ODJ: Looking like Jesus

February 27, 2018 

READ: Philippians 2:1-13 

Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him (vv.12-13).

When my family and I moved to a new town, I was hired as the Director of Discipleship at our new church. For me, that means that Sundays and Wednesdays are full and that on these days I have to come up with a quick dinner or leave my husband and young daughters to fend for themselves. That’s why I’m grateful we have a microwave. When I’m pressed for time, I sometimes prepare a simple meal of baked potatoes. Instead of the hour it would take to bake them in a traditional oven, we have them ready in seven to eight minutes. That’s fast—near instant gratification!

While I’m appreciative of our microwave on jam-packed days, I know that growing in spiritual maturity is not instantaneous. Even Jesus, though sinless, took time to grow “in wisdom in stature and in favour with God and all the people” (Luke 2:52). Like other Jewish children, He certainly hid Scripture in His heart by memorising, reflecting on and studying it while He honoured God the Father with His life (Psalm 119:11). He also “learned obedience”—experiencing what it’s like to obey God even when it would cause Him pain (Hebrews 5:8). Like us, Jesus grew and matured.

To be Christ-like includes the idea of growing in our faith so that we resemble Jesus more and more (see Romans 8:29). Every time we obey God by His power, opting for His agenda instead of someone else’s or our own, we’re working “hard to show the results” of our salvation. As we do, we can be sure that God is working in us to give us “the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:12-13). As we obey God in a myriad of little steps, we’ll make our way towards a life that looks more like that of His Son.

—Marlena Graves

365-day plan: Joshua 1:1-18

Reflect on Romans 12:1-2 and consider what it means to give your body as a living sacrifice to God. 
How has God provided the power for you to grow in Christ-likeness? Why is it important to remember that growing to be more like Him is something that takes time?