7 SIGNS OF A LIFE THAT C.A.R.E.S
C.A.R.E. is defined as:
Being Connected to the Divine Source
Making use of the Access to the Diving Source
Being Ready to accept the blessings that are available from the Divine Source
Being Engaged in leading a life that is pleasing to the Divine Source.
- The life that CAREs has a vibrant Prayer life
The life that CAREs has a deep-seated belief that prayer is effective. Its conviction is boosted by evidence from its own life, cases from the Scriptures and from the experiences of others.
It has great confidence in approaching God passionately and frequently.
It embraces 1 Peter 3:12 “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
The life that CAREs prays about its personal hopes, its fears and its aspirations. It asks for relief from illness; seeks guidance with critical decisions and begs for safe-keeping.
It is note-worthy that the life that CAREs has a 360 degree approach to prayer. It prays for family, friends, colleagues, neighbours. It includes its community and takes a world view into consideration in its prayers. It asks for reconciliation with those with whom it is in conflict. It prays that God will straighten the path of those who have gone astray and that evil doers will be brought to repentance.
It invites God to intervene to make His will for our collective lives come to fruition.
- The life that CAREs is its brother’s keeper
The life that CAREs has a sensitive antenna. It is somehow aware of what is going on in the lives of others. It has an uncanny way of remembering things that are important to others.
It surprises you with a call …just when you needed it. It recognizes that your lips are turned down and not up with your usual radiant smile.
The life that CAREs is in the know in respect of what is happening in the lives of others. It shares updates and is able to rally support when needed.
The life that CAREs embraces the call of Galatians 6:2 – Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
It manifests Eph 4: 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another……..
It shows concern for others and wants the best for them even to the extent of making personal sacrifices:
Phil 2: 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
- The life that CAREs is generous
The life that CAREs relishes the opportunity to assist others. It looks outward. It has palms that are more often turned down in giving that up in receiving.
It gives freely of its time and resources. It accepts 2 Cor 9 to be real to it and acts accordingly in its generosity.
2 Cor 9: 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.
The life that CAREs is sensitive to the needs of those that are challenged by their circumstances.
Matt 25: 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
The generosity of spirit goes beyond the material giving of resources. The life that CAREs has a forgiving heart. It is long-suffering. It is not so smart as to find hidden insults and disrespects in everything that others say and do.
1 Cor 3: 18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”[a];
- The life that CAREs allows joy to be manifest in it
The life that CAREs is not spared life challenges. It is not immune to illness, conflict, financial and other woes.
However, the life that CAREs fiercely protects its JOY. It refuses to let any of life’s problems to steal its Joy.
Phil 4: 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
That inner peace that is the blessing that those who are in Christ receive is the secret to joyfulness and being able to rejoice in the face of adversity.
The life that CAREs is a model of calm assurance when the storms of life assail.
- The life that CAREs trains the “prompter” in its head
The life that CAREs relates to the fact its thoughts, words and deeds are inspired by the equivalent of a teleprompter in its head.
The teleprompter presents words that it might say. It can opt not to say those words. It realizes that the teleprompter develops prompts that it thinks reflects what the life that CAREs would want to say.
The teleprompter is not infallible and will produce prompts that are not in keeping with what the life wants. The life that CAREs spends time training its teleprompter.
It conducts the training through deep meditation and constant affirmation of what it wants to express. By constantly working to renew its mind, it trains its teleprompter and gradually eliminates undesirable prompts. The process also encourages the presentation of prompts that are aligned to its principles.
The danger with an untrained teleprompter is that an undesirable prompt might be used in a moment of distraction. This reflected in those “I feel like biting my tongue” moments.
James 3: 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
The ability to bring its teleprompter under increasing control is a hallmark of a life that CAREs.
James highlights the magnitude of the task of getting your teleprompter to produce the prompts that ought to reflect your life in Christ. The teleprompter is actually caught up in a battle for your mid. It receives contradictory instructions based on the remnant of self that is still alive.
James 3: 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
But there is hope:
James 1: 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
There is a distinction between man-made, earthly wisdom and the wisdom that comes from heaven. The life that CAREs educates its teleprompter with respect to the differences.
James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
- The life that CAREs is willing to share its faith
The life that CAREs is not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. It is not shy in identifying its commitment to living a life that is obedient to God and His commands. This intention to serve God is expressed in word and in deed in the family, at school, in the workplace among friends and indeed, among any one with whom the life that CAREs makes contact.
1 Peter 3: 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
The life that CAREs is evangelical. It has the message of salvation to share and does it. The life that CAREs is conscious that all of mankind have sinned. It knows that there is a price for sin – the second death. It knows that unless it presents the sacrifice of Christ as the only cure for sin many souls will be lost.
It is deeply aware that many well-meaning souls are being lost daily because of ignorance, procrastination and false doctrine. The life that CAREs sets about sharing the truth to family members, friends, colleagues, neighbours and those with whom it comes in contact.
- The life that CAREs makes its calling and election sure
The life that CAREs understands that this present life is a way station. We are here for a little while. It is concerned about ensuring that the next phase in its journey goes well. It prepares itself for its existence in this life and the next.
2 Peter 1: 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is near-sighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters,[a] make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Remember, the life that CAREs is first of all connected to the Divine Source. In order achieve that you must access Him through Jesus Christ. The access through Christ involves believing that we are under the sentence of death because of our sins.
We must accept that Christ paid the price for our sins when He died on the cross and was resurrected from the dead. The price He paid is applied to our debt when we confess Him as Lord and decide to pursue a life that follows the principles laid out in the Bible, including being immersed in watery baptism for the removal of our sins.