man praying on knees in sunshine October 2 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): John 2:1–4:26

Six Evidences of Godly Character

What is godly character and how is it demonstrated? By getting alone and praying? Maybe. That is certainly a good start, and we do need the help of God's Spirit to become godly. We will soon see that even Jesus got alone to pray to his heavenly Father. There is no better example of godly character than that of Jesus Christ, God's Son. Today we will look at six things, which happened in the early days of his ministry, that give us an example of true godly character.

1. Our Service

In today's Bible reading, Jesus and his disciples attend a marriage feast in the town of Cana in Galilee. During which, an embarrassing situation arises for the hosts—they run out of wine. Jesus is reluctant to make his name known so early, but he helps the host by turning water into wine. Not only does Jesus desire to be helpful, but he displays his glorious power to his new disciples and they put their faith in him (John 2:11). If we have the ability to help people in need, do we help or just promise to help? What we do demonstrates whether we have godly character or not.

2. What we are Most Passionate about

What are we passionate about—sports, hobbies, success in the business world? Jesus is passionate about God, and particularly the sanctity of his heavenly Father's house—the temple of God (John 2:13-17). He does not want people to make the place where his Father is worshipped a house of merchandise. Do we do that in our churches? What do people think of our places of worship? Are we just another money making enterprise or do people see our churches as a place of caring people, Bible teaching, reverence, and worship? Are we concerned about God's character in our churches?

3. Our Motivations

Third, why-we-do-what-we-do also shows people if we have godly character or not. What is our motivation for our good deeds—is it to be noticed or to receive praise? Is it to show people our power and influence? Jesus is not politically motivated; he does not entrust himself to any man (John 2:23-25). Jesus performs miracles out of pure motives—he does them to fulfill God’s will and give him glory. Do we do things out of pure motives or are they selfish?

4. God's Will, not our own

If we seek to fulfill God's plans, not our own, we will be known to have godly character. What is it the Lord wants us to do? How does he want us to use our gifts and abilities as part of his great sovereign plan? Are we doing it?

Nicodemus, the head of a religious group called the Pharisees, comes to Jesus at night. He compliments him, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him” (John 3:2 NIV). By using the word “we” he shows us that he represents the Pharisees. This statement is probably flattery because the Pharisees do not like Jesus and seek to trap this new teacher in his words.

Is Jesus’ plan to become a great teacher and miracle worker, or does he also have political ambitions? No. According to the Apostle John, Jesus came from heaven to give his life for us on the cross of Calvary (John 3:13-17). “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV). People who look to Jesus in belief, trusting only in his sacrifice on their behalf, receive forgiveness and spiritual life which lasts forever (more...). We are born again—this time spiritually. Later, Nicodemus does trust in Christ (John 19:39). In considering God's plan for us, have we received Jesus Christ as our Savior? If so, are we using our gifts and abilities for him or just for our own advancement?

5. Serving with Humility and Contentment

If we serve others humbly and with an awareness of who we are and what God has called us to do, we show ourselves to be godly. Jesus was coming to save the world from their sins. That's big! John the Baptist, however, was chosen by God to fulfill a lesser but still important purpose. He refuses to get himself involved with a religious competition with Jesus. John knows his place and purpose in the world. He confesses, “You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.’... He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:28, 30, NIV).

Is it acceptable with us if we are one of many servants in God's plans, using the talents he has given us, or do we need to be the leader, the boss, the mover and shaker? Do we take the focus off of ourselves so that the Lord will receive more glory and we receive less attention? God will reward those who are faithful, and he will give greater responsibility to them (Luke 12:42-44). We do not have to take it ourselves.

6. How We Use our Resources

Our godliness is also shown by how we use our resources. Do we use them to help other people? Jesus offers the woman at the well a drink of everlasting life, which he himself can give her. We can't give eternal life—only God can do that, but we have the message of salvation to share. We also have material resources, gifts, talents, and encouragement to give. Will we share them?

Lessons to Live By

Those who have godly character are

  • kind and helpful
  • most passionate about God
  • unselfish in their motivations
  • seeking to fulfill the Lord's will, not their own
  • humble and content
  • using their words, material resources, talents and abilities for his glory.
  • prayerful (I know—that is seven, and it is not mentioned in today's Bible reading). Even Jesus took time to get alone to pray to his heavenly Father. We need the help of his Spirit to become more godly. Let this song encourage you: A Little More Like You, sung by Ivan Parker

Focus Verses

Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV) “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Here is a video of Jesus and Nicodemus

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A Look Ahead: Jesus has godly character which is attractive. He could celebrate and enjoy his early popularity and success, but instead he keeps his Focus. Find out what that means and how it applies to us in our Next Lesson.

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