Daily Devotional for Saturday October 20, 2012
Becoming More Like Jesus
(1 Peter 2;1-12)
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, what is your opinion of the young man who has sparked quite a controversy on YouYube with his statement "I hate religion but love Jesus?"
ANSWER: Nice phrase with zero substance. I have no doubt this young man is serious about loving the Lord, but what he was really trying to say wasn't that he hated relgion, but he hated the contentious nature and debates over religion. He is the perfect byproduct of what I have been warning people about for years. Weak, watered down preaching, not speaking about the real issues like abortion and gay marriage, refusing to warn people of satanic cults like Mormonism because they are 'such nice people,' soft selling what a false religion like Islam is really about, and the promotion of the universalistic lie from hell that everyone will make it if they just do their best. It all sounds nice, but this is why people must read and study the Bible, since there IS Absolute Truth and it is found on the pages of God's Word, there is SIN, there is only ONE Gospel, and mindsets like his are leading lots of people to hell who think they are OK.
The goal of every person that has given their hearts and lives to Jesus Christ MUST BE to become more like Him each day. This is one of those days when you are going to have to stop all that you are doing, and really listen to and pray about what I am going to share with you. As a matter of fact, I want you to take a moment right now, stop all that you are doing, and ask the Lord to prepare your heart for these words today. Today, I want to challenge you to become more like Jesus.
Sanctification is a process that begins after salvation. The theological definition is God's gracious and powerful work of making a person holy in heart and conduct through the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit, applying the death and resurrection of Christ to that person, so he increasingly dies to sin and lives unto righteousness. It is a never-ending process throughout the life of a believer that makes them become more like Jesus each day.
This process does not happen by accident. You do not get saved one day and are like Jesus the next. IT TAKES WORK TO BE LIKE JESUS! What is the best way to become like someone? Spend time with them. If you want to be like Jesus, you have to spend time with Jesus! To be like someone, you not only have to invest time into being with them, you must carefully watch them, see how they act, see how they talk, see how they deal with situations they are faced with. To be like someone, you have to study their life.
Hollywood actors that play the life of a real person will spend months and months studying that person. They will read everything they can find about them. They will watch endless hours of video. If the person is still living, they will often go to physically be with that person for an amount of time. They will spend countless hours becoming that person. If a Hollywood actor is willing to invest all of that time and energy just to play a role in a movie, how much more should we be willing to invest our time and energy into becoming more like Jesus to fulfill our God-given purpose in this life?
You do this by spending time every day with the Lord in prayer. You do this by spending time every day in God's Word. You do this by being part of a local church where you are not only fed spiritually, but find fellowship with other believers, and for many, find avenues to serve the Lord. Like any relationship, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. The more time you spend with the Lord, the more you will become like the Lord.
What I am challenging you to do today is this. Spend some time in prayer and isolate ONE AREA of your life that needs to be more like Jesus. EVERYONE reading this today has at least one area of their life that they would like to make more like Jesus. For each person, that area will be something different. If you will take some time and pray, God will show you exactly what that area is, though I am sure most already know exactly what area of your life that God is calling you to work on.
Take the next 30 days and focus specifically on making the area of your life God is convicting you about more like Jesus. The first question is how would Jesus handle this area of His life. Study the Word, pray, God will show you. The goal then is to work hard over the next 30 days, spend a few days fasting, make it your prayer focus, to making that area of your life God shows you more like Jesus.
I love you and care about you so much. I will be praying for you today. I want you to take this challenge seriously and work hard on making whatever area of your life God showed you to be more like Jesus. Becoming like Jesus is not something that happens overnight. As a matter of fact, once we get the victory over one area of our life, God will show us another area that needs work. No matter how long you walk with the Lord, no matter how close to the Lord you may become, there will ALWAYS be areas of your life that you need to work on. May God give you His strength and wisdom over these next 30 days as you work on becoming more like Jesus!
"Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, the living Stone -- rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him -- you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 2:1-5
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,