Tag Archives: holiness

Becoming More Like Christ

Becoming More Like Christ

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

Philippians 2:5 NKJV

The desire of every Christian should be to become more like Christ. Is that realistic? Jesus was perfect and without sin. How can we pattern our lives after Christ while still living on earth?

We can have the mindset of Jesus. Yes, with the Holy Spirit indwelling us, we can achieve it. Christ thought of others before He thought of Himself. He put us first. That is what Paul explains in Philippians chapter two.

Beginning with verse one, Paul tells believers we have been encouraged by the Lord. In the Greek, the “consolation of His love” refers to Jesus coming close and whispering hope to us.

Then Paul speaks of our fellowship with the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit dwells in all believers. Therefore, there should be unity.

When churches become fractured, it quenches and grieves the Spirit. Cliques only serve to weaken a church.

Paul continues in verse 2:

fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

This is our to-do list that will transform us from self-centered to other-centered and unite the body of Christ.

Like minded is equivalent to right thinking and having the same mind. The same love refers to loving others equally, not preferring some above others and especially not putting ourselves before them either. One accord denotes selflessness. One mind is intent on the same thing.

Next, Paul tells us about our wrong attitudes, the ones we need to put to death.

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. (Phil. 2:3)

Self is at the center of every sin. Paul is referring to seeking to serve self and self-glorification.

Our focal verse is a command, but it is an action we must choose. The Holy Spirit convicted me as I studied this chapter. I am seeking God’s guidance as I choose to have a servant’s mentality.

I challenge you to do likewise. You can take a giant step in becoming more Christlike when you humbly decide to think of someone else before yourself. What would our churches be like if we were all concerned about others more? When we take care of others, God takes care of us. If we all sought the good of another person, we would embrace the joy Paul wrote about. How would our communities’ benefit if all Christians sought to meet the needs of someone else?

It begins with one person. We cannot make decisions for anyone else, but I encourage you to join me and one-by-one we will make a difference.

Lord Jesus, we long to be more like You. Remove our selfishness and replace it with selflessness. Give us opportunities to meet the needs of someone else. In Jesus’ name, Amen

DIG DEEPER

Read Philippians 2:1-11.

HIKING THE TRAIL

What is one thing you can do today to put the needs of another before yourself?

Copyright 2019 Carolyn Dale Newell.

 

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Separated or Isolated

 

SEPARATED OR ISOLATED

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 6:17a NKJV

Do you feel cut off from your family because of your faith? Do co-workers ridicule you because you are a Christian? Do you feel alone in a room of so-called saints?

Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, felt the same way. Jacob’s favoritism angered Joseph’s siblings. They hated Joseph and the coat of many colors Jacob made for him.

His brothers labeled Joseph as a tattletale. He reported honestly concerning his brothers and the flocks to Jacob, adding more fuel to their fire.

Joseph was a dreamer, and his interpretation of dreams were correct. In the first dream, they were binding sheaves. Joseph’s sheaf arose while his brothers’ sheaves bowed down around it. In the next dream, the sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed down to him symbolizing his brothers plus his parents would bow down to him. This infuriated his brothers. Jacob rebuked Joseph, but kept the interpretation in his thoughts.

Jacob sent Joseph to Shechem to check on his brothers and flocks. When Joseph arrived, a man told him his brothers had departed for Dothan. They conspired to murder Joseph as they watched him coming towards them. Reuben suggested they throw him in a pit. His plan was to rescue Joseph. Before Reuben could return for Joseph, his brothers put another plan into action. They spotted some Ishmaelites traveling in their direction. Now the young men plotted to make some money off of Joseph. They pulled him from the pit, and they sold him to the Ishmaelites. Soaking Joseph’s beloved coat in blood, they fabricated a story that led Jacob to believe Joseph was dead.

Joseph’s story is one of providence. God moved Joseph to Egypt where he was falsely accused and imprisoned until Pharaoh needed someone to interpret his dreams. Then Joseph became second in command to Pharaoh, and yes, his family came and bowed down to him.

Joseph was righteous. God gifted him with the wisdom to explain dreams. God had special plans for Joseph, but his life was one of rejection, betrayal, and discouragement.

Except for his father, Joseph lacked the love of his family. He was abhorred for his holiness and his calling. Even in Egypt, his circumstances failed to resemble the dreams God gave him until many years had passed

Christian, we are called to come out from among the unbelieving world. A world that hated Joseph. A world that hated Jesus, and a world that hates us.

Our families and acquaintances may label us as fanatics and holy rollers. As we draw closer to Christ, even other Christians will shun us.

Christians who speak the gospel truth are isolated because many just want a feel-good message.

Friend, you may empathize with Joseph, sharing in the loneliness that surrounds those who are unashamed of the gospel. We were told to come out from among them and be separate, but we never thought we would be isolated. God has placed you where He wants you for this time. Not everyone will accept you, but God has called you for a special purpose, just like Joseph. Try not to let them get to you. That is what Satan wants. God calls out God pleasers, not people pleasers. Noah, Moses, Elijah, and Daniel were singled out, as many Christian servants are today. Enjoy those who celebrate you, ignoring those who tolerate you.

Lord Jesus, help us deal with the loneliness and ridicule we often face as Christians. Wrap us in Your love and keep us from feeling the need to be accepted by everyone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Genesis 37.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Avoiding people is not always possible. We can choose to let the words and actions of others affect us, but we can also choose to ignore it.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.