I just returned from our annual All-Church Family Camp at Snowflower. We had a great time together. On Sunday morning I shared from Matthew 16:24, “Whoever wants to be My Disciple, let them deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow me.” God created each of us on purpose for a purpose. Romans 8:29 affirms this truth, “From the very beginning God decided that those who came to Him, and He knew who would, should become like His Son.” His plan for us from the beginning was for each of us to be “Just Like Jesus”. (That is a great book by the way…by Max Lucado).
God uses the following tools to make us “Like Jesus”:
- Hope to Inspire us – Jeremiah 29:11-14.Neil Clark Warren says, “Hope is the indispensable fuel for all human action.” He is the source of our hope. When we are hopeless…Jeremiah reminds us that God will bring us back from captivity. What are you captive to this day?
- Truth to Transform us – Joshua 1:8-9. Only the Word of God can transform. (Remember that Jesus is the Word – John 1:1.) In what area(s) do you need to experience transformation? Immerse yourself in the Word.
- People to Support us – Hebrews 10:25.We were created for relationship within community. Is there someone within your Sphere of Influence that you need to support or that can support you?Do not forsake the assemblage of Christ-followers. The Church exists so that we will encourage one another to demonstrate His love to our culture and to accomplish the good deeds He created us to perform.
4. Circumstances to Teach us – Romans 8:28.
A. Trouble can teach us to TRUST (Like Jesus in the Garden – Mark 14:32-36).
B. Temptations can teach us to OBEY (Like Jesus in the Wilderness – Mathew 4).
C. Trespasses can teach us to Forgive (Like Jesus on the Cross – Luke 23:34).
Does every temptation provide us with a choice? Make INTENTIONAL God honoring choices.
- Commitments to Launch us – Verses like Matthew 6:33 & 2 Chronicles 16:9motivate us tounderstand the difference between committed and FULLY committed. Is there anything that you are refusing to turn over to Him?
Rick Warren says it well, “Sadly, a quick review of many popular Christian books reveals that many believers have abandoned living for God’s great purposes and settled for personal fulfillment and emotional stability. That is narcissism, not discipleship. Jesus did not die on the cross so we could live comfortable, well-adjusted lives. His purpose is far deeper: He wants to make us like Himself before He takes us to heaven. This is our greatest privilege, our immediate responsibility, and ultimate destiny.” That’s good isn’t it!