You were created to become like Christ
In all of creation, only human beings are ‘made in the image of God”. This means we are spiritual beings (immortal spirits/souls), we are intellectual beings (possess thought and reason), we are rational (reciprocate love) and we have moral consciousness (discern right from wrong) – and all these make us accountable to God.
But the image is incomplete and has been damaged and distorted by sin – So God sent Jesus on a mission to restore the full image that we have lost. God wants His children to bear His image and likeness – to be truly righteous and holy. God doesn’t want you to become a god; He wants you to become godly – taking on His values, attitudes and character.
He wants you to grow up spiritually and become like Christ – (now don’t be alarmed) it is all about transforming your character, not your personality.
God’s ultimate goal for your life on earth is not comfort, but character development. God is not your servant, and if you fall for the idea that life is supposed to be easy, either you will become severely disillusioned or you will live in denial of reality – You exist for God’s purposes, not vice versa. (However; it is neither God’s intention that you have to survive a miserable existence until you reach spiritual maturity – be happy in His service)
IT IS THE HOLY SPIRIT’S JOB TO PRODUCE CHRISTLIKE CHARACTER
+ WE must cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s work
The Holy Spirit releases His power the moment you take a step of faith. Obedience unlocks God’s power; but you must make the first move; by doing the right thing despite your fears and feelings – in so doing you cooperate with the Holy Spirit and your character develops. This effort has nothing to do with your salvation, but has much to do with your spiritual growth –
Firstly let go of old ways (bad attitudes, judging others, excesses, etc)
Secondly change the way you think (allow God to direct your thoughts)
Thirdly we must ‘put on’ the character of Christ by developing new, Godly habits.
+ GOD uses his Word, people and circumstances.
God’s Word provides the truth we need to grow. God’s people provide the support we need to grow. Circumstances provide the environment we need to practice Christlikeness. If you study and apply God’s Word, connect regularly with other believers and learn to trust God in difficult circumstances, you’re sure to become more like Jesus.
True spiritual maturity is all about learning to love like Jesus, and you can’t practice being like Jesus without being in relationship (church/community) with other people – you cannot grow in isolation.
+ BECOMING like Christ is a long, slow process of growth.
Spiritual maturity is a gradual, progressive development that will take the rest of your life. You are a work in progress and your spiritual transformation will take the rest of your life here on earth; and even then it won’t be complete. When Jesus returns whatever unfinished work on your character is left will be wrapped up.
God wants to make us like Jesus before He takes us to heaven – it’s our greatest privilege, our immediate responsibility and our ultimate destiny.
There is a long, hard road ahead - take courage, and give it all to Jesus - you’re in my prayers ~Stafford
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” -Psalm 73:25-26