Our expressions illustrate what we think and believe. Even the attitudes we entertain are revealed in our expressions; by the look on our face and the tone of our words. Coming from our inner self, expressions expose our heart’s condition for all to see. To what degree are we aligned with God and our expressions Christ-like?
Annual Surveys across the USA continually report 80-85% of the population identify as Christian while only 30-35% say they regularly attend services. Regardless of religious practice, people recognize two things; God exists and Christianity reveals how Jesus Christ best illustrates and expresses God’s heart: His character, attitude and personality (CAP).
As an avid student of Scripture for decades, my studies have brought fresh insight into the immense importance of understanding God’s heart. As most of us realize, the CAP expressions of Jesus perfectly reveal and illustrate the heart of God. With Christ’s help, we can also share God’s unlimited love as expressions of His CAP.
We can share God’s unlimited love as expressions of His CAP.
CAP – A Visual Definition
Throughout history, hats or physical caps have been commonly worn as identifying gear, representing a type of service performed or indicating alignment with an idea. Military caps indicate powerful force, police caps specify law and order, while nursing caps represent caring skills. Caps with logos visually indicate alignments and support for favorite teams and brands.
The question of alignment was asked of Jesus; “Who gives you the authority to do these things?” (a) [see end notes for Scriptures] Although He did not directly respond to their inquiry, Jesus’ words and actions clearly flowed from an alignment with his heavenly Father (b).
To help us understand more fully, our heart is defined as our expressive Character, Attitude and Personality (CAP). My book Created To Relate explains how Scripture defines our relational heart while The Christ Culture describes the benefits of our heart’s function. Here is a short definition.
Character reflects moral fiber as: honest or deceitful, kind or mean, charitable or selfish.
Attitude specifies temperament as: loving or hateful, humble or proud, flexible or rigid.
Personality illustrates social behavior as: analytical, supportive, organized, or outgoing.
Jesus’ words and actions clearly flowed from an alignment with his heavenly Father.
Aligned with Christ
Our alignments influence our words and actions by lending an air of credibility. The expressive values of our moral, temperament and behavior characteristics (CAP) identify how well we are aligned with God. Where we fall within them is a barometer of how much our CAP is becoming Christ-like.
As Believers, our expressions are the essential “service” we perform. Scripture plainly states the clarity of our expressions involve knowing God (Greek – know by experience) “as” our heavenly Father (c). Believers become recipients of the spirit of God’s son and our CAP becomes our visible witness (d). Do we respond to God as our intimate Father, as Jesus did; or only as our Lord, Savior and King? Are we becoming better expressions of His unlimited and undying love?
As Believers, our expressions are the essential “service” we perform.
I know Christians have been called many things, both good and bad. We are known to be caring, kind and generous, while we are also known to be pious, self-righteous, hypocrites and judgmental. We are all guilty of some of the not so good, for no one can be fully righteous or totally without sin (e). Thankfully, we are a work in progress (f)!
Scripture says our hearts are cleansed by our faith in God (g). Faith is more than believing, for faith without works is dead, ineffective (h). Real faith is our belief in God combined with our attempts to obediently follow what we see and hear God saying and doing. Our alignment with God transforms our heart and grounds us in the love that surpasses knowledge (j).
God tells us in Ezekiel, that as we draw closer to God and renew our heart, He assists our renewing efforts (k). While we can feel and see some improvement the moment we accept God into our heart, more renewing is obviously needed. Fuller transformation brings changes in what we think and believe, to hopefully influence our expressions (m).
Our alignment with God transforms our heart and grounds us in the love that surpasses knowledge.
Christ-like Heart Expressions
Our expressive heart is what God searches and gives to us according to the quality of our responsive actions (n). Ideally, we are offspring who are drawing closer to our heavenly Father, as sons and daughters (o). He is very interested in the quality of our heart’s CAP.
Jesus said we find peaceful rest when we come to his gentle and humble heart (p) and can be at rest from this world’s stress, anxiety and fear. A helpful evaluation asks, “How often does our CAP expression resemble the CAP of Christ”? Do our expressions display: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?
Where are your expressions aligned and whose CAP do you display? Are your expressions reflective of a self-centered perspective more than your heavenly Father’s gentle and humble heart? God-with-us is always ready to help us adjust as we seek His help.
a) Mark 11:28; Luke 20:2; b) John 5:19; 12:26; 14:3; c) John 17:3; 14:6-7; d) Galatians 4:5-7; John 17:18; 20:21; e) Romans 3:10, 23; f) Philippians 2:13; g) Acts 15:8-9; h) James 2:18, 20, 26; j) Ephesians 3:16-19; k) Ezekiel 18:30-32; 36:26-27; m) Romans 12:2; n) Revelation 2:23; o) Acts 17:28; John 1:12; p) Matthew 11:28-30