When you think about coming to the Lord, you may think about all the things you need to give up. Do you think about the things you need to pick up? Don’t get me wrong, salvation is not about doing, but out of our love for the Lord we will want to do. When we follow Him, we will seek to become more like Him.
What exactly does it mean to become like Christ? You might be surprised at all the things this encompasses.
I used to think at times, “I’ve been good.” I was pleased that I was doing what God wanted me to do. Surprise! Not only will being good not save you, it does not begin to cover what you are to become. Being good simply implies that nothing bad was done in our own eyes.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Ultimately, we are just fooling ourselves when we think we have been good.
What exactly are we then to strive for if not good? What does it mean to follow Christ?
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
That puts a whole new light on things does it not? This takes the emphasis from actions to heart and even attitude. It’s not enough to not slap someone that is being irritating. We might think ourselves good if we don’t, but we fall short of where God wants us to be. Instead, we are called to be merciful, kind, and longsuffering. We are to forgive them, love them, and have the peace of God in our hearts. The list goes on.
To be like Christ, we must walk in the Spirit. We must let the Spirit control our actions. We must drink in the Word of God, and we must let it rule in our hearts and minds. That is the way to meet the challenge of verse 17. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
Today’s challenge is to look at your heart. Do you really follow Jesus? Are you just passing your version of the goodness test, or did you put on the new man as we are called to do in Colossians 3? Pray about your attitude and where you fall short. Ask God to show you where you need to work a little harder to follow Him. Strive to meet the challenge of verse 17.