With each passing birthday, I see my mother’s face increasingly looking back at me in the mirror. The resemblance is something in the eyes, I think. As a young girl, I would sit on the edge of the tub and watch her get ready for work or a date night and think what a princess she was. I felt proud when others thought I resembled her. I still do. I have good genes.
But there is One that I so long to resemble and the older I get the more aware of my lack of resembling Him that I am.
When my boys were small and I caught them being kind to one another or sharing with a friend or helping me as I unloaded the car, I would encourage them by letting them know they were looking like Jesus.
Know who you are resembling right now? I would bend and whisper into their ear.
Jesus! would be their excited answer.
As those who have surrendered their life to follow Jesus and are lovingly bond to Him, isn’t the goal of the spiritual practices we walk in for us to increasingly resemble Him? As Philippians 2:5 affirms, we have the mind of Christ. So then ought we not to also begin to overflow His attitude, thoughts and even emotions towards the circumstances around us?
How do we, redeemed sinners tied up in fleshy bodies, begin to resemble our Savior?
As my man and I near another wedding anniversary, having been together now for nearly a quarter century, I see so much more of me in and him and vice versa. We can almost finish one another’s sentences. In a similar way that he and I have gotten to resemble one another, you and I can resemble Jesus.
First, we must get to know Him. Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1:14). Peter tells us we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus (2 Peter 3:18). Peter is referring to a first hand experiential knowledge that is intimate and personal. Through reading the Word and spending time in His presence, we become increasingly aware of Him and come to know Him more and more.
Romans 12:1-2 urges those who follow Jesus to let our mind be transformed by His Word. We can’t resemble Him without His Word abiding in us. As we get to know Him and know His Word, we will desire to know it better. As we press in to memorize and mediate on His Word, it will more naturally become the overflow of our own thoughts and words.
Finally, to more closely resemble Jesus, we are to take up the lifestyle He exemplified for us by living a life of prayer. His constant communion with the Father was the mark of how He lived His life on earth.
In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul commissions them to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:16). Paul knew, as Jesus modeled, that one cannot resemble another without spending much time talking with and listening to the other.
We become like the people we spend the most time with. If we want to resemble Jesus, then we He must be the One we spend the most time getting to know, thinking like and talking to.
How today might we take a step towards resembling our Savior in the midst of our circumstances, responsibilities and callings?
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