Father, make me more like Jesus.
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“SINCE YOU DIED WITH CHRIST to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules … ?” (2:20 NIV)
“… regulations…lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” (2:23 NIV)
“SINCE, then, YOU HAVE BEEN RAISED WITH CHRIST … who is your life…… Put to death, therefore, WHATEVER belongs to your earthly nature … You must rid yourselves of all such things … (3:1-8 NIV)
“… you have TAKEN OFF YOUR OLD SELF with its practices and have PUT ON THE NEW SELF, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (3:9-10 NIV)
When I became Your child, Father, it was my choice to leave behind who I had been so that I might become who I could be in Christ. My old self died and it was buried with Jesus in my baptism. You raised me up by Your power, which renews and restores life. Because that old me is dead, all that used to be part of my life is to be gone. My grave clothes are to be left in the casket, as each day I’m to put on the clothes from Your wardrobe. Your clothes are different from this world’s–those I used to wear. Yours are fitted from the inside out. They enhance my character, my mind, and my heart first, and then my outer appearance is altered.
You have commanded some things which I need Your constant help to obey: In view of the fact that (“since”) I have been raised with Christ, You command me to SET MY HEART ON THINGS ABOVE, to SET MY MIND ON THINGS ABOVE, NOT on earthly things. You remind me that the reason You call me to this step of obedience is because I died and now Christ is my life. I am not my own; I was bought at a price. Some say, “Basketball is my life” or “my kids are my life” or “[my career–whatever it is] is my life” etc. But how much more fulfilling and truly life-giving to be able to say, know, and experience that “Christ is my life”–nothing else could come close to satisfying like You can. When I allow You to permeate my entire existence, that’s when praise comes forth like breathing; when reading Your Word becomes the only way to satisfy my hunger; when love, mercy and forgiveness become second nature; when I’m vitally aware of Your constant, fully-attentive presence…
Here’s another way of putting the first four verses of chapter three (from The Message):
“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, ACT like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you [like people, things, jobs, to-do’s, school, etc.]. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ –that’s where the action is. See things from HIS perspective.”
Father, ring out this cloth called me, who CAN become absorbed with and consumed by the people in my life, the tasks to be done, the things You’ve given me, the concerns of each day. Twist, ring out, empty me of all of that. Then, dip this cloth, which bears Your designer-label, into Your living water and soak me with You. Make me just like Jesus–my life, my all in all! Amen.