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"The entrance of thy words giveth light (Psalm 119:130)."

Becoming Like Christ - Through His Word
By Ray Turner

The word Christian means Christ like - After we get saved, we spend the rest of our lives learning how to take on the character of Christ, to become more like Him. And we learn how through His Word. Abiding in God's Word includes three activities.

God uses the Word, to teach us how to become like Him. Matthew 4:4 tells us we must feed on every word. "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

Christianity is the only religion in America that is under constant attack by the secular society. The reason is, is that they know that it is the truth. Spiritual growth is the process of replacing lies of the devil, with the truth of the word. Jesus prayed in John 17:17 "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."

Sanctification requires knowledge. And knowledge comes through the Word. The Spirit of God (Holy Spirit), uses the Word of God, to make us like the Son of God. To become like Christ, we must fill our lives with his Word. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:17, "that through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us." (The Bible prepares us to do His will).

James I:18 tells us "that God gave us life through the word of truth so we might be the most important of all the things he made". He put us above all other creation. All of creation exists because "God said It." He spoke it all into existence. Without God's Word we would not even be alive.

The Bible is far more than a guidebook that we use for church doctrine. God's Word generates life, creates faith, produces change, frightens the Devil, causes miracles, heals hurts, builds character, changes circumstances, brings joy, overcomes adversity, defeats temptation, infuses hope, releases power, cleanses our minds, brings things into being, and guarantees our future forever! We cannot live without the Word of God!

ABIDING IN GOD'S WORD. - There are more Bibles in print today than ever before, but a Bible on the shelf is worthless. Millions of believers are plagued with spiritual anorexia, starving to death from spiritual malnutrition. To be a healthy disciple of Jesus, feeding on God's Word must be our first priority. Jesus called it "abiding." He said, in John 8:31-32 " . . . If ye continue in my word (abide), then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (freedom brings peace)


FIRST ACTIVITY -- I MUST ACCEPT IT'S AUTHORITY -- 2 Tim 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" KJV

The Bible must become the authoritative standard for my life: -- the compass I rely on for direction, -- the counsel I listen to for making wise decisions, -- and the benchmark I use for evaluating everything. The Bible must always have the first and last word in my life.

Many of our troubles occur because we base our choices on unreliable authorities:

1. Culture - "doing what everyone else does"

2. Tradition - "doing what we've always done"

3. Reasoning - "doing what seems logical"

4. Emotion - "doing what feels right"

The most important decision we can make today is, to decide to make "The Word Of God" the ultimate authority in our life. Determined to ask first, "What does the Bible say" when making decisions. Accept when God says to do something. Be determined to trust God's Word and do it whether or not it makes sense or if you feel like doing it.

SECOND ACTIVITY - I MUST ASSIMILATE (ABSORB) ITS TRUTH -- It's not enough to just believe the Bible (even the Devil believes the Bible); I must fill my mind with it so that the Holy Spirit can change me with the truth (make me more like Jesus). If we have no knowledge, the Holy Spirit has no tools to teach us.

There are five ways to assimilate the Word.

A. RECEIVE GOD'S WORD -- And listen and accept it with an open, receptive attitude. The parable of the sower illustrates how our receptiveness determines whether or not God's Word takes root in our lives and bears fruit (see Luke 8:4-15).. Jesus identified three unreceptive attitudes.

HARD SOIL (a closed mind) - SHALLOW SOIL (a superficial mind) - SOIL WITH WEEDS (a distracted mind). - and then he said in Luke 8:18 "To consider carefully how you listen." Anytime you feel you are not learning anything from a sermon or a Bible teacher, you should check your attitude.

What is bearing fruit? Essentially, it is becoming like Jesus. Spiritual fruit will show itself in our lives as a change in our character and outlook. As we spend time with Jesus and get to know Him better, His thoughts will become our thoughts. His purpose will become our purpose. We will become like Him.

B. READ GOD'S WORD - " Like newborn babes," the Aspostle Peter wrote, "crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation" (1 Peter 2:2) -- Millions of us have access to the Bible. In spite of this, many believers are more faithful to reading their daily newspaper then their Bibles. Or they think what they get at church is sufficient. Or we watch television for three hours, then read the Bible for three minutes and expect to grow. We should establish a daily Bible reading plan.

C. RESEARCH AND STUDY GOD'S WORD - The difference between reading and studying the Bible involves two additional activities: asking questions of the text and writing down your thoughts. You will discover far more if you pause and ask such simple questions as who? what? when? where? why? and how? Surround yourself with study aids and don't be afraid to ask others for their input.

The Bible says in James 1:25 "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty (the Word), and continueth therein (Takes time to see and examine the state of his soul, the grace of his God), he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."

D. REMEMBER GOD'S WORD - We often think we have a poor memory, but the truth is, we remember what is important to us. If God's Word is important to you, you will take time to remember it. There are enormous benefits to memorizing Bible verses. It will help you resist temptation, make wise decisions, reduce stress, build confidence, offer good advice, and share your faith with others.

Col 3:16 tells us "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; . . ." (Remember what Christ taught and let his words enrich your lives and make you wise)

E. REFLECT ON GOD'S WORD - The Bible calls it meditation, which is focused thinking. It takes serious effort. If you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate. Worry is focused thinking on something negative. Meditation is doing the same thing, only focusing on God's Word instead of your problem. No other habit can do more to transform your life and make you more like Jesus than daily reflection on Scripture.

One of the reasons God called David "a man after his own heart" is that David loved to reflect on God's Word. He said in Ps 119:97 "O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day."

THIRD ACTIVITY - I MUST APPLY IT'S PRINCIPLES -- Receiving, reading, researching, remembering, and reflecting on the Word are all useless if we fail to put them into practice. The Bible says we must become "doers of the Word." This is the hardest step of all, because Satan fights it so intensely. He doesn't mind you going to Bible studies as long as you don't do anything with what you learn.

Matthew 7:24 "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:"

To become more like Christ we must: Read God's Word -- Accept It - Absorb It and Apply It.

Visit our website today, and enjoy the many free tools that are available to assist you with your spiritual growth, professional Christian counseling, answers to frequently asked questions, daily news articles that affects Christians, political information and assistance with starting your personal "Bridge Ministry".

Author: Ray Turner -- Retired school teacher from Oklahoma State University's School of Technical Training "Communications". Website dedicated to encourage and teach others to find God's gifts in their life, and to use them to bring others to Christ.

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