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Becoming like Jesus

In the introduction to his book, The Divine Conspiracy, Dallas Willard writes: “The most telling thing about the contemporary Christian is that he or she simply has no compelling sense that understanding of and conformity with the clear teaching of Christ is of any vital importance to his or her life, and certainly not that it is in any way essential.”

All around us we see the effects of this–people who call themselves Christians but whose lives violate the most basic principles of morality not to mention Christian ethics; and others whose lives may be moral and ethical and even have a form of godliness but whose spirit is empty and cold.  There is little or no sense of a close personal relationship to Jesus.

Yet, as Willard continues, “We have received an invitation….to make a pilgrimage–into the heart and life of God….No person or circumstance other than our own decision can keep us away.  ‘Whosoever will may come.”‘

We must be intentional about our devotion, our discipleship and our love.  Jesus’ words to us–his invitations, his instructions–he fully expects us to do.  They are not about nice theories but how we are to live.

What this all means is that Christ-likeness is what God expects of us.  That is not something we achieve, however, but what God does in us as we “practice” His presence and open ourselves to His Spirit.

It is rather simple really.  Feed on His word (read the Bible), talk to Him regularly (pray), worship Him faithfully (publicly and privately), share yourself with others (a friend, a small group, a Sunday School class) and serve in His name.  He will become more real to you and, as you come to know Him, you will “fall” in love with Him.

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.  I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete….You are my friends if you do what I command you.
-John 15:10,11,14

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