Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Nobility is Ready for the Taking

As "A Work in Progress", striving for a life of nobility may seem out of reach, but God tells us that it is within our grasp - if we are willing to take it. For a Christian, nobility is not limited to the world's system of royal blood lines and/or status based upon titles. When we follow God's instructions for developing noble character even "a work in progress" can rise to nobility.

noble: possessing very high or excellent qualities

Even from the time that I was a small child I had a strong desire to be a person of good and noble character. I, like many children, pretended to be the heroes and heroins of movies and cartoons during playtime by emulating their super powers. During pretend time, children do not doubt the right to their nobility, but as we grow-up the reality of the world tries to tell us that nobility is only limited to the chosen few. However, The Word of God teaches us that those days of pretend play are more real than what the world tries to tells us about being noble.

readiness: prepared mentally or physically for some experience or action

Wanting to be noble and being noble are separated by one word - READINESS. Nobility is ready for us, but are we ready for it? For years I did not even know that nobility was mine for the taking. I tried to receive the characteristics of a noble person through hard work and completion of projects. Even though I knew that noble character was deeper than outward status somehow I had convinced myself that nobility only came to those few who had reached the mountaintop of their successful summit, (I.E. title). Although noble character is not developed overnight, the truth is that everyday we have the ability to gain nobility, that is if we set our mind to it.

A few years ago, God showed me how he defines nobility and how to obtain it. We can all agree that Paul was a person of noble character, but God introduced Paul, and all of us (through His Word), to some everyday noble individuals.

"As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true,"
(Acts 17:10-11 NIV)

God described the Bereans as having more nobility because they had a passion for studying His Word for themselves. These verses encourage and give hope in a number of ways. First God describes the Thessalonians as being noble. The Thessalonians were not perfect, none of us are, but they did turn to God, serving Him, being models to believers, and renowned for their faith, (1 Thes. 1:6-10). The people of Thessalonica were praised by God for becoming imitators of Paul, Silas, Timothy, and most importantly of God. So why does God describe the Bereans as more noble than such a noble people as the Thessalonians? I believe this is the second part of the encouragement and hope for all of us within these verses.

God desires for us to imitate Him, but more important than outward mannerisms is inward relationship, which is only developed when we are ready to personally jump into the Word of God. The Bereans were ready, expectant and prepared to learn from God. It is not that they doubted Paul, but I believe that they saw what Paul had, a personal relationship with God, and they wanted no less. This eagerness/readiness for more . than just an imitation of another person's walk with God, set these people in a place of excellence.

The best part about the people of Berea is that we can follow their example. We do not have to be biblical scholars, pastors, or evangelist to be a Berean, all we have to do is make a decision and actively pursue God, through His Word everyday. Being Berean means looking up scriptures that our pastors share with us after a service; waking up with God and studying a Psalm over breakfast, sticking with one or two verses for weeks before moving onto the next chapter simply because you want a better understanding in your heart, settling into a scripture that speaks to your heart instead of being swayed with whatever your friend wants you to study; or simply believing that every time you open His Word that He will help you to hear His voice, increase in learning, and for you to be able to understand His message, (Prov. 1:5).

We are all able to possess the high qualities of God when we come ready to receive. We do not have to get all fancied up or speak in Old English in order to be considered noble by God. But we must be bold enough to believe that nobility is ready for the taking, even though we are still "A Work in Progress"

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