Character or Talent

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Written by Pastor Peter Tuchyna   

Character or talent?

Rev. Peter Tuchyna

1 John 1:1-3

When the time arrived for the Lord Jesus to depart from his disciples after his mission on the Earth and in the flesh was completed – he said to his disciples: “but ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth”
Acts 1:8 .

It is absolutely of the utmost importance for every child of God, and for the church of the living God to know and to recognise, what God expects of us as his children, his witnesses.

Clear understanding eliminates confusion, presumption, disappointments and failures.

The Lord Jesus said; “Ye shall be my witnesses” He did not say to go and to manufacture, to invent circumstances, or to create entertainment, or to justify God. Jesus did not send us to be engaged in debates and to win every argument with men, displaying superior knowledge and persuasive abilities and techniques.

"To be my wittnesses"

1 John 1:1-3 ;

A witness is expected to say no more, no less; to do no more – no less than to describe, to testify what he experienced, what he saw, what he witnessed.

In special circumstances (in the case when crime was committed), the crown witness is even protected from any influence from outside, for his true testimony will help to share light on a case and it will help to execute justice.

The evildoer will be exposed and the innocence of others will be protected.

In case that the witness would change his testimony, or the witness is of unreliable character, the testimony is rejected, even though there is some merit of truth in it.

The greatest objections unbelievers have against Christianity, against churches are not based on the Word of God, or doctrines of the scriptures, or theology.

The objections are raised on the basis that the churches are full of hypocrites.

There is pollution, there is uncleanness, there is a poison in the vessel and people with common sense are not willing to play spiritual, Russian roulette on themselves hoping that it won’t hurt them.

They do not have the distinctive understanding to distinguish between the different “camps” and for that specific reason and purpose God does allow from time to time the persecution or time of severe testing and trials to take place.

The hypocrites don’t like persecution and they are first to run away and to deny God. They would leave the fellowship of God’s people when they have to suffer and to be physically or financially disadvantaged. They are not willing to loose the prestige and the reputation, which is the result of persecutions or trials.

Hypocrites enjoy the attention of people. They are proud of prestigious sanctuaries, but they don’t want to have any obligation and responsibility associated with personal commitment and sacrifice of any kind.

Because of hypocrisy among Israel at one time, God allowed king Nebuchadnezzar to conquer Israel and to take them into captivity.

God does not present himself in the supremacy of his abilities, his power or authority. Neither do his children.

God revealed himself through his character – not through his abilities.

So is the expectation of God from his children, from his witnesses to be recognised by their character – not by their abilities or talents.

The testimony of a witness is accepted as the result of his reliable character not his talents.

Recognition of abilities creates competition. Recognition of a character creates respect and influence, which is equal to leadership.

In spite that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah become captives, they despised and rejected to entertain the bitterness and self-pity and hard feelings towards God and their captors.

All they longed for in their hearts was to remain clean and acceptable unto their God.

Therefore they humbly asked to partake as sustenance for their bodies only, bread and water.

Because of their desire and determination to posses, to have and to display the pure character of children of God – the Lord God gave them a bonus. The Lord gave them abilities beyond the comprehension of the human mind, and far above the abilities of the most knowledgeable Chaldeans.

As a result of their supernatural abilities given by God, they were challenged, abused, despised, rejected and thrown into a fiery furnace.

God did not deliver them because they possessed great abilities (they were given by him anyway).

God delivered them because of their character and their desire to please God even if it would cost them their physical lives.

What entire Israel did not achieve as a whole nation with several million people – to be a witness unto God and unto all the nations around them – those four men achieved not through their eloquence, gifts, talents and abilities but by their character.

For Nebuchadnezzar who despised Israel and their God, changed his mind and he declared these words: ” Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted him and have changed the king’s word and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, that every people, nation and language, which speaks any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces and their houses shall be made a dunghill, because there is no other God that can deliverer after this sort.” Daniel 3:28-29 ;

We know that king Nebuchadnezzar was a mighty man. The beauty of Solomon’s temple didn’t impress him. He definitely wasn’t impressed by the formalities and the ceremonies, the worship or by the art and talents of the people of Israel.

But the character of only four men of God impressed him. I am persuaded that the Lord allowed entire Israel to be taken into captivity that his four witnesses would have the opportunity to display godly character in adverse circumstances to the glory of God.

Beautiful church buildings don’t impress people searching for God. They impress only hypocrites.

Unusual talents don’t impress people in a way to lead them closer to God. They are causing jealousy, competition, accusation and animosity.

What impresses both great and small is the character of a man, the character of a child of God.

Where is your focus? Where do you invest your energy? Where is your involvement?

The time spent in the presence of Jesus does bring a change into the life of a living soul. Your prime focus will be on desire to please the Lord and to posses his character.

As a result of such close union with God, he will add to you as he promised, even all things.

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and everything else shall be added unto you” Even talents will be added as the bonus.

From all the young people of Israel in captivity only four were genuine – seeking to please the Lord. The rest were hypocrites. They were attending the temple because it was expected of them. Maybe they were fascinated with the beauty of the structure. Maybe because their friends were there also.

When persecution came in the form of captivity, they were not seeking to please the Lord.

The Word of God is dealing with us and exposing the motives of our involvement in the light of God’s character.

When God does measure us by his holiness and his righteousness – do not run away.

Seek his forgiveness for the hypocrisy and wrong motives serving Him. Allow the character of God to posses you and to dwell in you to bring a change, that we may be like Him.

The Lord Jesus wants to be in us and with us and to glorify himself through our character, which is the character and attitude of a servant.

“For whosoever wants to be great among you, let him be a servant” Matthew 20:26 ;

There is a secret to the presence of God and the greatness of a man.

It is in humbleness and meekness before God and men alike.


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