The 7 Attributes of Highly Effective Christians (Part 1)

Several years ago, while waiting for my flight in a Southern airport, I purchased a book by Stephen R. Covey entitled, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. My curiosity piqued by the title, I wondered if I possessed those traits of success. During the wait time for my flight, I read the entire book.  A few years later, I was able to attend a seminar presented by Mr. Covey, where over 1000 attendees learned about these key traits of success. The formula presented to the audience during this seminar can also help many of us become more effective Christians. Are you on the path to becoming a “Highly Effective Christian?” If not, perhaps achieving that effectiveness can start now, by opening your mind and applying these guidelines.
The 7 Attributes of Highly Effective Christians

#1: Wisdom

On the surface, God’s called out ones may appear to have a disadvantage when they come into the knowledge of the truth. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 that not many wise men after the flesh or noble men are called. God has chosen the weak of this world to confound the things that are mighty. The Father purposely makes this choice to confound the (would be) mighty. Does that mean the chosen weak ones are locked into a disadvantaged position purposely, so God can get the glory? We should not let our lack of wisdom continue to our detriment despite being new to the faith.

2 Peter 3:18, tells us to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 2:6, not to seek true wisdom from the world or from the princes of this world. Through advanced educational degrees we can be an accountant, lawyer, teacher, or physician. Education however, does not preclude wisdom. If this were true, why does God specifically tell us the educated, by worldly standards, will destroy all life on Earth if He were not to intervene? Even the most educated among men cannot provide what God expects us to understand.

Our wisdom is received from God through the power of His Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ tells us in Matthew 10:28 to “fear him who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell [the grave].” Our admonition is to rightly fear doing wrong and realize there is One to whom we must give an account.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Psalm 111:10)

Through biblical knowledge we learn God’s way and of the wisdom that leads to life eternal. True wisdom understands Jesus Christ holds the power of the reward of eternal life. Wisdom does have a reward. We, who have been elected, need to understand this.

For instance, do you realize that by supporting the preaching of the gospel and baptizing of people, you are going to shine as the firmament? (Daniel 12:3).  Revelation says: with God there will be no need of a sun. His brightness will replace the sun (Revelation 21:23-26). God is righteous and wants to save all of mankind. Yet, many today do not partake nor support the advancement of this wonderful Good News. This may be a part of Daniel’s prophetic admonition when he said,

Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” (Daniel 12:10)

The wise will also be tried. They should not lose faith or despair, as they know God’s will and have the wisdom to allow God to shape and mould them into His beloved image of brightness. The wise will truly be rewarded according to their continued works of righteousness.

In 1 John 2:15-17, we read an important concept that takes wisdom to understand and a test of our will to comprehend. John writes,

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.”

Many of God’s people are ensnared by this world. Monetary attractions cause many to miss Sabbath services. Many are not tithing in obedience to God’s command and therefore the Work suffers. Funds for the Feast of Tabernacles are not saved. Many engage in personal diatribes with fellow members, causing strife and contention leading others to refrain from worship and fellowship. Some Christians work diligently to excess, while others are lax and complacent.

This world will destroy the Godly fruit we produce in our lives if we fall prey to the attractions of pleasure, money, prestige, and pride. This world, if we allow it, with its alluring carnal attractions, can erode our Christian foundation which is built on the prophets, apostles, and Jesus Christ the Chief Cornerstone.

Paul sternly writes in 2 Timothy 2:25-26:

In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

Satan will continue to tempt and entice us with the wonders of this world. Remember, we are being trained to become kings and priests for a glorious Kingdom. This training requires work, dedication, and the exercise of wise choices. We in the 21st century are without excuse as we are reminded by the admonition, “To whom much has been given much is also required.”

Without a doubt, Satan will continue to hurl his fiery darts at us. We need to know both his plans and tactics and exercise wisdom in rejecting his alluring advances. God is not going to stop Satan! He leaves that up to us, so we can develop character! We have to exercise wisdom and discretion, always willing to say NO to his fiery, clever, enticing advances.

Remember, Satan always uses our carnality against us, showing us the supposed glory of this world. Satan tried with all his might to tempt Jesus and get Him to fall down and worship him. And how did Jesus response to this situation? He said, “It is written…!” We must consider what is written and wisely choose the applicable Biblical admonitions as our Lord did. Satan is going to be locked up very soon and he is intent on taking down as many of us as he can while he is still free to roam and seek whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). If we act on the wisdom from God’s Word, we will be as Daniel prophesied, “for the wise shine as the brightness of the firmament” (Daniel 12:3).

Solomon wrote in Proverbs 7:4:

Say unto wisdom, thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman.”

#2: Knowledge

Solomon says this in the context of sexual immorality of God’s “called out” ones who would no doubt agree that adultery is akin to moral turpitude. Many loathe the idea of anyone being adulterous, especially for those in the ministry. However, what many don’t understand is that staying at home on the Sabbath Day, or missing a Holy Day service, or the Feast of Tabernacles can be considered just as bad, depending on the circumstances. We can’t forget that if we offend the law in one area we are guilty of breaking all the laws (James 2:10). Violating the fourth commandment is as bad as violating the seventh or for that matter any other. This is called understanding.

