Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Like Jesus

1John 2:6  Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived. (The Message)

While reading through the New Testament during the months of July and August I was continually challenged with Scriptures that instruct Christians to walk and live as Jesus did. I see so many areas of my life that are definitely not like Jesus and need change therefore the main focus of my devotional prayers each morning has been the cry to be made one with God.

Often life becomes a blur. We rush along doing the things we need to do. We have responsibilities, people depending on us and work that needs to get done. Many times we loose focus of the truly important things in life. One of those things is being the person God created us to be. I’m not saying do the work He wants us to do (although that’s also important) rather be the person – have and demonstrate the character God desires from us, character that is in harmony with the life, ministry and teachings of Jesus.

Humans were originally created in the image of God but they were quickly filled with and embraced everything but His image. Reading through Genesis reveals the depth of man’s departure from God. Mankind was so wicked they were all destroyed except for Noah and his family. Then after Noah, even those God chose to become His people were deceitful scoundrels. Jacob (later named Israel) tricked his brother into giving him his birthright and then deceived his father into blessing him instead of Esau (which gave him all of Esau’s power and wealth).

Even after thousands of years, the story hasn’t changed much. People are still deceptive self-servers who seem to love darkness rather than light. If we’re honest, that’s us. But that shouldn’t be us. God has a different plan. He wants us to be filled with Himself, to walk in the light, to love one another and be willing to lay down our lives for His purposes. Not only does God want this, He has provided everything needed for us to experience it.

On the day of Pentecost something amazing happened to the disciples. They had been frightened cowards who ran when Jesus was arrested. Peter even denied Jesus with curses when asked by a girl if he was a follower of Jesus. But the followers of Jesus were transformed on the day of Pentecost. Peter’s boldness that day was remarkable. Without hesitation he proclaimed to thousands of people that they had crucified the son of God. Peter was remarkably transformed and so were the other disciples.

We too can be transformed. God desires to fill us with Himself. He desires us to walk in HIS ways, to love with HIS love and to express HIS character to those we contact in life. This isn’t some idealistic dream. It's truly God’s desire. Let’s open our hearts, cry out to God and believe for a transformation in our lives.When we do so, I have no doubt - HE WILL ANSWER!!! 

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