Summary: You were created to become like Christ


Sunday, May 16, 2004

Welcome back to the 4th week of 40 Days of Purpose where we have taken 40 days out of our schedule and set them aside as a church and as individuals to discover the answer to the question “What on Earth are we here for?” How are we going to spend the rest of the 25,510 days of our lives?

So far what have we learned? We have learned that the key to life is that life is not about us, it’s about God. We were created for God and we were created by God. We were created for His purposes out of His love. Secondly, we have learned that we were planned for God’s pleasure and what brings God pleasure we call worship. Worship is anything that puts a smile on God’s face which includes corporate praise, how we live our lives, acts of obedience, how we conduct ourselves in the workplace and a lot of other different avenues for pleasing God.

We learned also that we were formed for God’s family. God loves us and he wants us to love what he loves, and God loves people. God loves the church and, in fact, he has died for the church. We were never meant to live life alone and on our own. We were intended for fellowship; fellowship takes time to develop - friendships take time. If we want to fulfill God’s purposes in our life and discover the fullness of his life in us, we need to accomplish his purposes.

Where do we get this stuff? We get this stuff from the owner’s manual and this is our owner’s manual [holding Bible] that God has provided for us so we can discover why we were created and how we work.

Recently I read an article in the Wall Street Journal which reminded me of the importance of reading the instruction book. Alan Smith wrote it. If you are technologically challenged, you’ll be able to sympathize with some of the problems below. The following is an excerpt from the Wall Street Journal:

• Compaq is considering changing the command “press any key” to “press return key” because of the flood of calls asking where is the “any” key.

• A Dell technician advises his customer to put his troubled floppy back into the drive and close the door. The customer asked the tech to hold on and was heard putting the phone down, getting up and crossing the room to close the door to his room.

• An IBM customer had troubles installing software and rang for support. I put in the first disk and that was okay. It said to put in the second disk and I had some problems with that. When it said to put the third disk in, I couldn’t even fit it in. The user hadn’t realized that insert disk two meant to remove disk one first.

• Another Dell customer called to say he couldn’t get his computer to fax anything. After 40 minutes of troubleshooting the technician discovered the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding it in front of the monitor screen and hitting the send key.

• A confused caller to IBM was having trouble printing documents. He told the technician that the computer had said it couldn’t find the printer. The user had also turned the computer screen to face the printer but his computer still couldn’t see the printer.

• Another customer called Compaq tech support to say her brand new computer wouldn’t work. She said she unpacked the unit, plugged it in and sat there for 20 minutes waiting for something to happen. When asked what happened when she pressed the power switch, she asked, “What power switch?”

So, it highlights the importance of reading the manual. It is important for us to read God’s manual to discover his purposes because his purposes are like power switches; unless we flip them on, nothing happens in our lives, or not much.

Today we are on God’s third purpose for our lives. That third purpose we call discipleship or “We were created to become like Christ.” Again, you will want to use your bulletin insert. There is an outline that we will be referring to and reading passages from. Genesis 1:26-27 this comes from: “Let us make people in our image, to be like ourselves. So God created people in His image. God patterned them after Himself.”

From the very beginning it has always been God’s desire to make us to be just like him. Not to be God. Notice the word like. Now like is a simile, not a metaphor. You will never be God. We can be like God, meaning like God in character. At the very beginning God created us in His image. What happened to us? Are we in His image? Are people godly today and God-like? Well, no. What happened? How did things get messed up? That is where Genesis 3 comes in. It is written that there was a fall; something took place, people decided to go their own way. They thought they could do things better than God did. The effect of it was like taking a solid glass globe and dropping it onto a concrete floor. What would happen? It wouldn’t totally shatter, but it would crack. It would have a lot of spiders in it; that is what happened to us. When we decided to live our lives our own way, the image of God in us cracked. It became marred. It became skewed, so the image of God was blurred in some way. In response to that God decided to restore His image in us and he did it by sending Jesus down to Earth to pay for the damage done by our sin. It is in Jesus Christ that we become new creatures. God, in Christ, recreates us in His image.

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