MPGC44- JUST LIKE JESUS
By Colleen Donahue
Picture yourself paralyzed -- no movement possible. All your efforts to paint a picture or take a walk won't do any good. Now visualize yourself trusting your faithful and healthy assistant to do the things you can't do. Suddenly you can paint beautifully and walk perfectly. Your assistant wraps themselves around you and does all those actions for you. And so without effort you have a perfect performance. That is the kind of dependence we are meant to walk in.
Christ's mission on earth was to restore us to be God's own people that would be just like his son Jesus. This was what Adam and Eve were created to be. We are not restored to be "good in ourselves" but to live with Christ's own spirit (called The Holy Spirit) within us living out his life perfectly while using our body.
The greatest work on earth is to see a life completely transformed by the work Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. It's to see an independent person become wholly dependent upon God. It's to see the proud become humble and those that are harsh to become gentle and kind. We are to be "living epistles" to the world around us. We are to be.....
Just Like Jesus
Day 1 - At birth we are born with a nature that desires to sin. We have inherited impulses to do wrong and no one needs to teach us.
Galatians 5:19-21 / Ephesians 2:1-3
Day 2- We live in this inherited, fallen nature until we are "born again." At this point we have the option to be released from our "old self" and to put on the "new self" which is the nature of Christ. Our sinful nature (also called: old man, body of sin, old nature, the flesh and first Adam) has been put to death in Jesus on the cross. Jesus has done this for all men, in every century, whether we believe it or not. It is a fact -- a cosmic miracle.
Day 3- When we become a Christian, the righteous life of Jesus is imputed to us. Imputed righteousness means that we live by the righteousness of another.
Jeremiah 23:6 / Philippians 3:9
Christ's life is credited to our account. As far as our standing with God is concerned we are just like his son. We have the righteousness of Christ and that means we have Christ's right standing with God.
1 Corinthians 1:30
Day 4- We are declared righteous and perfect because Jesus is. He literally is our life because his Holy Spirit dwells within us.
Ezekiel 36:27 / Galatians 2:20
Day 5- Because Christ has dealt with our sinful nature he is able to now dwell within man via His Holy Spirit. This would not have been possible if we had been left with our old, perverted and dirty nature. But now the life of his Holy Spirit within us is an option for anyone willing to open the door of their heart to Christ.
AN INSIDE JOB
Every person wants to change something in their life. But no lasting change ever comes from will power alone. The work that God does is an "inside job". All of the good things that we'd like to do but can't, Jesus brings out of us.
Day 6- God starts the process by giving us a new heart with a new spirit. Let's go back to Ezekiel and read a few more verses.
If we have a new nature with a new heart and a new spirit why doesn't everyone get free from their personal problems or issues? The answer lies in that we don't believe that we are already free. We have to start by believing what the Word (Bible) says and then that will manifest in our life. The world teaches -- "you can believe it when you see it." God's way is opposite to this. It's when we believe it that we'll see it.
Day 7- We will never get beyond what we believe about ourselves. If we believe we are unlovable then we'll act that way. But what is actually true?
2 Corinthians 5:17
We must know WHO we are in Christ. (See Daily Discipline # 9) If we believe that we are the righteousness of Christ then we will begin to act that way. WHO we are and what we DO are two different things. God loves ME but he doesn't always love what I do.
Day 8- The fact is that at our new birth everything that we need to change is now in us. But I can't get it out. Only the Holy Spirit can get out of us what God has put in. The fact that we are complete in Christ comes in .....
It becomes more clear when we go through these verses and break them down. Reread Romans 6:1-10 and this time notice the facts that are in the past, present and future tense.
|* we have died to sin|
|*we were baptized|
|*we died with Him|
|*we were buried|
|*we have been united||*NOW we also may live new lives||*we will also be raised as He was raised|
|*we were crucified|
|*we are no longer slaves to sin||*so that sin might lose its power in our lives|
|*when we died|
|*since we died||*now he lives for the glory of God|
|*Christ rose from the dead||*consider yourselves NOW||He will never die again|
|*He died once||*do not let sin|
|*since you have been given||*do not give in|
|*sin is no longer your master||*do not let|
|*you are no longer subject to the law||*give yourself completely to God|
|*use your body as a tool of righteousness|
|*you are free|
Day 9- When does the transition come from the theory to actually occurring in our life?
Most people change by trying to DO something first and thus forcing change to come. But if we ask God for a heart revelation of WHO we are in Christ, then we naturally change what we DO, because we love Jesus and want to do what is right.
REAL CHANGE -- Face Where You are At
Day 10- The first step in getting where you need to be is to face where you are at. If we are "born again" then our dead spirit is now alive with the Holy Spirit of Jesus living within us and therefore we have what it takes to change.
Romans 8:9 / 1 Corinthians 3:16 / 1 John 2:27
Day 11- Those who belong to Jesus Christ have crucified the flesh (godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires.
