Our Manner of Living Matters

"And when they had come to him, he said to them: “You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you" (Acts 20:18).

Everything we do matters. Every thought. Every action. Every reaction. What manner most in life is what we do that will bring glory to God and that will truly last for all eternity. 

It is not just what we do that matters to God…but HOW WE DO WHAT WE DO and WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO that matters most. Our motives behind our manners. Our beliefs behind our behaviors. They all matter. We are to learn the ways of Christ and to walk in them so that others may see love of Christ that compels us to serve and treat others the way that we do.

When Paul called the Ephesian elders together, he was able to say with confidence that they 'knew' his manner of living. He lived in such an open and transparent way that he could honestly say that he was setting an example of humble service toward God and others that others could affirm. Paul was no longer serving himself. He was doing what mattered for eternity.

Paul's former way of living revealed an overtly strict adherence to Judaism and a religious zeal for the law that was summarized by more of man-pleasing nature than a deep desire to love and please the Lord as he mentioned in Galatians 1:10 and Philippians 3:1-7.
Paul had become a changed man who was devoted to advancing the kingdom of Christ and not any kingdom of his own. After being personally taught by the Lord, he learned how Jesus came to serve others with a gentle and lowly heart while being unwavering in doing the Father's will.

Paul held nothing back when it came to helping the brethren spiritually grow and mature in Christ. This is God's heart for all of us who have come to a place of spiritual maturity. We are called to do the same but we need to apply the full scope of New Testament teaching about how we are to pray and listen and observe well with a heart of deep compassion and conviction.
  • Be willing to say what needs to be said for the growth of others.
  • Say the necessary things but in the right spirit.
  • Teach God’s truth in love both publicly and privately.

One of the primary ways that God changes us and matures us is by turning up the heat and allowing trials and troubles to apply the right pressure to form and shape our character. When the Holy Spirit testified to Paul that chains and tribulations awaited him, he became even more compelled to cling to Christ and be "bound in the spirit". He was fully surrendered to whatever the Lord had in store for him.

Paul was able to say that "none of these things move me nor do I count my life dear to myself." The  word for "things" that Paul used was the word "logos" in the Greek, which is the word for divine expression or words or reason in general. This meant that Paul would not be moved or deterred from his mission even after hearing the hard words that were spoken by the Spirit. Paul was no longer living for his own reputation but was sold out for the kingdom of God.
What would it look like if every believer was more concerned about the glory of God and the well being of others more than himself or herself?

Let it be known that: There is a great adventure waiting for you on the other side of you getting over yourself! O if we could all be so resolved to doing what is best in God's sight!

We all need to consider that our manner of living always matters no matter what hardship or result may come from our obedience in the process. For one day, we will see the Lord face to face and our eternal reward will end up being the sum total of how we lived in response to all that our great Savior did for us and in us and through us.

  • LIVE with a desire to help others become more like Christ.
  • LOVE with a willingness to love more than you are loved.
  • LEAD with a full resolve to finish your ministry with joy.

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