00 So I learned that in order to serve God, and fulfill my
07:05 desire to serve God, I had to forsake all that was in
07:10 between God, my relationship with God and start the day
07:14 with Jesus and deny self daily.
07:18 That is a daily struggle and you have to constantly
07:24 surrender to Him. Right?
07:26 Well I know I struggle a lot with making sure when I wake
07:30 up in the morning I surrender myself to God, but I have to
07:34 make sure that throughout my whole day that I maintain
07:37 that and I really like natural remedies.
07:41 And charcoal has a really cool property of absorbing and
07:49 especially the activated charcoal powder.
07:50 There was one evening at school were I sitting at a table
07:55 with several of my friends and we were all discussing
07:59 about the properties of charcoal.
08:01 We were talking about whether toast charcoal was the
08:05 same as activated charcoal powder and which was better for
08:09 you, and we were really getting into the conversation.
08:12 I knew I had to be somewhere, I knew worship was
08:15 going to be starting really soon, so I kept looking
08:18 up at the clock.
08:19 So we kept getting into it and talking more, and more,
08:22 and more and more and worship was starting and we can
08:25 hear the song team announcing the opening hymn.
08:29 We were still talking and we thought the deans will
08:32 excuse us because this is an important conversation and
08:35 we don't need to go anywhere.
08:36 I was thinking about it, I really didn't put God as my
08:41 first priority, charcoal is a good thing to talk about.
08:45 But God has something better for us, and putting God first
08:50 and putting worship as first priority is really what
08:53 I should be doing in building my character towards that instead.
08:56 So you had to be somewhere else? I mean it's not a bad
09:00 conversation, but you needed to be somewhere else and you
09:03 were hanging out with the crowd and no one else was going
09:06 so you weren't going to go either and you were kind of
09:09 sticking there. You know there is several of us here and
09:11 It will be alright and we won't get in trouble.
09:14 Sometime we find there is safety in numbers, right,
09:17 We stay with the crowd, but that is really the broad road.
09:20 It sneaks up on us so quickly and it is
09:23 a constant surrender of self and that
09:25 is how we develop our characters.
09:27 When we do fall, we can turn to Christ and ask for
09:31 His forgiveness and He's so merciful.
09:33 - And we can do better next time - do better next time.
09:34 He always sets a higher standard for us doesn't He?
09:40 I'm sure you have all heard the phrase, character
09:44 building. I have never really liked this phrase.
09:47 When it is used, you generally means something challenging
09:50 is happening in my life.
09:52 I used to think I would be much better off without those
09:55 character building moments.
09:57 Better off if my life just went along smoothly.
10:01 But lately I have come to realize these moments are
10:04 what shape us and help us to grow into the person
10:07 God desires us to be.
10:09 God doesn't leave us to think for ourselves during these
10:12 character building times, He has given us numerous
10:15 promises to help us through, promises we can stand upon
10:19 and that will not fail.
10:20 It is reassuring to me to know that when the hailing
10:24 storms, of doubt and fear assail by the living Word of God
10:28 I shall prevail standing on the promises of God.
10:39 Standing! Standing! Standing!
10:49 Standing on the promises.
10:54 Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
10:59 Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
11:03 Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
11:07 Standing on the promises of God.
11:14 Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
11:17 When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
11:22 By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
11:26 Standing on the promises of God.
11:30 Standing, standing,
11:34 Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
11:38 Standing, standing,
11:44 I'm standing on the promises of God.
11:59 Standing on the promises of Christ our Lord,
12:03 Bound to Him eternally by love's strong cord,
12:07 Overcoming daily with the Spirit's sword,
12:12 Standing on the promises of God.
12:16 Standing, standing,
12:21 Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
12:25 Standing, standing,
12:31 I'm standing on the promises, the promises,
12:38 the promises of God.
12:49 We really can stand on the promises of God.
12:52 One of the promises of God is in Philippians 4:13
12:55 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
12:59 What that is telling me is to not be afraid.
13:03 Sometimes we don't attempt great things because we are
13:07 afraid and sort of stay back, and stay in the simple
13:10 place, or easy place.
13:12 We should overcome the incli- nation to seek an easy task.
13:15 An easy task is something that comes easily to us.
13:18 I know Danielle when you came to school I found you,
13:22 you had a hard task to overcome. Yeah.
13:26 Yeah when I first came to Fountain View I had never read
13:30 music notes before and it was so hard for me because I
13:34 started double bass lessons right away.
13:38 My teacher I just don't think my teacher understood that
13:41 I did not know how to read notes, so he was so
13:43 frustrated with me and I was having a hard time.
13:46 I learned enough that year to get by but then the next year
13:50 the lead bass player left and left me in the principal
13:54 position, I was like realizing I really had to figure out what
14:00 I was doing. I just was really discouraged. I came to
14:04 the point I just prayed. I talked to God and said,
14:08 You are the One Who created music and if I am ever going
14:12 to learn Your going to have to be my teacher.
