Wednesday, 17 July 2013

YOU ARE CREATED TO BECOME LIKE CHRIST

Much confusion in the Christian life comes from ignoring the simple truth that God is far more interested in building your character than he is anything else.  We worry when God seems silent on specific issues such as "What carry should I choose?" or "How can I become the richest man in the world?"  The truth is, there are many different careers and many financial blessings in God's will for your life.  What God cares about most is that whatever you have or do, you do in a Christlike manner.

God is far more interested in what you are than in what you do or have.  We are human beings, not human doings.  God is much more concerned about your character than your career or material possessions, because you will take your character into eternity, and you will leave your career and material possessions behind. 

The Bible warns, "Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.  Instead, fix your attention on God.  You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you." Romans 12:2 (MSG) You must make a counter-culture decision to focus on becoming more like Jesus.  Otherwise, other forces like peers, parents, coworkers, and culture will try to mold you into their image.

Sadly, a quick review of many popular Christian books reveals that many believers have abandoned living for God's great purposes and settle for personal fulfillment and emotional stability.  That is narcissism, not DISCIPLEHIP.  Jesus did not die on the cross just so we could live comfortable, well-adjusted lives alone, His PURPOSE is far deeper:  He wants to make us like himself before he takes us to heaven.  This is our greatest privilege, our immediate responsibility, and our ultimate destiny.

Becoming like Christ is what is known as "SPIRITUAL MATURITY".  This is neither instant nor automatic, it is a gradual, progressive development that will take the rest of your life. And it is generally referred to as DISCIPLESHIP.  This Christlikeness or Spiritual maturity is the job of the Holy Spirit.  It is the Holy Spirit that produces Christlikeness in your life.  As a Born-Again Christian, you have the Holy Spirit with you, but you must not stop there.  You must be baptized in the Holy Ghost by the evidence of speaking in tongues.  It is a gift Jesus promised us.  “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."  Acts 1:4-5 (NIV).  If you haven’t received this gift, please speak to a pastor in your church about it. And if they don’t believe this in your church, please and please, go to a bible believing church around you and speak to a pastor about this amazing gift – Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

"...As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and REFLECT HIS GLORY EVEN MORE" 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT)
However, the bible compares spiritual growth or maturity to a seed, a building, and a child growing up.  Each metaphor requires active participation: Seeds must be planted and cultivated, buildings must be built-they don’t just appear, and children must eat and exercise to grow.  While EFFORTS has nothing to do with your salvation, it has much to do with your spiritual maturity or Christlikeness.

YOUR 3 RESPONSIBILITIES IN BECOMING LIKE CHRIST
 1.   You must choose to LET GO of OLD WAYS of acting. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything — and I do mean everything — connected with that old way of life has to go. It's rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life — a God-fashioned life, Eph 4:22 (MSG) 

2.   You must change the way you THINK.  “Let the Spirit change your way of thinking” Eph. 4:23 (CEV).  The Bible says we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.  The Greek word for transform, metamorphosis (used in Romans 12:2 and 2 Corinthians 3:18), is used today to describe the amazing change a caterpillar goes through in becoming a butterfly.  It is a beautiful picture of what happens to us spiritually when we allow God to direct our thoughts: We are changed from the inside out, we become more beautiful, and we are set free to soar to new heights.

3.   You must “put on” the character of Christ by developing new, godly habits.  Your character is essentially the sum of your habits; it is how you habitually act.  The bible says “Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” Ephesians 4:24 (NIV)

INGREDIENTS FOR BECOMING LIKE CHRIST
God uses His Word, people, and circumstances to mold us into the likeness of Christ.  All these three are indispensable for character development.  God’s Word provides the truth we need to grow. God’s people provide the support we need to grow.  THIS IS THE REASON YOU MUST BELONG TO A LOCAL CHURCH IN YOUR VICINITY.  It’s not enough to receive teachings and mentoring on the Internet, you need to belong to God’s family – a Church.  If you need a church to join, please contact us, we shall direct you.  And the circumstances provide the environment we need to practice Christlikeness.  That’s why Life was not meant to be easy, it was meant to build and strengthen our character for His service and for heaven.  Never forget that Life is not about you!  You exist for God’s purposes, not vice versa.

If you study and apply God’s word, connect regularly with other believers, and learn to trust God difficult circumstances, I guarantee you will become more like Jesus.

RECOMMENDED BOOK: -THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE BY RICK WARREN
Tel: 234 703 225 8797





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