Beginning in Christlikeness
by Jonathan Bailey
Luke 10:27 (NASB)
And he answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”
How are we to view the human being? How do we decipher the many complex layers that encompass a human? This question has been around for milleniums and is essential to understanding our journey into Christlikeness.
The best way to understand the human is to take what the Creator of all human beings tells us. Jesus says we have a heart, soul, body, mind, and relationships (social arena). So we have five distinctive parts to the human being, and inside each one of those we see several layers that differentiate each other.
The human being is complex and these five elements intertwine with each other making any study into the depths of human beings a massive and collossal one. The best illustration I have come up with is a computer, if you think on the workings of a computer and everything that goes into it then you only begin to scratch the surface of the complexities of the human.
“Making It” In This Life
There is an awful lot of talk about purpose, specifically your own purpose or destiny. We see it in our bestselling literature and most popular movies. Someone is fulfilling their destiny; there is nothing greater than witnessing someone rise to the occasion and fullfil their call in life. Calling, destiny, purpose are great things and I don’t want to discount them too much, but I do want to say that we have the tendency to replace God (Trinity) with our purpose.
Most people are living their lives to fullfil whatever their destiny may be, so they use every effective means to be able to achieve this end (even God). God is never a means to an end. God is never the end in itself. God is the means and the end! Let me say as clearly and precisly as I can, that you, reading these words right now have no greater purpose than to become like Christ. You have no greater destiny than to be like Jesus. You have no greater calling than to be with Jesus learning to be like him. Thats it.
True Purpose Unveiled
Everyone who is searching for significance, purpose, destiny, and calling you need not look any further. When Jesus Christ stood amongst the needy people of Judea and said “Follow Me” there was the most challenging, gracious, and fullfiling statement ever uttered to man. When Jesus said those two words His intention was that you and I would become the kind of person whom would naturally take on His way of living. Period. There is so much more to say about this, unfortunately I will get off track if I continue any further. If you would like to know more please read the Gospels in light of the calling of Jesus. Follow Me.
The reason I mentioned this is to say that each element of the body is to become transformed. It is to take on the character of Christ. Your heart will begin to reflect the heart of Jesus, your mind will begin to think like Jesus, your soul will oreint itself like Jesus’ did, your body will respond like Jesus, your mind will unconsciously and consciously dwell on the goodness of God, and in your relationships you will begin to promote the good of others instead of your own (primarily).
A Call Worthy of Your Entire Life
Such a life seems out of reach, but that’s the point! It is so far out reach that we are going to have to rely on He who is willing and able. Jesus’ call is such an enormous transforming event, that it will require all of your life. And Jesus recognizes this and tells us this over and over, “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple (Luke 14:27). “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it (Luke 9:24). So Jesus calls us to come under the radical renovation of the heart by living the life Jesus lived and constantly responding to the overtures of His grace.
Let’s take the journey: to be with Him, learning to be like Him.