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Christ-Likeness

By J. Vernon McGee


      I just threw into the wastebasket a magazine from a so called Christian organization which told about all the things that you can get through prayer. The article promised that God will make you prosperous, that He will give you health and that He will give you everything. My friend, God is not a glorified Santa Claus! But our God is moving in a very definite way. If you want an answer to your problems . . . . God is the answer to your problems.

      In the beginning of this book, Habakkuk came to God and said, "Why are You doing these things? Why are You permitting me to see evil? Why don't You move?" God brought Habakkuk to the watchtower and let him see what He was doing. Now Habakkuk says, "I am going to walk by faith with God." My friend, God is the answer to your problem today. I don't know who you are or what your problem is, but God is the answer.

      God has a purpose in your life, and He intends to carry it through. You can have faith and confidence in Him. You can trust Christ, and when you trust Him you will find that He begins to work in you. He wants to conform you to His image--it is God's intention to make you like Christ.

      The apostle Paul writes: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8:28-29).

      Regardless of the big words Paul uses, he simply means that God's eternal purpose with you is to make you like Jesus Christ. Again, he illustrates this: "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18).

      My friend, God has a purpose for you. It does not matter who you are. To say that someone else has a great purpose in life than you have is entirely wrong. You are as important in God's plan and purpose as any individual who has ever lived or ever will live on this earth. He wants to make you like Christ (1 Cor. 15:47-49).

      We are down here in these human bodies that have actually been taken out of the dirt; and God has made us human beings, but that is not His final purpose. We are earthly, but He wants us to be heavenly, and that is His goal for us. . . . God has a purpose for you and me today. We are earthly, but He has a heavenly purpose for us.

      You see, the ideal of the artist (who is the Holy Spirit) is to conform us to the image of Christ. The chisel He uses is the discipline of the Lord--"For whom the Lord loves He chastens . . ." (Heb. 12:6). And the hammer is the Word of God. Therefore, we can say with the psalmist, "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness" (Psalm 17:15).

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