Becoming like Jesus
By Larry Platner
The Romans passage above when quoted usually excludes verse 29. The focus is on “God causes everything to work together for the good”. It is very reassuring to know that God can take any change in your life and bring good out of it. However, how we define good usually goes something like, ‘God has a better job for me, a better house, a better mate, etc.’ This appeals to our own desires for what we think is best for our lives.
But read on. Verse 29 actually defines what the “good” is; “to become like his Son”. God could change our circumstances, replacing our losses with something better, removing us from painful situations to a better one, etc… but God has a greater gift for us then bettering our circumstances. He desires to make us more like his Son.
Adam was created in the image of God. That image was marred by sin. Christ is the first human since Adam to fully reflect the image of God, the first born of a new humanity. In Christ we are now having the image of God restored in us, in part now, fully in eternity. What could possibly be a greater gift than to be like Jesus, to fully reflect the image of God which is inherent with us, waiting to be released in full.
Does the following prayer express your desire, why or why not?
Thank you that you chose to love me, even though I never could have earned or deserved it. I invite your love to shine into the darkened spaces of my heart. I turn from the things that distract me from your love and turn towards you. I pray that I would know your power in my pain, your wisdom in my questions and your constancy in my restlessness. I invite your Spirit to make me more like Jesus, even in the places where I don’t yet understand. Amen (Sarah Yardley, More Change, Ashford Colour Press, Potterhanworth, Lincolnshire, 2021, Kindle Version Loc 266)