From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
Today’s Spiritual Moment will highlight three additional features of an acceptable GPS for Christians to strive to be. GPS stands for Grooming Productive Saints. In I Timothy 4:12, Paul challenged Timothy to be an example or GPS to others (Christians and non-Christians). Timothy was to strive to ensure that his life was sending out the right and appropriate signals of what it means to be a believer or child of God. The question for our consideration is what kind of example, model, pattern or GPS are you? These words written to Timothy are similar to the words written to Titus. Paul encouraged Titus, “in all things showing yourself to be a pattern (GPS) of good works in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned , that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you (Tit. 2:7). The previous Spiritual Moment addressed the first feature of an acceptable spiritual GPS. Let us now briefly look at three more features.
Feature Number Two – An acceptable GPS sends out signals of appropriate behaviors of the Christian life. Conduct or behavior matters! May we never forget our actions of life are more influential than our words. People are more likely to remember actions or deeds of others than their words. The importance of the right signal in our actions is seen in the words of Jesus to His disciples. He informed them that a tree is known by its fruits, or actions (Lk. 6:44). Characters in the Bible, like Joseph, Joshua, Mary and a host of others, when they were young were willing to be GPSs for others in their conduct. They gave careful attention to the things they did and didn’t do. They lived to make a difference or to send the right signals to others of what it meant to belong to God. What kind of GPS are you when it comes to behavior?
Feature Number Three – An acceptable GPS transmits signals of the kind of love expected of Christians. An extremely important feature of a good spiritual GPS is agape love. Christians must have the desire and ability to love others unconditionally. It doesn’t matter how others treat us - we love them. It doesn’t matter what they say about us - we love them. Why? The Bible says states in I John 3:10, the way we love one another and others conveys if we are truly a “child of God.” The kind of love Jesus expects of us will “cover” or overlook a large number of wrong deeds (I Pet. 4:8). People need to see in us the ability to forgive when we have been hurt by others. Agape love lets go of every wrong, hateful and harsh act against us. What kind of GPS are you when it comes to love?
Feature Number Four – An acceptable GPS communicates an attitude or disposition expected of the Christian life. Several of the translations omitted this feature, but I am personally thankful the King James and New King James translations included it. Paul told Timothy to be an example in “spirit” or in his attitude. What attitude describes you? The word implies more than just being a person of joy and excitement, but a person of contentment. Christians should have the ability to be happy and content in any and every situation. Whatever hand life deals you, you are happy and content. Paul expressed the following about life, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” (Phil. 4:11). Paul was complete and happy in life because he trusted in God to provide his needs. What kind of signal are you transmitting when it comes to attitude? Strive to be the kind of spiritual GPS that our young people and others need to find their way to God!