Proverbs 25 9-25-18

Becoming like Jesus is our goal and our destiny. Being obedient to His Spirit is how we become like Him.

[28] Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.

I would give anything to be able to “fight the good fight if faith (1 Timothy 6:12)” and live my life with my focus on the Gospel and sharing God’s love; instead, I wind up spending all of my energy and brain usage on self-control. My first inclination for anything is selfish, or, at least, self-centered. Learning to think of others and their welfare first does not come easily. I understand why the LORD saw fit to place His Spirit inside of us: We need His personal assistance if we are ever to succeed in holiness. His residence in us has SO MANY benefits, one of which is that we have the mind of Christ:

1 Corinthians 2:16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

In order to access Him, we must first put off our “old man,” our former selves:

Ephesians 4:22-24 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; [23] to be made new in the attitude of your minds;

And put on the new man–Jesus Himself!

[24] and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

This task never gets easy. I used to think that as I grew older that it would get easier; instead, what I find is that God keeps reaching down into me and pulling up more “stuff” with which to deal.

Take forgiveness, for instance. We say we forgive someone, but we cannot shake the memory of the deed or the feelings that go with the memory, so the next time we see the person, we have to work through the process all over again. As we pray for this person and work on releasing hIm each time, we find that, over time, we begin to have God’s heart for that person, which is always compassion. Do we ever forget? Probably not. But we can transform the memory into a “trophy of His grace” if we are persistent. We are ALL trophies of His grace:

Ephesians 2:7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

As we walk with Jesus today, know that we are being fashioned into His likeness–somehow, someway–and that the WALK is the important part. We’d best leave the rest up to Him.

2 Corinthians 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

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