< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Becoming like Jesus is a process

Friday, July 13, 2007

Becoming like Jesus is a process

I love to water-ski and I read an illustration once about God driving the boat for Christians who are learning to ski.

It said that first of all the Christian might have his life jacket on, he might have a great ski or skis, but if he is out in the water without a rope connected to the boat he’s not going to ski!

Then lets say the driver tosses him the rope. Now he has the connection and the power, but he still has to do something. He has to reach out and grab the rope.

Matthew 5:48 tells us, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Is there any way we can be perfect by ourselves? Yet that’s a command of God’s!

Like grabbing the rope we need to reach out and connect with God who will share His perfectness with us. So how does that work in our daily lives?

When we become Christians, God places us in the vine, abiding in Christ, connected to Him. With Christ’s death we are in position. But, the transformation of our attitudes and character are a process. A life long process.

We can know that we will get there because God promises us in Philippians 1:6 that “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” When we stand before Jesus Christ all believers will be complete. We will be like Him. That’s a Biblical promise, so we can claim it because God doesn’t lie!

Frequently we blow the process. We think and act without including God. But, don’t let these set backs rob you of the joy of knowing Christ and knowing that through it all you are growing closer to Him.

Picture God as the driver of the boat again. He tosses you the rope and says, “I’ll teach you.” You grab it – and get up – and you fall. He tosses it again with a few more instructions, you grab it, get up again, maybe even ski a foot or two…and fall again.

This can be fun to watch because some water-skiing falls can be pretty spectacular! Just like some of our mistakes! But, like a good and patient water-skiing instructor God keeps circling the boat around and coming back. With a little more guidance and infinite patience.

Gradually with careful listening to the instructions it gets easier and you will fall less often. After a time it becomes a natural part of you and you don’t have to think about what you do – you just do it!

God knows we are going to fall, but He won’t give up on us. Neither should you!

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