Father, make me more like Jesus.
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Just look, Father! There are glimpses into who You are and what You do right here in these few verses, like snapshots of Your character:
“GOD MADE ME ALIVE WITH CHRIST” (v 13 NIV)
Lord, I remember a swimming pool You allowed me to enjoy several years ago. There was a time when the pool became full of algae and other things. Some of us swam in it once when it was like that. (I still remember putting my foot into a big glob of algae on the wall in the deep end — AAAK!) Eventually it had to be drained and the surfaces scraped clean. Then, new, clean water could be put back into it. After the whole task was done, we could swim without concern in the fresh water. The pool had been made alive again with our splashing, diving, swimming and playing.
When I was dead in my sins and swimming in my sinful nature, You chose to clean me up, to remove the scum in me and to fill me up with Your Son, Jesus! Thanks so much for life in Him!!
“HE FORGAVE ME ALL MY SINS” (v 13 NIV)
Much like an accused person standing before a judge in a courtroom, hearing the charges against her being read, there was a list of charges against me. Over and over I had fallen short of Your design for me, of Your will for me. You took that list of charges, Lord, and tattooed them on the body of You Son. Then, You allowed that list to be nailed to the cross as Jesus was crucified. The payment I owed for those charges against me was my own death; but when my “eyes” look to Jesus on the cross, the only message visible is “PAID IN FULL.” And from His lips, He spoke to You about me: “Father, forgive them…”
Thank You for forgiving ALL my sins. Lord, instill in me an ever-growing desire to refuse to play with sin. Make it more important to me to be holy than to be “comfy,” to be blameless than to be accepted, to have Your will as my aim when I go out and about instead of just fun and good times. You have said, “Be holy as You are holy.” And You say that You are the One who makes me holy, that You work all things for my good, that You’ve come to give me life abundantly. So, if I choose to pursue good times here on my own, I miss out on the best times that sticking close to You can bring. Give me a double-order of the kind of true fun there is in living my life with You making the plans and guiding my choices.
“HAVING DISARMED THE POWERS AND AUTHORITIES” (v 15 NIV)
There is NONE like You, Father. You are all-powerful, majestic, glorious, the great God and ruler of all creation. AND YOU are my Daddy! That’s SO cool!!
Nothing can harm me; nothing can separate me from Your love for me. The ruler of this world has no weapon that can take me out because You are my shield and Fortress. Sin and death were his biggest guns; yet You’ve rendered them inoperable. Thanks for allowing me to share in Your victory.
“REALITY … IS FOUND IN CHRIST” (v 17 NIV)
All other ways of living are like false images projected into a room, seeming real, but are actually hollow and fabricated. True life, real life, reality is found ONLY as I choose to live in Christ, to follow Your will, Lord. Anything else is just a game. Thank You for the truth of Your Word and for the realness of Your presence with me when I choose to notice You and to commune with You throughout a day.
“AS GOD CAUSES IT TO GROW” (v 19 NIV)
Thank You, Father, for being the One who brings growth. You cause me to grow. You cause others to grow. We are not responsible for, nor able to, produce growth in one another. That’s YOUR role. You simply call us to spur one another on, to encourage one another, to teach and admonish one another, so that we are a crop that’s weeded, watered, and fertilized, ready for the growth You’ll bring and the harvest You and we will enjoy.
Thank You, Father, for letting me see You, to know You. Thanks…
…for the life You give me,
…for the forgiveness You’ve given me,
…for the confidence that comes from knowing You are in control,
…for the reality of You–You’re real, You’re true and You’ll never fail me,
…for the growth You bring as You make me just like Jesus! Amen.