Saturday, April 11, 2015

Becoming Like God...In His Resurrection (3 of 3)

The first two posts this week (here and here) help us to realize that the resurrection of Christ was not just about His rising from the dead, but paving the way for us to be resurrected as well. Today’s post is brief, but points to our need to make one critical choice which will impact not only our future as we imagine it, but our eternity as well.

Why do I look forward to the future and my resurrection? Two very real reasons.

1) I will be with Jesus forever. This is the most important and nothing else compares, yet everything hinges on this truth.

2) Freedom. Freedom from the troubles of this body, and freedom from the troubles of this world. But all freedom comes from discipline. It was the discipline of Jesus’ which bought my freedom. And now my discipline allows me to be more free than I would be otherwise. Elisabeth Elliott says it this way, “Freedom and discipline have come to be regarded as mutually exclusive, when in fact freedom is not at all the opposite, but the final reward of discipline.”

Donald Whitney says that the desire and the power for disciplines are produced by the grace of God. Well, it is also that same grace and His same power that resurrected Jesus nearly 2000 years ago, and which is available to resurrect us one day as well.

So, our JOURNEY letter this week is all about the J – Jesus. We are to follow Him – not only in life, but through death. To stand before Him at the end of our JOURNEY is our destiny, but what happens from there is up to the decision we make in this life.

So what is our next step? Our recurring question must be asked once more – this time with regards to the resurrection:

If your growth in godliness was measured by your expectation of meeting God face to face, what would be the result?

So what’s the next step in Becoming Like God? DECIDE

The most important question you need to decide is in answer to Jesus question found in Matthew 16.15: “But who do you say I am?”

For someone reading this, your next step could be your first step in faith. Perhaps you feel a need to DECIDE to follow Jesus for the first time. Do so today! Change the course on your JOURNEY today and begin to follow Him.

For others, maybe you need to DECIDE to begin following Jesus again. There is guilt, and that can be good. But you need not feel shamed. The Holy Spirit may convict you, but it is only the devil that shames you. God wants to redeem you! God did redeem you, but you have to DECIDE what to do with it.

Finally, for others, your decision to follow Jesus may have been cemented long ago. And as you have, whether for days or years, it is still a daily decision each of us must make to live our lives in a manner which is becoming more like God. And that is what this series has been about. As God’s dearly beloved children we learn to imitate Him (Ephesians 5.1) by training ourselves to be godly (1 Timothy 4.7). The practice of the Spiritual Disciplines allows that as we are led by God’s Spirit to become more like Him. Like Mary, seeking after Jesus, is the best place to begin.

The final post this week will provide a conclusion to this series on Spiritual Disciplines.

*This series of blogs has been adapted from Donald Whitney’s book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life.

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