Have you ever noticed that many of the grandest goals, when they are promoted as worthwhile of attention and energy, are rarely accompanied by a clear answer to the question of how to achieve them?
Think about it: World peace. Eradicate crime. Racial equality. Solve world hunger. Eliminate poverty. Who doesn't want those things?
The loftiest of aspirations, for the Christian, is to be like Christ. In fact, the Christian believes that the best way to contribute to any other lofty goal is for they themselves to become more like Jesus.
Our church family has made it no secret that our mission is to help as many people as we can to have life in and like Jesus Christ. That is because life in Jesus secures our future (for eternity, in fact) in the Kingdom of Heaven, and life like Jesus brings the Kingdom of Heaven into us experientially now, and delivers that Kingdom through us to the world.
You becoming like Jesus is not only the call of the Bible, but is the gift of God as the best life available to you, and is ultimately the way you will contribute to delivering life to others.
So, become like Jesus. But... how?
I have been working this week to prepare an answer for that question today that is true, clear, and doable. Any attempt to answer must work (be true), must be understandable (clear), and must be possible (doable) to be useful at all.
So, I do not mind confessing that I am a bit intimidated this week, trying to give a 20-minute answer to this question. Of all of the how-to instructions that have existed, exist, and that could ever exist, instructions on "how to become like Jesus" - for believers - is the loftiest set of instructions we could ever find, for the loftiest goal that we could ever achieve.
But as we learned last week, God's will is for us to be conformed into the image of Jesus. It is His purpose. He predetermined us for it, He calls us to it, He justifies us so that can do it, all for His glory and our joy.
So, today, my best shot at how to become like Jesus.