My grandparents celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary last October, and the unity in their relationship is truly awe inspiring. You can’t think about one of them without the other. It’s always Nana and Papa. A love this strong comes with time and develops a level of closeness and togetherness that is to be sought after. As Christians we are called the Bride of Christ, and it is His desire to have an even greater degree of intimacy with us.
We obtain this one-ness with Christ through our relationship with Him. Jesus desires for us to be made like Him because this transformation enables us to walk in the life He brings us. The list of characteristics He gave His disciples in Matthew 5 were simply a way of Jesus saying to His followers, “You are blessed when you are like me.” And what a blessing it is!

  • 2 Corinthians 3:18 - And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Paul was saying that as we contemplate, consider, seek, desire, and engage with the Lord we are transformed into His image; that His glory increases in us as we become more and more like Him.
Understanding the life this transformation brings should motivate us to pursue it with everything we are, but far to often our approach to our relationship with the Lord is guarded and defensive. We are afraid of what it means to follow Christ in this way. Perhaps we realize that to be like Christ means that we must carry our own cross, and we are just not prepared for that kind of sacrifice.

  • Matthew 16:24 - Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

This is the reality of what it means to follow Christ. We must die to ourselves so that we can fully embrace the life that comes from Christ. We must empty ourselves of self so that He can come fill us with His nature and character. It means that changes have to be made; we can no longer live the way we once did. This is the transformation we are called to in 2 Corinthians 3.
But we cannot let fear chase us away from the sacrifice that leads to this transformation, especially when that sacrifice pales in comparison to what Christ sacrificed on our behalf. He paid the full price to cover our debt. Isaiah tells us that the chastisement, or punishment, that brought us peace was put upon Him. If we are to be effective as the King’s Avenue into our homes and our community, then we must start walking and living this transformation out. We must deny ourselves and carry our cross, so that as we follow Him, we can be transformed into His image. Let the world no longer think about us without Christ. From now on, let it always be us and Jesus.
This Sunday we continue our series on the Master’s Message with a parable Jesus taught in Matthew 13. We will highlight that a transformative walk with the Lord cannot come from superficial Christianity. We must allow His word to penetrate our heart and take root so that it can produce the kind of fruit in our lives that pleases the Lord and draws others to Him. I look forward to seeing everyone there.

In His Service,
John McRae