Summary: God is more interested in who you are than He is in what you do. We define ourselves by our jobs, our homes, our wealth, our education, our friends. But these are secondary issues. When you die, you won’t take your career to heaven; but you will take y
Around here we sometimes say that we want to be “Jesus with skin on” to each other. That’s just another way of saying that we want to be Christ-like. And that’s the very reason God chose us. To make us like Jesus.
[God] has always known who his chosen ones would be. He had decided to let them become like his own Son…
Romans 8:29 (CEV)
To be like Jesus means that we think and act and care and feel the way Jesus thinks and acts and cares and feels. And that’s what God is passionate about producing in our lives. Christ-likeness.
Everybody needs a purpose and that’s why we are spending 40 days discovering our purpose – looking at God’s purposes for our lives.
We’ve discovered that we were planned for God’s pleasure… that’s worship.
We’ve discovered that we were formed for God’s family… that’s fellowship.
Next week, we’ll discover that we are shape for serving God… that’s ministry.
Today, we’re exploring how we have been created to become like Christ.
You see, God is more interested in who you are than He is in what you do. We define ourselves by our jobs, our homes, our wealth, our education, our friends. But these are secondary issues. When you die, you won’t take your career to heaven; but you will take your character. Are you becoming more and more like Jesus?
When you understand that God is intent on making you more and more like Jesus, your life will start to make more sense. God is far more interested in our character than in our comfort – in our holiness than our happiness. The process that He uses to make us like Jesus is called discipleship.
God’s purpose for me is discipleship.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)
Look at the verse.
Jesus doesn’t say, “Make decisions.” He says, “Make disciples.” One of my concerns about us as a church is that we are a lot better at getting people to make decisions than we are at getting people to make disciples. Making disciples is our Lord’s last command. That means that making disciples should be the priority of the Church. This is more than just getting people to make decisions for Christ. It is getting people to become disciples of Christ.
What is a disciple?
When you walk into this building and look up you’ll see our vision. We say we exist to help people grow to be passionate followers of Christ.
A Passionate Follower of Christ.
That’s a disciple. A follower of Jesus.
Think about it. What makes our faith unique is that we’ve not been invited to a set of rules and regulations. We’ve not been invited to live a life of dos and don’ts. We’ve not been invited to religion. We’ve been invited to a relationship.
Think about how Jesus called people to Himself. In Matthew 4:19, Jesus says to Peter and Andrew, “Follow Me.” In Matthew 8:22, Jesus says to a man making excuses, “Follow Me.” In Matthew 9:9, Jesus says to Matthew, “Follow Me.” In John 1:43 Jesus says to Philip, “Follow Me.” And then at the end of His time on this earth in John 21 He says again to Peter, “Follow Me.”
Now, what about that do we not get? To be a true Christian – to be a real Christian – means that I am living a life of following Jesus. He takes a step and He leaves a footprint and I put my foot where His was.
Christ… suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps.
I Peter 2:21(ESV)
Following Jesus means that Jesus is my pattern. Jesus is my example. I walk in His steps. I say what He would say. I do what He would do. I live how He would live. I go where He would go. I act how He would act. I think how He would think. I feel how He would feel. Christ-likeness – being Jesus with skin on – a life of putting my feet where His would be – is our goal.
One again, let me emphasize that following Jesus – discipleship – is not about rules and regulations and dos and don’ts and list-keeping. Our vision statement says, “Helping people grow “to be…” not grow “to do…” The emphasis is on who I am not what I do. God knows that if we are right on the inside, then we’ll be right on the outside.