Like Jesus

By |2021-02-22T08:05:17-05:00February 22nd, 2021|

As a boy, theologian Bruce Ware was frustrated that 1 Peter 2:21–23 calls us to be like Jesus. Ware wrote of his youthful exasperation in his book The Man Christ Jesus. “Not fair, I determined. Especially when the passage says to follow in the steps of one ‘who did no sin.’ This was totally outlandish . . . . I just couldn’t see how God could really mean for us to take it seriously.”

I understand why Ware would find such a biblical challenge so daunting! An old chorus says, “To be like Jesus, to be like Jesus. My desire, to be like Him.” But as Ware rightly noted, we are not capable of doing that. Left to ourselves, we could never become like Jesus.

However, we are not left to ourselves. The Holy Spirit has been given to the child of God, in part so that Christ can be formed in us (Galatians 4:9). So it should come as no surprise that in Paul’s great chapter on the Spirit we read, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29). God will see His work completed in us. And He does it through the Spirit of Christ living in us.

 As we allow the Spirit to work in us, we truly become more like Jesus. How comforting to know that is God’s great desire for us!

Deep-Rooted Faith

By |2020-06-24T16:55:03-04:00June 25th, 2020|

The Holy Oak stood next to Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church in New Jersey for more than six hundred years until it had to be removed. At its prime, the twisting branches spanned high and wide. Cool breezes rustled its green leaves and acorns. The sun peeked through wind-blown gaps, creating dancing glimmers of light in the shade below its canopy. But beneath the ground’s surface lay its true magnificence—its root system...

Easy Does It

By |2020-05-22T11:52:32-04:00May 31st, 2020|

My father and I used to fell trees and cut them to size with a two-man crosscut saw. Being young and energetic, I tried to force the saw into the cut. “Easy does it,” my father would say. “Let the saw do the work.” I think of Paul’s words in Philippians: “It is God who works in you” (2:13). Easy does it. Let Him do the work of changing us...

In Tune with the Spirit

By |2020-05-08T16:22:11-04:00May 15th, 2020|

As I listened to the piano tuner work on the elegant grand piano, I thought about the times when I’d heard that very same piano pour out the incredible sound of the “Warsaw Concerto” and the rich melody of “How Great Thou Art.” But now the instrument desperately needed to be tuned. While some notes were right on pitch, others were sharp or flat, creating an unpleasant sound...

Seeking God

By |2020-04-09T16:48:30-04:00April 13th, 2020|

It’s inspiring to watch people’s passion and dedication in pursuing their dreams. A young woman I know recently graduated from college in just three years—a task that took total commitment. A friend wanted a particular car, so he worked diligently baking and selling cakes until he reached his goal. Another person who’s in sales seeks to meet one hundred new people every week...

A Fire Called Holy

By |2020-01-31T16:13:07-05:00February 3rd, 2020|

After several years of drought, the wildfires of Southern California left some residents thinking of them as acts of God. This disturbing impression was reinforced when news sources began referring to one as the Holy Fire. Many unfamiliar with the area didn’t realize it was a reference to the Holy Jim Canyon region...

Walking with the Spirit

By |2020-01-14T12:23:37-05:00January 15th, 2020|

Ten thousand hours. That’s how long author Malcolm Gladwell suggests it takes to become skillful at any craft. Even for the greatest artists and musicians of all time, their tremendous inborn talent wasn’t enough to achieve the level of expertise that they would eventually attain. They needed to immerse themselves in their craft every single day...

“Just the Office”?

By |2019-09-23T07:52:05-04:00September 28th, 2019|

I gazed out at the rolling, green hills in Lancashire in northern England, noticing the stone fences enclosing some sheep dotted around the hills. Puffy clouds moved across the bright sky, and I inhaled deeply, drinking in the sight. When I remarked about the beautiful scene to the woman working at the retreat center I was visiting, she said, “You know, I never used to notice it before our guests would point it out...

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