Summary: God’s plan from the very beginning has been to make human beings like Himself. This is His third purpose for your life, to make you like Jesus Christ.
CREATED TO BECOME LIKE CHRIST
The 3rd Purpose of Your Life
The Purpose Driven Life – Part 4 of 7
• Everybody needs a purpose and that’s why we’re spending 40 Days of Purpose, looking at God’s 5 main purposes for our lives.
• Let’s just quickly review what we have looked at, First, You Were Planned for God’s Pleasure. Our first purpose is to get to know and love God. That’s called what?…Worship.
• Next we talked about how You Were Formed for God’s Family. God wants us to learn to love other people and get along in His family, and the Bible calls that what?…Fellowship.
• Today we look at the third purpose that God put you on this planet for, and we find it in Romans 8:29 and many other verses. Look there on your outline, “For from the very beginning God decided that those who came to Him – and He knew who would – should become like His Son”. God’s plan from the very beginning has been to make human beings like Himself. And so here we have God’s third purpose for your life, to make you like Jesus Christ.
• That doesn’t mean you’ll ever be a god – not even if you were a doctor. He wants you to become godly. He wants you to develop His character, the way He thinks, the way He acts, the way He feels, His values, His moral character. God wants to make you and me like Himself, and that’s God’s third plan for putting us on this planet, to make us like Jesus.
• Look at the next verse, Eph. 4:15, let’s read it aloud, “God wants us to grow up…like Christ in everything”. Now what does it mean to grow up? It means to be like Christ. God’s will for you and me is that we grow up.
• Numbers of our families have all recently been blessed with the addition of little babies. Our middle daughter Gabrielle and her husband Scott are due to have their second child in May. And babies sure are cute; we just love those helpless, dependent little souls so much. And we get so excited when they say GOO GOO or GA GA and smile. Meaningless sounds, but we love them…for a while, because we know and expect that they will grow up. But if at 5 or 10 years of age that child is still just saying GOO GOO and GA GA, it’s tragic. Every parent here today understands this point. You would be concerned if your child didn’t grow and develop.
• God wants us to mature and develop. So what does spiritual maturity look like? Just take a long look at Jesus Christ. Unfortunately a lot of people grow older but never grow up.
• So please underscore this point on your outline, my third purpose in life is to become like Christ. God gave us a model of what He wants us to grow up like.
• Now there’s a process. This doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not like one day all the sudden – ZAP – you’re just like Jesus. It’s a process, and this process is called “discipleship”, and it takes an entire lifetime. It’s going to take the rest of our life for God to build into you and me the character qualities of Jesus Christ.
So today we’re going to look at “How God does that”. How he helps us grow spiritually. How He makes us like Jesus Christ.
• We already are familiar with a couple of ways. We know He uses the Bible. It takes truth to transform us. If you really want to grow up spiritually, you’ve got to get into this Book. The more you get into it, the more you’re going to grow. You need to read it and study it and memorize it and meditate on it and think about it and apply it in your life, because it takes truth to transform us.
• And secondly, He uses people, - that’s why last week we talked about fellowship, that when we learn from each other – that’s how we grow and we develop. No child grows up all by itself. That’s why God places children in families where they can receive care, attention, nurture, and instruction. And in the same way, every one of us needs care spiritually. People grow best when they are connected in meaningful relationships with others. And the more you get together with other Christians, and interact with them, the more spiritually mature you’re going to become. That’s the value of the small groups – your spiritual family.
Listen to this email from sent by a member at Saddleback church to Rick Warren:
“Dear Pastor Rick,
We’re a group of members who have gone to Saddleback for many years, but we convinced ourselves we didn’t need a small group because we’re all active in various ministries and felt too busy. About a year ago after feeling much guilt, we half-heartedly decided to form a group that would meet once every three weeks. Well, you guessed what happened. We fizzled. Then came 40 Days and we all recommitted to meet every week during the campaign. We’ve now had three meetings and I can tell you this has been an unbelievable experience. For me personally, I can’t imagine a week without our small group now. I have such a desire, not a burden, to be there and to discuss the daily readings. Our children have even gotten into it. They baby-sit for another group that meets at the same time as our group. This has given them a chance to serve others. Just wanted you to know the difference the weekly meetings has made in my life. Please pray that once we finish the 40 Days our group will continue with the same passion and enthusiasm.”