Because this is true, we need to thank God for what we already have rather than asking him to give us those things again. Look at God's facts about yourself first, believe it and then you will see the results in your life. For the only things we can manifest is what we believe about our-self.
Day 12- Our job is to call upon the power of the Holy Spirit within us --- NOT to give into temptation. Then when we have the victory God gets the praise.
It is not for us to change ourselves. Only God can do that. We must lean entirely on Him.
Day 13- Do you need humility to replace your pride? God has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing. Based on this we can thank God that we already have humility because Jesus Christ in us is our humility. If you have Jesus then you "have it all".
When you pray do so as a believer NOT a beggar. Ask God to give you wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.
Ephesians 1: 17-20
Day 14- Jesus as our high priest understands our weaknesses and temptations. He's been there already -- yet without sinning. How are we to come to God to ask for his mercy and help in time of our need?
Hebrews 4: 15-16
REAL CHANGE -- Change Your Thinking
Day 15- In our first step for real change we must face the facts that when we are born again two main things happened.
We must know our position in Christ (hidden with Christ in God) and then lean on the Holy Spirit to bring out of us what Jesus has put in. We can't do this by ourselves. As we lean on the Holy Spirit we learn to yield to God and stop yielding to the enemy (the flesh).
Day 16 - The second step for real change requires a change in our thinking. List from these verses what we are to be thinking about.
Colossians 3:1-2 / Philippians 4:8
If we don't do something about our thoughts then our behavior will never change. This is not easy but when we ask the Holy Spirit to help us, He will. You can tell how you think by how you talk. Do you talk like this?
I'm too tired.
Nobody really loves me.
I can't go on.
I can't figure things out.
I can't do it.
I'm not able.
It's not worth it.
I can't forgive myself.
I can't manage.
I'm always worried and frustrated.
I'm not smart enough.
I feel all alone.
If these phrases sound familiar then ask the Holy Spirit to tap you on the shoulder so that you can replace these words with new and true speech. May I suggest that you memorize the verses below so that your thinking will align with God's word.
|It's impossible.||All things are possible.||Luke 18:27|
|I'm too tired.||I will give you rest.||Matthew 11:28-30|
|Nobody really loves me.||I love you.||Jeremiah 31:3 /
John 3:16 /
1 John 3:1
|I can't go on.||My grace is sufficient for you.||Psalm 91:15 /
2 Corinthians 12:9
|I can't figure things out.||I will direct your steps.||Proverbs 3:5-6|
|I can't do it.||You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.||Philippians 4:13|
|I'm not able.||I am able.||2 Corinthians 9:8|
|It's not worth it.||It will be worth it.||Romans 8:28|
|I can't forgive myself.||I forgive you.||1 John 1:9 / Romans 8:1|
|I can't manage.||I will supply all your needs.||Philippians 4:19|
|I'm afraid.||I have not given you a spirit of fear.||2 Timothy 1:7|
|I'm always worried and frustrated.||Cast all your cares on ME.||1 Peter 5:7|
|I'm not smart enough||I give you wisdom.||1 Corinthians 1:30|
|I feel all alone.||I will never leave you or forsake you.||Hebrews 13:5|
REAL CHANGE -- Yield to the Holy Spirit
Day 17- Christians don't walk in all that God has done for them because there is work or pain involved. When we are born again Jesus does all kinds of things for us. But then comes a time for a deeper commitment. It's a time when we say, "I want YOUR will -- not mine." Or, "I want YOUR thoughts -- not mine." Our soul life (mind, will, emotions) must constantly be obeying. It must be submitted to the cross daily.
2 Corinthians 4:10-12
Day 18- As we submit daily to the crosses that God allows for us (usually in the form of people) then the evil desires in us are killed (Colossians 3:5) and in a very real way we share in Jesus Christ's sufferings.
Jesus died so that we could live. Now as we die others can live. Never fight with your flesh because that just feeds it. Submit (or yield) to God by laughing at the flesh and singing the Lord's praises. In so doing we resist the devil and he has to flee.
DON'T BE AN OLD TESTAMENT CHRISTIAN
So often we are New Testament Christians living under the Old Testament law. Does this pattern sound familiar?
We do wrong -----we feel bad---we try and make up for it ----we go on a guilt trip.
Day 19- What two facts are clearly stated in this verse about you?
Note: To be sanctified or made holy means that we are purified and consecrated (or set aside) for God's use.
Day 20- If Jesus Christ's sacrifice took care of forgiveness and guilt then there is no more sacrifice left to be made.
This is illustrated by what Jesus Christ did after he made the one time sacrifice for sins.
Day 21- By Christ's perfect sacrifice He fulfilled the law and set us free from having to sin. He also set us free from feeling guilty when we do make a mistake. Guilt is a trap of Satan and a treadmill for us. The truth is that it's over with Christ's death.
