TO BE MORE LIKE JESUS
When I became a Christian almost 67 years ago, it was like I was handed a long list of “THOU SHALT NOTS”, in reality it was something I assimilated over a number of years, and these “laws” dominated my life, thus I have written much about the “curse of legalism” and seeking to follow a set of “rules” without often fully realising the Biblical basis for many of them, but seeking to fulfil them so I would “pass the test” of what a Christian was supposed to do and be, and also developing a critical spirit towards those who I thought didn’t keep the “rules”. It has been a revelation to me to see how much this “curse” had afflicted me, and robbed me often of the joy of loving and serving the Lord, yet despite that the Lord still used me. By His grace I am now seeking to walk in the liberty (not bondage) of being a child of God.
Paul has much to say about the battle that goes on within a man between the fact he is a new creature, yet contends constantly with the “depraved and desperately wicked heart” (Jer. 17:9) that he inherited because of Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden.
Can you remember the day the Holy Spirit convicted you and drew you to Jesus, and you were born again? Something happened on the inside and you “knew because you knew” “old things had passed away” you were now a child of God. One moment you realised you were a lost sinner on the way to eternal separation from God, and the next moment, you knew for the first time you had begun a relationship with God. For most of us, because of a lack of Biblical Discipleship this began an up and down often more defeated than victorious Christian life. Often after a considerable period of time a degree of stability and growth began to take place. I remember hearing a leading British Pastor/Teacher here in Australia declare, the moment he was born again, the practice he had of cursing and swearing was no longer compatible with being a Christian and he ceased instantly.we hear testimonies like this occasionally, but sadly, old habits and practices still seem to dominate in a most new Believer’s lives. I trust it isn’t because new Believers see these habits and practices in “older” Christians and therefore think it is ok.
Let us pray the Holy Spirit will write God’s laws upon our heart, and because we know it is God, we don’t respond out of duty, but from a willing heart. This means we need to spend quality time in the Word of God, and let the Holy Spirit speak to us.
Because of the battle Paul speaks of, we must respond continually to Rom. 12:1 NKJV I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. It is only when Jesus is the PRESIDENT, The LORD, the MASTER, the KING, the RULER, the BOSS, can we win the battle and be the people God wants us to be.
God’s DNA which was planted within us, and so beautifully described in Gal. 5:22-23 NKJV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, against such there is no law, our responsibility is to see this fruit grow more and more in our hearts, for this is the very Character of God that we must express in our lives, and as the writer to Hebrews says in 12:14 NKJV Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
We all want to see the Lord, and God never asks us to do something that he doesn’t give us the ability tp fulfil.
I prepared some time ago an acrostic for the word CHARACTER, may these characteristics bee seen in our life.
I want to be more like Jesus, I am sure you do too.