“For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…” (Romans 8:29 ESV)
In our last time together, we touched on the topic of being “Christlike.”
But what does that really mean?
For most of us, the thought of being just like Jesus is a bit beyond our comfort level. After all, Jesus is the sinless, perfect, eternal Son of God. And we are, well… just us. When it comes to comparing Him to us – there is no comparison. It’s a little like comparing an ant to an elephant.
But we learn from our verse (above) that this whole Christlike thing has been God’s plan all along. God’s goal for every one of His people is to be “conformed to the image of His Son.”
What does that mean? Well, if you have ever used a copy machine, you know exactly what it means. You put something into the machine to be copied (say, a picture), press a button, and out comes a copy of that picture. The copy is “comformed to the image” of the original image. In most every way, the copy is just like the original.
So God’s goal is that the copies (that’s us, who believe) would be just like the original (Jesus!).
This should not surprise us. Jesus told us the same thing: “Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master.” (Matt. 10:25 NLT) That is Jesus’ description of what He is seeking in us. It is His definition of what it truly means to be one of His disciples.
Okay. So what does that mean for us? Are we to start wearing sandles, a long robe, and walk around doing miracles, or what?
We could go to great lengths trying to explain all that being Christlike means – but let’s just boil it down to what we really need to know.
Let’s put it this way… If you were to describe the ministry of Jesus in one sentence, what would you say? What really captures the essence of Jesus, from what we observe by reading about Him in the gospel accounts?
This is what I came up with… Everywhere Jesus went, He sought to do the will of God – by meeting peoples’ needs, with the power of God’s love.
Or we could reduce it down further… Wherever Jesus was, God was truly seen.
Think about it. The ministry of Jesus brought light to the darkness, hope to the hopeless, strength to the weary, healing to the broken, joy to the sorrowful, tenderness to the abused, and rescue to the perishing. In Jesus, God showed up – and all He did was pour out His love upon us.
Somehow, we get it twisted. We tend to think that being Christlike means that we have to be perfect – say all the perfect things, do all the perfect things, have all the perfect answers.
But really, being Christlike means that when you walk into a room, God shows up!
After all, if God is really in us (and that’s exactly what the Bible tells us about those who have received Jesus) then wherever you are… He is!
Do you think that He just might want to do some of the same stuff that He did when Jesus came and walked among us?
The very essence of being Christlike is to love as Jesus loved.
You and I can do that! We have received the new nature just for this purpose. The new you just simply seeks to make God noticed and seen – by how we bring His love to every person we meet.
Prayer focus: God, help me to simply have a heart to love as you loved!