Like Him

Oct_canton_2017BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.” 1 John 3:2 NLT

I’m visiting Stephanie and her family in Georgia this week. Today, while it is sunny and 70 degrees in Fort Collins, it is windy and cold here in Canton. Carter had a Lacrosse game today and we endured our way through it all bundled up. Most of the other games planned for the weekend were cancelled. Mason did play his football game yesterday.

At the church service I attended this morning the pastor made reference to a statement by another pastor that said, “we spend a lot of time, resources and money getting people “to like” Jesus, but our real call is to “be like” Jesus.

That concept is part of the call and the mystery of the gospel. Our relationship with Jesus does begin with our desire to know Him, because we like who He is and what He has to offer. But a commitment to Him goes deeper to where as we walk with Him we become like Him.

I think of human relationships. A man and woman begin a relationship because they “like” each other. But it is interesting to observe that after several years of marriage a couple can become “like” each other. I think of the disciples in Acts, those who tried to stop them declaring the gospel observed, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13 NIV)

I believe this was more than just a recollection that theses men had been followers of the Nazarene. I believe there was something about them, that reminded them of Jesus and then they made the connection.

We see that God’s plan is for us to be like Jesus in our character. “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” (Romans 8:29 NLT)

Being like Jesus is seen in reflecting the fruit of the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22,23 NLT)

Being like Jesus is reflected in doing what Jesus did. “…whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12 NIV)

Being like Jesus is reflected in our faithfulness and resilience for the cause of the gospel. “I want to know Christ–yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.” (Philippians 3:10 NIV)  “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21 NIV)

Being like Jesus is found in our destiny and hope for eternity. “Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:54 NLT) This is what we see in John’s observation that we are “now” the children of God, but when He appears, we shall be like Him…” 

Christ calls us and invites us into a transformed life. We don’t lose ourselves and our uniqueness with which He has made us, but as we follow Him, we are to become more like Him in this life and to look forward to the day when His work of transformation will find its fulfillment when He comes.

Prayer for today…. Lord, thank you that when we become like you, we don’t lose ourselves, but we find the true fulfillment you have for each of us. Help us to be those who are recognized as those who have “been with you” through our character, conduct and works.