This understanding of our relationship to God’s overall plan and laws for mankind is essential to our ability to make wise decisions concerning what God wants when considering our desire to be obedient.

Many Christian Sabbath groups today have decided to become independent and excuse themselves from preaching the Gospel, foregoing many of the doctrinal tenets of the Christian Sabbath keeping culture and in some extreme cases, reverting to former Christian organizations/denominations that are more ‘main-stream’ and ‘traditional.’ These actions serve only to dilute the understanding of God’s Truth and often lead to abandoning the way of life that God intends for His called out ones to follow. Sadly, Christians who allow this to happen are akin to figuratively ‘returning to Egypt,’ or more specifically, going back into the world’ as John so aptly described. Jesus Himself said that He had to overcome the world. Let’s take a look at the plan of God, so we can truly understand the larger picture of what God has in store for all of mankind. Our new understanding may help us decide differently about God and our adherence to His plan.

God purposely chose those who may be lacking in wisdom because His intent is to confound or castigate worldly wisdom. His church (the called out ones) is the object of His affection. He will teach, correct, rebuke, and encourage all who have accepted His calling. His intent is to have them become Kings in His Kingdom. At that time, the Earth will no longer have any mortal human beings in a role of leadership. Every key leader will be in their resurrected immortal Spirit composition, guiding the human population in the way of God’s Law, which will result in global happiness and prosperity.

We are going to be office holders. We will have what every politician on Earth wants, perpetuity of office! We need to understand the awesome magnitude of our calling. We will be in a position to make lasting decisions and make a difference in society. Jesus Christ will be our King of kings and will be the overall supervisor of teaching the human population. So, our understanding of the objective of God is for us to change our behaviour patterns now, in this life, so we will be able to work in harmony with our fellow Kings/Priests in a sinless environment to come (Revelation 5:10).

Pride, self-serving attitudes, rebellion, hypocrisy, and a plethora of other negative attitudes cannot and will not be tolerated in this cooperative, unified, perfect, forever-lasting Kingdom. Those who have forgotten, or refuse to accept this concept upon understanding it will simply forfeit their opportunity to enter into the Kingdom of God (Romans 6:23; Psalm 104:35).

It belies human comprehension to think that out of all the skilled, educated people on this planet, God would choose us to be His co-leaders and co-heirs for all eternity. However, that is exactly what is happening (Romans 8:15-23). There will be no more political campaigns, no fighting in the streets to boycott an elected official, no red or blue states, and no more heinous rule by dictators, tyrants, and hypocrites. So the question that is begged: “Does the correction, rebuke, instruction in righteousness, and rejection of selfishness have a payoff for us who are called of God?” Jesus once asked Peter in the context of His disciples leaving Him, “Will you go too?” Peter’s answer to Jesus was,

Where are we going to go, you have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:67-69)

Understandably, this same statement should also reflect our personal commitment to God’s plan.

We must be willing to undergo chastening and correction as needed to be future kings. Our understanding should encourage us to see what is wrong in today’s world. Do we have full worldwide employment, financial security, safety for all citizens, and equal opportunity for housing, employment, and monetary reward? We should cry and sigh over the abominations that exist worldwide, as Ezekiel admonished those in his day (Ezekiel 9:1-11). Many have cried to God saying, “How long O Lord.” If we sigh and cry over all the abominations and are sincerely distressed by the obvious corruption, it will cause us to cry out as well and hopefully motivate us to change internally, causing us to become more God-like in the process. We will also be rewarded the ultimate rest that is referred to in Hebrews, chapter 7.

Every four years we witness candidates lobbying for real change in Washington. But we know real change will only come upon the return of Jesus Christ. With His chosen saints, Jesus Christ will institute everlasting change. Isaiah 11:4-5 is an indication of Christ’s rule. We should fall on our knees in thanksgiving to our beloved Father who has called us and provided the true understanding of heaven, hell, sainthood, the trinity, and best of all how we will become members of the God family for all eternity.

Sadly, this world is so steeped in ignorance and non-Christian traditions, that their real destiny, potential, and ultimate reward concerning eternal life is misunderstood. Admittedly, in most traditional Christians churches today, no one can really explain how eternity will be spent, or why they think heaven is the reward of the saved. Thankfully, God’s True Church,  knows  a new government is promised and that those who “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 14:12) will be co-rulers in that government with Jesus Christ for all eternity on this Earth (Zechariah 14:9). This is an important distinction to consider!

With that said, you wonder what all the princes of this world will say when they realize they put their trust in unprofitable works, selfish endeavours, and false traditions and rewards? (Matthew 7:21-27). Assuredly however, they will be given their opportunity, after the 1000 years of Christ’s rule is finished, when the rest of the dead are raised in the White Throne Resurrection (Revelation 20:5; Revelation 12-13).

Presently, our true understanding should propel us to greater achievements in ensuring we are active in helping others see the reality of God’s awesome plan for mankind.  Let me remind you as we close this continuing article of what Paul wrote in Philippians 4:7:

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

To be continued…

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