Hebrews 10: 14,17
Day 22- It's wrong thinking to feel that you need to suffer and feel bad for a few days before you have earned the right to receive forgiveness. We are actually of no value to God while we are in this condition. So what do we do?
1 John 1:9
As soon as the Holy Spirit convicts you of your sin then immediately confess it.
Day 23- Then plead the blood of Jesus for your sin so that not a minute goes by when you are separated from God because of your sin. Christ's blood not only makes forgiveness possible but it cleanses our conscience so that we are again free to serve God.
How do we plead the blood of Jesus? We might say to God something like this. "Father, I have done this (name it) and the Holy Spirit has convicted me that it is wrong. I confess this sin and thank you that Christ has already seen it and included me and my sin in his sacrifice on the cross. I accept right now your forgiveness and cleansing. I desire to walk free of this sin going forward." Amen.
Day 24- Then boldly go before God and thank Him for Jesus our high priest who has made it possible to be forgiven, cleansed and restored.
Day 25- Then sit down and rest. Put your feet on your enemies necks and rejoice in what God has already done.
Note: Our enemies are our weaknesses that Satan is using to steal our peace and our joy. God doesn't remove all these enemies as they make us dependent upon God while we are in this body.
It's possible for you and I to put our feet on our enemies necks because as God's children we are "in Christ" and God has placed everything under his feet!
Ephesians 1:22a / Hebrews 2:8
Day 26- If you feel that God has no right to bless someone if they don't deserve it then you are an Old Testament Christian. Stop right now and remember that NONE OF US deserve God's blessing. What clear fact is stated in this verse that we looked at earlier?
Notice the past tense -- "He has blessed us...."
Day 27- What God really wants from us is the sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise. When he hears that, then He knows that we have accepted His Son's work on the cross. He can draw us close as His child.
Psalm 100:4 / 1 Thessalonians 5:18 / Hebrews 13:15
Anytime you are tempted to be anxious or complain about something, turn it into a prayer so that God can do something about it.
Day 28- Becoming like Jesus begins the moment we allow the Holy Spirit into our lives. But it is also a process that takes a lifetime. No matter what we think we still lack in looking just like Jesus, we can have the joy of knowing how our Father sees us -- and He is all that matters!
In Isaiah 61:10 we can see that a double transaction has occurred. first God takes away the filthy garments of sin and clothes us with garments of salvation. Then on top of this he puts on us robes of righteousness (not our own but Christ's). Because of this we are justified in God's sight. We've become "just as if we'd never sinned." The supreme court of Heaven declares us "not guilty" and we are acquitted. There is now NOTHING that the devil can put his finger on to say that we are guilty. If we keep our position "in Christ" (wearing our robes of righteousness) then NOTHING in the record of Heaven will appear against us.
Note: Sin committed against other men may still hold consequences in the courts of men. If you have committed a felony then you may still go to jail but in Heaven's courts there is nothing against you. You may be in prison but with a transformed heart and one that is at peace.
GUILT VS. CONVICTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Day 29- You may at times undergo conviction by the Holy Spirit and at other times experience guilt. (Satan's primary weapon against humanity). What's the difference?
In the case of guilt you never know when you've done enough. It never ends. Nothing you do is ever sufficient and one is always left discouraged and without hope.
Psalm 38:4 / Psalm 40:12
Day 30- But the conviction of the Holy Spirit is quite different. The Holy Spirit whispers to us, "You did this and it's wrong." We hear him, are cut to the heart and immediately ask the same question these Christians asked.
We then confess our sin, repent of it and make restitution if needed. The matter is then settled and nothing further needs to be done.
Once again we are right in God's eyes.
Day 31- We must take our stand on God's promises.
Notice that the verse says, "YOU will refute (or silence) every tongue that accuses you." WE must REJECT ALL of Satan's accusations and REFUSE to come under guilt and condemnation. It is not our righteousness being challenged but Christ's righteousness that has been transferred to us. We cannot live a spirit controlled life if we are under condemnation.
Day 32- In Revelations 12:10 we get a glimpse of a final conflict between the people of God and the Kingdom of Satan. Satan accuses us before the throne of God day and night. How do we overcome our accuser?
When we testify personally to what God's word says that the blood of Jesus has done for us then Satan's mouth is stopped. He has no answer to this!
JUST LIKE JESUS -- IT'S GOD'S WILL FOR US
Day 33- We are saved because God chose us and we responded to HIS choice of us.
While it's true that we have to choose, it's also true that we would never be able to choose if God hadn't chosen us in the first place.
Notice verse 5 speaks of our adoption by God. Adoption is always the parent choosing the child (not the other way around). This means that God has no second class children. All his children are chosen and welcome and through Jesus they are highly favored.
Every time we yield to God's voice, whether in the big or little issues, we change. And what the world begins to see is a life that is just like Jesus! In our next study we'll learn the reason that this is so important.
Next Study: MPGC#45