What kind of person are you? Is there an area where you want to change?
One of the most interesting Bible passages when considering a person’s life or character is Acts 13. Here Paul is preaching about Jesus – the son of David. However, in his message he mentions King David’s character.
What do we know about King David? Imperfect? Yes. …Sinner? Yes.
…Inconsistent? Yes. …Just like you and me? In many ways, yes.
Yet, Paul’s inspired testimony of David: “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will” (13:23). He further said of David, “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep,…” (13:36).
David was a man who fulfilled God’s purpose in His life as a man after God’s own heart. In this way, he was a non-perfect reflection of the Son of David who would follow him as the perfect Son of God. There are several commitments you can observe both in David’s life and in the Son of David’s life that can help you change. So here’s the question, how can you become more like the Son of David as a man or woman after God’s own heart?
Five Commitments to Help You Become a Person after God’s Own Heart
1. To Know, Meditate on, and Obey God’s Word
David recognized the importance of knowing and doing God’s Word. He wrote:
More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward
Jesus also was committed to living according to God’s Word. When He was tempted by Satan he demonstrated this commitment: “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus also said the wise person is the person who hears His words and obeys them (Matthew 7:24).
Paul celebrated Jesus’ humble obedience when he wrote:
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:5-8).
Every day of your new year, live life with a commitment to knowing, meditating on, and doing God’s Word.
2. To Sacrificially Love and Show Compassion
David demonstrates love and compassion in various ways throughout his life. Certainly this is true as he serves Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth. David’s desire: “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake? … Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?” (2 Samuel 9:1, 3). David wanted to show the kindness of God to those who didn’t deserve it.
Jesus, the Son of David, exemplifies in every way the meaning of sacrificial love and compassion. Isaiah described it so well when he wrote:
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;…
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed…
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,…
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,… (Isaiah 53:4-7).
3. To Live for the Glory of God
David often sang and reflected on the glory of God. In Psalm 19 he proclaimed, “The heavens declare the glory of God…” and concludes, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:1, 14). He desired to live His life consistent with the glory of God.
Jesus of course demonstrated a commitment to live for the glory of God perfectly. He prayed to His Father, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4).
As you live the moments of your life, live committed to doing all things to the glory of God. Paul wrote, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
4. To Pray Regularly
We know David prayed. Practically every psalm he offered is a prayer, a reflection of his heart before God. He communicated his thinking, emotions, desires, sorrows, disappointments, and so much more through prayer. He repented, sought forgiveness, and expressed the joy of forgiveness (Psalm 32, 51). David prayed.
Jesus also prayed throughout His entire earthly ministry. He demonstrated prayer to the disciples (Matthew 6:5-13), got alone to pray often (Luke 5:16), prayed for His disciples (John 17), and prayed in His greatest moment of need (Matthew 26:36-46). Jesus was a man of prayer.
Likewise, as people who have a heart like God and desire to live out His purpose in our lives, we must be committed to prayer.
5. To Serve Your Generation Well
David served his generation well (Acts 13:36). Certainly Jesus served His generation well – and every generation who have ever lived. Jesus provided salvation, the forgiveness of sins, to all generations. “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38-39).
We should be eager to commit ourselves to serving our generation well too. Live every day choosing to love God and others before we do ourselves (Matthew 22:37-38). Seek to creatively serve those around you with love and kindness.
Do you want your life to change in the new year?
If so, determine in your heart to be God’s kind of person. Life change does not happen with one resolution or change of behavior. Life change happens in the moment-by-moment. Each situation. Each circumstance. Each decision. Each opportunity. Each instance. In these, your life is changed because the foundational commitments of your life flow from a heart that desires to be a man or woman after God’s own heart who fulfills God’s purpose.
This is an adaptation from a 2016 blog, A New Year’s Challenge.
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