EveryMans NLT Proverbs - Page 31

Personal Gold
We’re not sure what it means to be like Christ. We’re not sure what it means to see
with his eyes, to hear with his ears, to feel with his heart. I wonder myself sometimes. I
wonder what it is like to will only one thing, not to have a distracted mind or a divided
heart. To want only what the Father wants. To love only what the Father loves. To do
only what I see the Father doing. To speak only what the Father has taught me. I wonder what it is like to empty myself the way Jesus did. To give myself the way he did. To
sacrifice myself the way he did.
Until Christ returns to establish his kingdom on the earth, God is restoring his rule
in this rebel world, a person at a time, a family at a time, a church at a time. For now,
the rule of God rests on those who bear his image, those whose lives reflect his love, his
wisdom, his understanding, his compassion, his forgiveness,
his humility, his gentleness.
Not all who bear
Of course, not all who bear Christ’s name bear his image.
There is a difference between being a Christian and being con- Christ’s name
formed to the image of Christ. Becoming a Christian happens bear his image.
when the stone, so to speak, is freed from the mountain. A
number of things happen beforehand to prepare for that moment, such as the drilling
of the holes and the hammering of the wedges, but eventually, one final fissure sets the
stone free. It may be a shattering moment in which the final crack reverberates through
the quarry. Or it may be a silent moment in which the final crack is so slight as to go
unnoticed. Either way, there is a moment in time in which the stone is set free.
Free from the mountain, that is.
But not from itself.
Becoming conformed to the image of Christ is the process God uses to free the stone
from the self. Paul describes the process in Romans 8:28-29:
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those
who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his
people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would
be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. (NLT)
God is using the circumstances of our lives, all the circumstances of our lives, as tools.
He goes about his work the same way Michelangelo went about his. Within the roughhewn stone of the self is trapped the image of Christ. To release the image, he chips away
everything that isn’t Jesus.

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