December 18, 2017

By Paul J Banta

Romans 8:29-30 says, “From the distant past, His eternal love reached into the future. You see, He knew those who would be His one day, and He chose them beforehand to be conformed to the image of His Son so that Jesus would be the firstborn of a new family of believers, all brothers and sisters. As for those He chose beforehand, He called them to a different destiny so that they would experience what it means to be made right with God and share in His glory.” The Voice

What makes us stay in this game to work hard as we do? The answer is easy. The answer is we’re shaped like in the likeness of God’s Son Jesus Christ. We were planned, developed and we’re made and created ‘in God’s likeness.’ This design for you is a special one, and the only one like it on the earth planned just for you. It’s a plan that God gives you dignity, strength, courage, patience, integrity and much more. We can only imagine all that Romans 8:29 covers to impact our lives. We do know some of the aspects includes, that we like God, we have a spiritual nature and our spirit will be immortal and will outlast our earthly bodies. We have this intellectual capacity, and we can think, reason, and solve problems. Like God, we enjoy having relationships, and we can give and receive real love. We have a moral consciousness that requires us to be filled with integrity so that we can discern right from wrong. We have the capacity with God’s empowering to coach the game of soccer and the game of life for an eternal purpose making us accountable to God allowing us to do the game for Him and not for ourselves. We win for Him, not for our club, league, community, players, family or our career record.

Remembering that you are human, you have to continue to fight off our sin nature which causes us to do wrong damaging us and our eternal purpose. Satan is relentless and will never give up trying to move us away from the Savior. So, God sent Jesus on a mission to restore our spiritual image that we often drift away from.  What does the ‘image and likeness’ of God look like? It looks like Jesus Christ, who live on the earth and we read about it in the New Testament. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:4 says, that Jesus is “The exact likeness of God,” Colossians 1:15 says, “He is the visible image of the invisible God and the exact representation of his being.”

We can’t be God, but we can make those necessary efforts to act like Him with justice, mercy, love, and integrity. God wants you to become holy and take on His values, attitudes, and characteristics, and produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul shares this in Galatians 5:22- 26 which says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

In Ephesians 4:22 it says that we are to “Take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.”

God’s ultimate goal for our lives on this earth is not total comfort, perfect experiences for which peace and happiness are achieved, but rather His goals are to work with us to develop our character, how others see us being like His Son. Becoming like Christ does not mean losing your personality or becoming a non-thinking person with no opinion. God created your uniqueness’s, so He certainly would not want to destroy it. Being like Christ is all about transforming your character, not your personality to do this game of soccer and life for Him big time.

What’s your next move?