… Be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma,~Ephesians 5:1-2.
Becoming…the Christian walk is about becoming like the One who gave His life for ours. I do not hear many messages about becoming like Christ anymore. My pastor teaches on it and this past Sunday talked about this narrow path that leads us to being transformed into the image of God’s Son.
Becoming is rooted in abiding. After salvation (believing, repenting of sin, asking for forgiveness, and choosing to say yes to following Jesus), there’s a process called sanctification. The Holy Spirit works in us so we are transformed into the image of God. Those who abide in Him, will have abundant fruit (John 15:5). Apart from relationship with God, we cannot live like Jesus. Grace, God’s abounding grace, empowers us to do the impossible-live and love like Jesus.
Why is becoming so important?
Well, because we represent God in the earth. Some people will never set foot in a church. They will interact with you. If you are following Jesus, you are His Ambassador (sent ones-representative) on earth. He calls His followers to be salt and light. If we don’t imitate Christ in every area of influence and relationship, where’s the light shining in the darkness?
I’ve met way too many people who refuse to go to church because they’ve had horrible experiences with Christians. It’s sad because God is so good.
I have a few friends who are atheist. They grew up Catholic or Protestant, yet they saw people claiming to love and represent God abusing grace, acting exactly like the world, and had some painful experiences. All of which led them to believe God must not be real if His followers are so unrighteous and unloving.
I had one friend who fell down the steps while visiting a church. She stopped the pastor to ask for help. She couldn’t get up and he was the only one who came by. He told her he was late for a staff meeting and left her there.
Jesus said the world will know we belong to Him by our love for one another.
I’ve been in church my entire life. My dad is a pastor. We were taught loving people regardless of who they are or what they believe was and is a priority.
I’ve heard other Christians question my kindness towards them. Why are you doing this? Did God tell you to do this? Well, yes in His Word when He said love others as I have loved you.
How does God love me?
He’s merciful and kind.
He gives good gifts!
He points me in the direction of truth and holiness.
He supports my dreams.
He cares about every detail of my life.
He gives more of Himself than I could imagine possible.
He mourns with me.
He laughs with me.
He rejoices over me.
He sees the best in me when I’m at my worst.
Jesus prays and intercedes for me.
The Holy Spirit empowers me.
He protects me.
He provides for me.
He shares His wisdom and knowledge.
If I am to imitate Him, then I treat people the way God treats me. I do as He does.
Becoming requires a dying to self and selfishness. It’s not easy, yet it’s possible via the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. It’s so important. We are the only interactions some people will have with God. We are not responsible to save the world. We are responsible to let God live and love through us. Jesus invited people to follow Him, not just pray a prayer. Following Jesus is about imitating Him.
We can draw people to God by shining bright, or we can push them away by our lack of love.
God is LOVE!
Father please forgive us for the times we’ve chosen our own path apart from You. May we overflow with Your love. Teach us to stay connected to the true Vine, You. May we be the brightest lights, reflecting and representing You in the earth. In Jesus powerful name, Amen.