The Spirit is forming Christ in us. Is that something you want? If so, then do everything you can to help Him along!
22 The LORD detests lying lips [those who say they want to be like Christ, but don’t ever allow Him to lead them], but He delights in people who are trustworthy [those who trust Christ as Lord and mean it].
29 In the way of righteousness [the Christ-Way] there is life; along that path is immortality [with Christ for eternity].
Galatians 4:19 tells us that Paul agonized over the people at the church of Galatia like a woman in childbirth until Christ was formed in them. Let’s read it:
19 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20 how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!
Paul was upset with them because false teachers had come in among them and told them that they had to follow the Jewish Law in order to serve Christ. Somehow, they made it sound right and the people bought it. Paul wrote them a letter tearing down the false teachers’ arguments and in the process, made some pretty sound doctrinal statements for us. The one in verse 19 is a big one: Christ is being formed in us!
What does Christ look like in us? Among other things, He is patient and kind. How do I know? Because that’s what love is.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
He is also steadfast. Check it out:
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance [steadfastness]; and to perseverance [steadfastness], godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.
Another synonym is long-suffering. Perseverance, steadfastness and long-suffering…do you see it? Jesus is in for the long haul. We don’t ever have to worry about going one step too far and then Him hammering us. He just takes us wherever we are when we turn back to Him and helps us down the road to His place. I don’t think He’s nearly as concerned with this world as we are, although, I do think that He can help us avoid a lot of trouble and heartache if we listen to Him and do what He says.
Has it ever occurred to you that Jesus does everything for us at His own expense? His intention is always for the benefit of others. The cross was certainly that way. How about us? Do we always do everything for the benefit of others? Here’s an example verse:
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
How about this one:
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Easy to say, hard to do, right? The key is not practice, but privilege. Spending time with the Father in private communion, trusting in the Son for strength and endurance, and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit all the time is what being a child of God is all about. When we do these things, we find ourselves being like Jesus. We don’t have to try to be like Him; we already are!
Communion with the Lord leads to living life for the benefit of others. That’s the Christ-Way. As we worship in our respective churches today, may we commune with the Father through the Son by way of the Holy Spirit with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Life in Christ is awesome, isn’t it?
Abba, as we worship You today, may we catch a vision of Your selflessness. It cost You setting aside Your glory to come to earth and die for us. Thank You for loving us that much! May we return that love as we commune with You and walk with You as You lead us to others who need You. Lead on, O King. We are at Your command. Amen.