“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. – Matthew 6:33.
So what is the goal of the Christian life? The purpose of the Christian life is to know Christ and to be like Him. Christianity is not a religion of rules and rituals that we must work at keeping to climb the ladder to heaven. Instead, it is a personal, growing relationship with the risen, living Lord Jesus Christ that results in our growing conformity to Him. It is living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel isn’t a formula you apply to your life; it’s the story you’re meant to inhabit. So what is your place in that story?
Becoming a Christian requires that you know some things about Jesus Christ. The Old Testament points ahead to Christ; the New Testament tells us of His life, His death for our sins, and His resurrection and present reign in heaven. It also tells us of His coming again and future kingdom. It expounds on His teaching and reveals His will for His people. We can never know Him fully because He is infinite and we are finite. But we can know Him definitely as Savior and Lord and we can and must spend our lives focused on the goal to be more like Him. ”
As we come to know Jesus, we will become more and more like Him because we know who to imitate because we see Him more clearly. “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
We become like the One who stretched out His hand in compassion to heal a leper, who had mercy on the woman caught in adultery and resist the temptations of the devil. As we see Jesus submit to His Father’s will—“I want your will to be done, not mine.“—we learn to submit to our wills to the Father’s will. And as we gaze upon Jesus enduring all things because of His love for us, we learn to endure the sins and failures of others out of love for them.
As we see Jesus empty himself and make himself poor so that He might make us rich, we in turn learn to empty ourselves. As we marvel to watch Jesus kneel before His disciples the night before He is to die and wash their feet, the Holy Spirit grows us in humility.
But where do you start? Transformation in Christlikeness is a process. Try focusing on one change in character at a time, even if the change takes time. Most of us fail in our efforts to change and become like Jesus because we try hard for a while and then give up. We don’t keep our focus long enough, and we don’t go deep enough; we don’t develop a plan for how we can work with God’s grace to change to become like Jesus on the inside in that one area.
- What is the most important step to becoming more like Jesus?
- What can you do this week to take that step?