GOD"S ULTIMATE PLAN
"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."
God's ultimate plan for each one of us is "to be conformed to the image of his Son." This image was destroyed through sin, but God is so intent on us having His family likeness, that He sent His own beloved Son to die for our sins and redeem us back again to Himself. He not only redeemed us with His precious blood but lives in our hearts by His Spirit in order to conform us to His image.
What is the image of Jesus? It is His character which we see revealed through His life and spoken Word. It is the fruit of the Spirit we read about in Galatians 5:22-23. It is everything that is opposite to our fleshly nature. We are impatient, but Jesus is filled with patience and longsuffering. We are proud and yet Jesus Christ, the Son of God from the glory of heaven humbles himself (Philippians 2:5-8). We get grumpy but Jesus Christ who lives in us is filled with joy.
Joy? Hebrews 1:9 tells us that Jesus was anointed with the "oil of joy" more than anyone else! Therefore, if we allow Him to work in our lives and conform us to His image, we will be filled with joy more than everyone around us. It is true that we don't always feel joyful. But, life does not consist of feelings. Feelings come and go, but the Spirit of Christ who dwells within us is PERMAMENT and His life is filled with joy.
As we enjoyed Family Devotions together recently I thanked each of our lovely Above Rubies helpers for coming into the kitchen each morning with a smile on their face and filled with happiness. They help to fill our home with joy as they seek to be more and more like Jesus. And, it proves they have been trained well by their parents.
One of the girls shared how that one morning she came downstairs to the breakfast table in her home with a grouchy face. Her mother sent her straight back to her room and told her to come back with smiling, happy face. Good training!
I hope you don't let your children, and especially your teens (they should certainly be trained by now) come to the breakfast table with a sour and grumpy face. If they do, send them straight back to change their countenance and come back with a smile! Teach your children that the action they put on their face will soon change their attitude within. Of course, you'll have a wonderful smile on your face, to show them the way, won't you? If you are being conformed to Christ's image, then JOY will be one of your attributes.
Did you notice that our Scripture tells us that Jesus is the "firstborn son." But, He is not the only son. He is the firstborn of MANY sons. God wants many more sons who resemble His oldest Son. He wants us to have the family likeness. This is His plan and purpose for us. Hebrews 2:10 tells us that because of Jesus' suffering and death He is "bringing many sons unto glory."
Do the people around you recognize that you have the "family likeness"? What about your children? Are you showing them by your actions and words what Jesus is like?
Are you allowing Him to mold you to His image?
Or, do we want to stay the same? Would we rather keep our stubborn will? Would we rather keep our sour face and grumpy spirit? It certainly takes daily dying to the flesh to allow the Holy Spirit to make us more like Jesus, doesn't it?
Blessings from Nancy Campbell
Dear Father God, I am awed by your plan to make me to be like your Son. I am the opposite in my flesh, but I ask you to have your way in my life. Help me to be willing for you to change me, even if the change is painful. Save me from staying in the rut of living my selfish fleshly life. I want you to live your joyful and abundant life through me. Amen"
Little by little I am changing into His image.