Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Blog Message, Part 3, CRASH TEST

(our series is adapted from a study on James done by Rick Warren)
The 2 Ways That God Uses To Make Us Like Jesus

1. Through the word of God. John 17:17 "Sanctify them through Thy truth. Thy word is truth." James 1:22-25 "The word makes us like Jesus" it builds our character, matures us. But even if you read the Bible two hours a day, how many hours of your life are you not reading God's word? God demands even more in the second way.

2. Through the circumstances of life. Here's where James hits it right on the head. So many Christians I meet say, "Everything was going great when I first became a believer. Then all of these problems came. Maybe God doesn't love me. Maybe I'm not a Christian. Maybe I'm not really saved. Maybe I've missed the boat." You are exactly where God wants you. You're in a character course. He's making you like Jesus. Romans 8:28 "We know that all things work together for good" [not all things are good but they work together for good] if we love God and are called according to His purpose." The secret of Romans 8:28 is 8:29 "For whom he did foreknow He did predestine to become conformed to the image of the Son of God." Why do all things work together for good? In order to make me like Christ.

How does God teach us the fruit of the spirit? (Galatians 5:22-23) By putting us in the exact opposite situation. If God wants to teach you love, He puts you around unlovely people. If He wants to teach you joy, He puts you in times of tragedy and sadness so you will learn joy in the situation. Peace? God puts you around chaos. The dinner's burning, the telephone rings, the cat grabs the dog, the kid's diaper is dirty -- that's where you learn peace. It's easy to be peaceful laying on the beach in Tahiti. Anybody can do that. Patience? Through times of waiting. Ephesians says "We are God's workmanship" -- God wants to make a masterpiece out of you. He wants us to be mature, complete, not lacking anything. That is a picture of Jesus Christ. That's what He wants you to be like. Check out this clip that illustrates this well and pray and ask God to help you to become more like Jesus Christ. click here