Have you ever been in one of those moments in life when you are face-to-face with the consequences of your character (not your actions, your character), and you think: “Man, I wish I could be someone else.” Or have you ever wished that a part of you was different. Perhaps your anger gets the best of you, or your perfectionism causes a rift with a co-worker. Or maybe you’re lazy attitude causes you to miss out on a life-changing opportunity. Or maybe you just plain old don’t like who you are in one particular moment.
Maybe I’m the only one who finds himself disappointed in, well, himself (although I doubt that to be the case). When we met on Sunday, we talked about how God desires to transform us into the likeness of Jesus. Let me be clear in saying that God desires this because he is disappointed in us or finds us wanting. That is not the case at all. He desires this for us because we are at our best when we are being like Jesus. Philip is most like Philip when there is more of Jesus present. I know that may seem like an odd thing to say, but I believe it to be true.
Remember, God created humanity in his own image. That image was broken when Adam and Eve rebelled against (disobeyed) God. That image remained broken, until Jesus was born and redeemed the image, remade the image of humanity. So now, as a new creation (as Paul calls us), I follow after the image of Jesus, which is in fact the real image of me that God desires. I hope you can follow that bit of convoluted logic.
Principles of following (so far):
1) Jesus is the only one worth following. 2) Following is essential to believing, just as believing is essential to following. 3) following means being a doulos (slave) to Jesus. 4) following means expecting Jesus to interfere with your life. 5) A follower knows Jesus intimately. 6) A follower follows Jesus in a community of other followers. 7) A follower follows Jesus on mission. 8) Following Jesus is costly.
Sermon Big Idea:
A follower is transformed to be more like Jesus as they follow him.
- I am learning to be more like Jesus in my attitudes, behaviours and character.
- We are all being made into the image of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:8).
- Romans 8:29 we are being conformed into the image of Jesus.
- Transformed is the process by which we become more like Jesus.
- Being conformed to Jesus’ image is the end result/goal/product.
- Sanctification is what this whole process is called.
- 1 Peter 1:2 sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives: he accomplishes the process by which we are made into Jesus’ image.
- BUT we must participate in the process; we cannot simply go about our lives waiting for the Spirit to get it done!
- In transforming us, Jesus will interfere with our lives!
- Transform what? 1) Heart (passions, love, empathy, emotions, anger, lusts, compassion, etc); 2) Mind (Philippians 4:8-9); 3) Life (2 Peter 1:3-9, our lives need to reflect Jesus!)
- Why does God want to do this? Because we are all images of a broken humanity and God sent Jesus to fix what was broken (Matthew 9:12-13)
- What motivates this on God’s part? Love. God loves you enough to meet you wherever you are at, but he love you too much to leave you there.
- Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QCkBL2DfVg to watch a Skit Guys video about this topic called “God’s Chisel”.
When was the last time you considered, really considered, areas of your life that God might want to remodel? What bothers you most about yourself? How can you ask the Holy Spirit to help you work on that area? Is there something habitual in your life that you know is not Christ honouring? When was the last time you prayed/confessed/asked the Holy Spirit to work on that in your life?
Questions for families with small children:
For those brave enough, take a minute to ask your child/children what they wish could/would be different about you (scary right). Prompt them to respond honestly with no fear of reprisal. Whatever they have to say, invite them to pray with you about that thing, that the Holy Spirit would help you work on that area of your life. This is a great opportunity to model humility and openness to God’s transformation in your life to your children!
Are you a follower?