14:13 So I would just pray every day that God would help me to
14:18 learn how to play and like before concerts I would ask God
14:22 to help me play in tune, that He would guide my fingers and stuff
14:26 Like even though I pray all the time before we record and
14:30 stuff, I still somehow don't always trust God that
14:34 He's really helping me.
14:35 But like this last time we were recording I was praying
14:39 as usual and Mr. Cleveland had gotten into the studio and
14:43 was listening and came back and was like Danielle
14:45 you are right on, you're right on.
14:47 I was like what! I don't know, I don't trust myself but
14:52 God is working and in the Bible He says my strength is
14:56 made perfect in weakness.
14:58 I can trust Him that, that He will help me because
15:02 He wants to and He cares about me.
15:04 How fearful is that, I mean you were in the school and you
15:06 have got a lot of people that are really talented with
15:09 music and you can even read notes, but God made you the
15:14 principal person in charge of bass and He gave you the
15:18 ability and you didn't have to fear.
15:20 Well I have similar situation with music, but I started
15:25 taking piano lessons when I was five years old.
15:28 Unlike Danielle I wanted to practice for about the first
15:33 week and a half and then after that, that was it, I just
15:37 did not really care. - No motivation.
15:40 Yeah I was not motivated, I didn't set goals for myself
15:42 or try to work hard on the music.
15:46 So I would not really practice and it just, I don't know,
15:51 this went on for like six years.
15:52 My parents kept pushing me, keep going they said, because you
15:55 started this, you really need to finish it kind of thing.
15:58 I just was not very enthusiastic about it.
16:01 Finally after all this I just decided one day, I am so
16:06 tired of just not being good at this, I'm just going along
16:10 and not really doing anything with it.
16:12 So I started to push myself, and to set goals and stuff.
16:16 Once I did that I started to realize I had really improved
16:20 quickly and was looking back and thinking all these years
16:24 of lessons I had in this opportunity that I wasted and it
16:27 made me think of a quote in Help In Daily Living that
16:30 said, "many who are qualified for great work achieve
16:33 "little because they attempt little."
16:34 That has just really motivated me to know whenever
16:40 I started the violin to try and practice more with that.
16:44 I know that if I motivated and set goals that God can
16:48 accomplish a lot through me. - Yeah, and that is really
16:51 were the growth comes from, when the spark is united from
16:54 within you, you're motivated to do it.
16:56 You set higher goals and you achieve more.
16:59 That is how character development happens and
17:02 you become stronger. Amen!
17:06 When my sister and I were smaller our families lived out
17:09 in the country, so whenever we drove towards home our dad
17:12 would let us take turns driving.
17:13 Only it wasn't really driving because he would operate the
17:16 gas pedal and the brakes while we took the wheel.
17:19 My sister and I have very different styles of driving
17:21 however, when it was my turn I would carefully take the
17:24 wheel and do my best to steer it along the road.
17:26 My dad would coach me, helping me to stay on the
17:28 right side, but when my sister took the wheel
17:31 it was a different story.
17:32 Being only four or five, she wasn't really sure how to use
17:35 it, so she would twist it back and forth barely missing
17:38 nearby trees and mailboxes and frightening my family.
17:41 My dad would have to take the wheel in his hands
17:43 to avoid hitting other cars.
17:45 Although my sister and I both felt like we were driving the
17:48 car, we actually weren't.
17:50 Our dad decided how fast the car went and took control of
17:53 it from time to time to help keep us on the right track.
17:55 Our heavenly Father guides us in the same way.
17:59 Although we have the power to make choices and decisions
18:02 that affect our lives, God is ultimately in control.
18:05 But He won't impose Himself on us, He gives us the freedom
18:08 to invite Him into our lives and when we do, He will
18:12 gently guide us down the right road.
18:26 (Music introduction)
18:53 Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
19:00 tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
19:06 streams of mercy, never ceasing,
19:12 call for songs of loudest praise
19:21 Teach me every to adore thee,
19:26 May I still Thy goodness prove.
19:31 While the hope of endless glory,
19:37 fills my hope with joy and love,
19:48 Here I raise my Ebenezer,
19:54 Hither by Thy help I've come;
19:59 And I hope, by Thy good pleasure
20:04 Safely to arrive at home.
20:13 Jesus sought me when a stranger,
20:18 Wandering from the fold of God;
20:23 Here to rescue me from danger,
20:28 Interposed His precious blood.
21:04 Oh, to grace how great a debtor
21:09 Daily I'm constrained to be;
21:14 Let Thy goodness like a fetter
21:20 Bind me closer still to Thee:
21:28 Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
21:33 Prone to leave the God I love.
21:41 Here's my heart, oh, take and seal it,
21:47 Seal it for Thy courts above.
22:11 Here's my heart, oh, take and seal it,
22:19 Seal it for Thy courts above.
