By Ronald Bryant
Christian character is not
developed theoretically. Nor can it be developed merely by
the force of human will. The Christian graces are the
heartbeat of Christian character. The two are inseparably
connected. Both are learned and developed in the deep
recesses of the heart, in daily-life, and only in the
context of vital life-union with Christ. Communion with God
is the environment of spiritual life, and is thus the very
nature of life in Christ.
Discipleship is the manner and
method of Christian devotion. The demands of the Christian
faith are specific and unalterable, and they are essential
to daily life and to the hope of eternal life.
Christ begins with each Christian
at the point of their new birth. He guides, protects,
strengthens, and encourages their spiritual growth. That
growth ever moves toward the possession of a greater
knowledge of God and an ever increasing desire to know Him.
Spirituality, in Christ's program, develops steadily within
the heart and life of each genuine disciple, as they yield
to and honor Him. The various stages of development come in
order, with no stage being skipped. Steady growth takes
place as each disciple is instructed in the "grace and
knowledge" of Christ. God expects each Christian to grow
spiritually – to conform to the image of Christ.
The greatest and noblest desire is
to be conformed to the image of Christ.
The deep sincere desire to be like
Christ is life-altering. Under the sway of love for Christ,
the ruling desire of one’s heart is to catch and hold His
mood and manner, to be attuned to Him in every thought,
word, and deed. Such a desire is a blessing, not a burden.
To possess this desire, or rather, to be possessed of this
longing, is the greatest satisfaction.
Devotion to Christ is
life-altering. It is the rhythm of life, and the labor of a
lifetime. It moves one to be ruled by a longing to cast
one's heart into the mold that is Christ. Nothing is more
attractive than the majesty of Christ. His brightness and
glory moves us to love and adore Him; His mercy and grace
catch and hold our affections and are the means whereby our
souls are transformed as we yield to Him in obedience. We
are truly Christian only when we are in Christ and are like
Him. Only in Christ are we truly the people of God. Only in
Him can our souls be satisfied.
- Ronald Bryant; via The
Encourager, the weekly bulletin for the Calvert
City Church of Christ, Calvert City, KY. Lance Cordle
preaches for the congregation. He may be contacted
through the congregation's website: