Reflecting Christ –  Encouragement for Today – June 4, 2024

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Cynthia HealdJune 4, 2024

Reflecting Christ
CYNTHIA HEALD

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"For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters." Romans 8:29 (NLT)

One time as I was reading the book of Romans, Romans 8:29 freshly penetrated my heart. My eyes rested on this verse, and I prayed, Lord, is Your overall purpose to make us like Jesus?

What a masterful and lofty plan! But surely this must be for very special, chosen people, I thought. To become like perfect and sinless Jesus seemed an impossible goal. I love the Lord and want to be who He wants me to be, but is it even possible to be molded into someone who could represent Jesus in everyday life?

As a young girl, I enjoyed playing "follow the leader" with neighborhood friends. The game was about imitation ... copying whatever our chosen leader did. If she ran, hopped or skipped, we did the same thing.

Along these same lines, the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians: "Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ" (Ephesians 5:1-2a, NLT).

As I meditated on Paul's instruction, my daily communications with my husband and children came to mind. I tended to respond too quickly and impatiently to their requests. Many times my behavior could not be considered Christlike.

Imitating and following Jesus as a role model is challenging. Still, when we accept and believe in Christ's sacrifice on the cross, we receive new life through the indwelling Holy Spirit. We can begin the process of becoming like Jesus and reflecting His attributes of love, holiness, obedience, servant-heartedness, and unreserved trust in the Father. I'm encouraged by this verse in Philippians: "For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him" (Philippians 2:13, NLT).

So I have begun to be more intentional as I interact with people. My prayer and purpose are to be more loving and patient with my family as well as kind and gracious to the server in the restaurant, the sales clerk in the store, friends, and neighbors. I hope to reflect Christ to whoever crosses my path.

My conformity to Christ, though, is still very much an ongoing process as I guard against pride, impatience and complacency. I can never presume on my past walk with God. My ability to reflect His character comes only through my daily walk with Him, in which I surrender my thoughts, actions and plans to His will.

How humbling it is to think of becoming like Jesus. May this divine goal encourage us not only to accept His purpose for us but also to desire it.

Lord, thank You for Your faithfulness in molding me to be like Your Son. May I leave a sweet fragrance of Christ with any family member, friend or stranger I might encounter. I want to love others as You have loved me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

OUR FAVORITE THINGS

We love witnessing a long life lived well (not perfectly) and growing increasingly more like Christ. Cynthia Heald has been speaking and writing Bible studies and books for many years, and she is the first to say that she is still learning at the feet of Jesus. Her latest book is Becoming like Jesus: Reflecting Christ in Your Everyday Life.

ENGAGE

You can learn more about Cynthia here.

FOR DEEPER STUDY

1 John 2:6, "Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did" (NLT).

In what specific ways can you become more moldable in God's hands?

What changes in attitude or actions do you sense you need to make to live as Jesus lived? We'd love to know in the comments!

© 2024 by Cynthia Heald. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106
www.Proverbs31.org