To Be Like Jesus (I Peter 2:21-24)
I Peter 2:21-24,"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."
The proof of Christianity is not a book but a life. The power of Christianity is not a creed but a Christian character; and wherever you see life that has been transformed by the grace of God, you see a witness to the resurrection of Jesus. God’s purpose and plan for our life is for us to be a reflection of His Son.
As Christians, we are not under the law (Galatians 3:24-26). We do not need rules, regulations, threats of punishment or promises of reward to inspire and rule our hearts. In order to live in this world for the glory of God, we must simply follow the example of the One who hung upon the cursed tree, bearing our sins. When I see Christ hanging upon the cross as my Substitute, I see that self-sacrifice is essential to honoring God (Luke 14:33).
There is a battle for me to fight, a trial for me to endure, a service for me to perform and a cross for me to bear. I cannot serve God without self-sacrifice and self-denial. When Christ was on the cross, bearing our sins, He set before us an example of willing obedience to our heavenly Father. Our Saviour willingly obeyed His Father’s will, even unto death (Isaiah 50:5-7). This is the way we must serve God. God will never accept any gift, any worship or any service, unless it comes from a willing heart (II Corinthians 8:12).
The cross also shows us our Lord’s dedication and perseverance. He not only agreed to bear our sins and promised to die for us; He actually did it. God requires dedication and perseverance from all who follow Christ. Our Lord’s death upon the cross also sets before us an example of real love and patient submission to the will of God.
Even before the world was created, God’s plan was for us to be, “conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29). God did not save us solely to allow us to go to Heaven, although, of course, that is a wonderful and undeserved blessing. God also saved us so that we could go into the world just as Jesus did and point men and women to Him. God intends for us to be walking in the footsteps of Jesus Christ as we go through this world.
Prayer: Father, I know Your desire for me to be like You. You transform me every day. You want me to love what You love and hate what You hate. Many times, I have failed You. Thank You for Your constant love and forgiveness of me. May I never use the power of Your forgiveness to justify sinning, but may it draw me closer to You, so that when temptation comes, I may boldly proclaim, “I want to be like Jesus!” In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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