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Friday, November 13, 2009

oh to be like Him

The other day there was a sentence from an internet devotion that kept running through my mind. That sentence was: Spending time in Bible reading and prayer makes us acquainted with Him and we start becoming like Him. The hymn, Oh to Be Like Thee, kept singing in my head. Many have a desire to be like Jesus. We grieve when we find things in our life that are contrary to His righteous example and holy life. Some pastors have even taught us that we cannot hope be like Christ because we will always continue to sin.

As I thought about this one sentence something became clear to me. The major reason we have so much trouble living a righteous life and being like Christ is because we neglect to spend time with Him.

Have you ever had a friend who had a catch phrase that they used all the time? Maybe it was a funny accent. Or it might have been an exclamation or a certain way of saying something. Rememer how easily you found yourself using the phrase?
I had friends when I was growing up who used the word “y’all” when they were speaking of more than one 'you.' The usual plural of ‘you’ is simply ‘you’ but people from certain regions of the country use the word "y’all" to signify more than one. I still use it today, especially when I’m writing casually. Another friend used the word, “Toads!” or she would tell her friend, "You toad!" when she was frustrated or aggravated about something. I picked up the exclamation. It endures to this day.

It just goes to show that we pick up the tendencies and ways of our friends. Those were rather mild examples, but some have picked up cigarettes and alcohol or gambling and other evil habits from their associates. Didn’t Paul know what he was talking about! Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. I Corinthians 15:33 and rendered in the Amplified: Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character

By the same token, we can also pick up good habits. I have had friends who used bad language until they started being friends with me. Then they stopped just because I didn’t swear so they got out of the habit. We’ve all had friends who began doing more positiive things just because they enjoyed being with us.
So why is it that if we want to be more like Jesus we don’t spend more time hanging out with Him! We neglect to read our bibles and wonder why we can’t understand the word of God. We neglect to pray with any regularity and are discouraged because we seem to have no power in our prayers. We are caught in little sins that hurt our hearts but we just can’t seem to lay them aside. And we wonder why they slip into our lives so easily. Maybe if we spent more time in the presence of Jesus we would be more aware of them and because we were aware of them we would avoid them.

Keep in mind the custom you follow in your everyday life: You spend time with the people you love and enjoy being with.
Hmmm. What does that tell us about our relationship with and our feelings toward Jesus? We visit Him on Sunday mornings but not too long. If He’s lucky we wave at him or stop by service mid week. If someone gets hurt or there is a danger, we call Him fast for help. Oh yes, many of us make a ritual out of a rote prayer at meal time, but mosty often there is little conection with God.. Is that the way we treat our friends? If we really love Him the way we say we do, we will be spending time with Him.

Oh! to be like Thee, blessed Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh! to be like Thee, oh! to be like Thee,
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
Oh! to be like Thee, full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wand’ring sinner to find.
Oh! to be like Thee, lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer, others to save.
Oh! to be like Thee, Lord, I am coming,
Now to receive th’ anointing divine;
All that I am and have I am bringing,
Lord, from this moment all shall be Thine.
Oh! to be like Thee, while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love,
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above

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