Sunday, January 02, 2011

January 2, 2011 – Becoming What You Are

Passage of the Day: Ephesians 4: 1 – As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

My Journal for Today: This text for today, repeated from yesterday’s devotional, is Paul’s exhortation (i.e., God’s commands) for Christians to live in a way that exhibits who we really are in Christ. We also read a similar charge in Phil. 1: 27a where Paul states to another church of believers, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” [NIV]

As John MacArthur put it in Strength for Today, ... “The Christian life is simply becoming what Christ has already made you.” And J.M. also postulated an interesting hypothetical exercise in his devotional entry for this date. He wrote, “What if, when I was saved God put a stamp on my forehead which read, ‘Watch me! I’m a child of God’?” If this were the case, the exercise question for life would be: … Would I live any differently than I am currently if all could see my permanent label of whom I really could be?

And really we should consider that, being a born-again believer and calling ourselves “Christian” labels us to carry Christ’s Name as a part of the family of God, having become, in truth, a joint heir with Christ (see Galatians 4: 1-7 - NASB linked here). It means that we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in heaven (Ephesians 1: 3 - below). And it means that God has endowed us with HIS spiritual power (Ephesians 1: 18-19 - below).

>>> Eph. 1: 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
>>> Eph 1: 18 – 1918 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and His incomparably great power for us who believe.

So, with that being true – and it is, from God’s very word! – our whole lives should be lived to show our gratitude and worthiness as the “Christians” we have become. In fact the Greek word “worthy” translated in the Eph. 4:1 as well as Phil. 1: 27 is “axios,” which means “to come into conformity with” or “to be in balance with” a higher standard or ideal. In other words, using this Greek concept of worthiness, we need to ask ourselves, as Christians, “Am I living a life in complete conformity with the image [of Christ] I was created to become?” Or, since the Holy Spirit has sealed me to become like Christ eternally (see Rom. 8: 29 – 30 [NIV]), am I living a life in balance with that reality?

If we, as Christians, live to be that person we’ve been predestined by the Holy Spirit to become, we will be living the Christian life. AND … we will be walking with intentionality to become all we can be in Christ … i.e., … to be worthy of Him. It is God Himself Who will shape us into Christlikeness with this type of surrender. [see Phil. 1: 6]

So, we walk on!!

My Prayer Today: Help me, Lord, with your grace, to become the Christian You made me to be. Amen

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