Philippians 2:5 says, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:…” Hmmm…be like Jesus? That is a tall order to say the least! But the Bible is clear about Christlikeness being God’s calling on our lives.
We can’t possibly act like, speak like, think like, love like, or look like Jesus…in our strength. However, when we ask God for the grace and love that it takes to be likeJesus, He helps us with that endeavor. For instance, He gives us wisdom to not say the first thing that comes to our mind when we are angry, and He provides productive words instead. He grants us patience when we are in a rush, and someone who needs a listening ear crosses our path. He pours His mercy into our lives so that we can extend it to others, especially when we don’t feel like it.In other words, God faithfully leads us to make decisions that bring us closer to the goal of Christlikeness.
As we mature, we will presumably heed His voice more and more.But we are human, so there will also be days when we fail. Miserably. God made a wonderful promise in Philippians 1:6: “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” This verse puts no conditions on Him fulfilling His purpose for us. Nothing that says we must be sin-free for a certain number of days before He completes His work within each one of us. Lamentations 3:22-23 assures us: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Praise God that our sin does not have enough power to stop His plan for our lives!
On our journey toward Christlikeness, there will be failures. But those failures don’t mean we should give up. When we go to God in repentance, He lovingly offers second chances and generously grants new mercies.
Lord, thank You for being right beside us as we walk this unknown territory, and remind us that You are also in front of us. We don’t know how this situation is going to pan out, but You do. Help us to focus our minds on what we do know: that You are in control, You love us, and You have a plan. Help us to increase our trust in You as we watch You work through these circumstances as only You can.
Your Word says we can ask You for wisdom and You will give it to us. Please give us Your wisdom as we navigate how to make the best decisions concerning our families, our jobs, and our daily lives. Reveal to us how we can best reflect You in our words and our actions during this trying time.
Your Word also says that You keep in perfect peace all those who fix their thoughts on You. Lord, please help us focus on who You are – on Your power and Your purpose. Help us obtain clarity as we pursue Your perspective. We ask You to replace our doubts and fears with Your matchless peace.
We ask in expectancy, knowing You hear our prayers and that You love us more than we can imagine. Lord, increase our trust in You and help us follow You every step of the way.
You are loved. So very loved. He loves the you that you are now…He’s not waiting for you to become a better version of you so that He can love you more.
When we grasp that He loves us, really loves us, we long to discover who He created us to be. To nurture the gifts He gave us and to use them for His glory. To allow His light to shine through the unique personality He entrusted to us.
When we grasp that God lavishes us with true love, (not the cheap, watered-down version of love that this world has embraced, but the authentic, sacrificial, genuine love that God Himself created) we are compelled to take hold of the identity He has given us. Old desires fade and desires He placed within us increase. Our tightly held grip on who we think we should be loosens until we surrender and therefore ask Him to shape us into who He created us to be. He won’t love us more. It’s simply not possible for Him to love us more than He already does. But we will be in His will, and there is no better place to be.
Let’s celebrate that we are perfectly loved by our perfect God. Let’s live loved.
When incomprehensible things happen in our lives, and they will, we can choose to be okay with not always knowing the whys.
God’s ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and He is working all things out for our good. (Isaiah 55:9, Romans 8:28)
Instead of seeking the reasons behind the hard situations we face, let’s seek His face.(Psalm 105:4) In other words, take time to get to know Him better, and consequently trust more deeply in His plan.
It comes down to believing that God, who knows all, knows best.
Raise your hand if you would like to experience God’s perfect peace.
Isaiah 26:3 tells us that God gives perfect peace to those who “keep their purpose firm,” and “put their trust in Him.” In addition to perfect, the Bible also describes His peace as transcending all understanding in Philippians 4:7.