22:45 The words of that last verse are prone to wonder, oh,
22:49 Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.
22:52 Then it says oh, here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it.
22:56 Seal it for Thy courts above.
22:58 We really want God to seal our hearts because our own
23:01 hearts, we are told in Jeremiah, are desperately wicked
23:04 and we can't trust them.
23:05 When we are talking about developing our characters for
23:09 eternity, we want our hearts to be right with God.
23:12 To turn to Him so that He can change our hearts.
23:15 So we can't trust our hearts.
23:16 Yeah I experienced that in my life too.
23:19 About a year and half ago I went to my parents and asked
23:22 them if I could get a job.
23:23 They agreed and said we would look around for a good place
23:26 for you to work.
23:27 After about a couple of months we decided that
23:29 I was going to work at this warehouse that was owned by some
23:32 members of our church and they are really nice people,
23:35 they have good high standards, and so I started
23:37 working four hours a day, Monday through Friday.
23:40 At first everything went smoothly, I've really enjoyed
23:42 what I was doing, and the people I was working with really
23:45 nice, I was just enjoying it.
23:48 As time went by, a couple of weeks, I started noticing
23:51 they were quite who I thought they were at first.
23:53 Things started to change, they started to say in few words
23:56 here and there, that weren't quite what I wanted to hear.
23:59 They started to not work when our boss would leave.
24:02 They would slack off and just do enough to get by or
24:06 sometimes stop working altogether.
24:07 At first when they did this I would just keep working and
24:11 doing what I knew was right.
24:12 As time went on, it started to not seem so bad to me,
24:15 and I started to become like them.
24:17 I would start not working when our boss wasn't there and
24:21 I would start, those words should be in my head, but they
24:24 would never come out, or usually they wouldn't come out.
24:27 But they were in there and probably in my mind when I was
24:30 talking to people, and I also started to eat things that
24:33 I wasn't used to eating that weren't good for my body.
24:37 This went on for a couple months, several months and then
24:40 I don't remember exactly what it was, but something woke
24:43 me up and I was looking back and seeing
24:46 everything I had done.
24:47 I hadn't been having my devotions, well I have been
24:49 having them but they weren't the connection I needed.
24:52 They were just something to check off my list.
24:56 I looked, it started out with small things and there is
24:59 this quote in Help In Daily Living I would like to
25:01 read to you that I found.
25:03 It says, "the same spirit in principles that one
25:04 "brings into their daily labor will be brought
25:06 "into their whole life."
25:07 When I started to not do my best in my work,
25:10 then it affected the rest of my life.
25:12 I just went downhill from there.
25:13 So it is just like a current that you get caught in out at
25:19 sea and it just takes you away and you feel powerless to
25:22 resist it, you kind of follow the crowd.
25:25 Christie can you relate to that? - yes, a while back
25:29 me and a few of my friends including Anna there,
25:33 we had this experience, we all wanted to bake a cake together.
25:37 So in our excitement we forgot to follow some procedures
25:41 that we should have followed, but we were just so excited
25:46 we just forgot about it.
25:47 In the end I was punished, and my punishment was that I wasn't
25:53 able to cook for certain amount of time.
25:56 That was hard on me, if you know me I just love to cook.
26:01 It's like my passion.
26:02 So I started complaining, I went to God and I was
26:05 complaining about how unfair I was being treated
26:08 for such a simple thing.
26:12 I guess I got tired of that and so I started going to my
26:16 friends and was complaining to them as well.
26:19 I was saying how terrible this was,
26:25 and I couldn't understand it.
26:26 Then later that night I realized that I was
26:30 complaining about it, it didn't really help,
26:33 I didn't really feel better.
26:35 It struck me then that I had a choice.
26:40 I can't always control the circumstance that I am put in,
26:44 but I can control my response.
26:46 If I had gone to God and let Him control,
26:51 let Him handle my situation then He could have
26:56 helped me with my response.
26:58 So to become true people of character we will be baffled,
27:04 we will be thwarted by all kinds of obstacles.
27:07 Sometimes those obstacles will turn into great blessings
27:11 for us and teach us lessons that we need to submit to Him
27:14 and trust Him in His leading and giving us strength over
27:18 those defects in our character.
27:20 Megan, can you lead us, or close with the word of prayer
27:23 for us now. - Sure!
27:25 Let's bow our heads. Dear Lord and heavenly Father,
27:27 I pray that in our characters and our daily lives we would
27:30 strive to be more Christ-like and more like You because
27:33 Lord it's the only thing we are going to take to heaven,
27:37 it is our characters.
27:38 I pray that the different things that come into our life
27:42 we will use them as a blessing towards us instead of a curse.
27:47 And help us to perfect our characters more and
27:52 more each day. I thank you Lord.
27:54 In Your name. Amen! - Amen!
28:00 Help in Daily Living is a 13 part series from Fountain
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28:08 of practical everyday Christianity.
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Revised 2014-12-17