Purpose 3 – You were created to become like Christ (Purpose Driven Life)
Everything on earth has its own time and its own season. ECCLESIASTES 3:1 (CEV)
I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns. PHILIPPIANS 1:6 (LB)
THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS TO MATURITY.
It takes years for us to grow to adulthood, and it takes a full season for fruit to mature and ripen. The same is true for the fruit of the Spirit. The development of Christlike character cannot be rushed. Spiritual growth, like physical growth, takes time. When you try to ripen fruit quickly, it loses its flavor. In America, tomatoes are usually picked unripened so they won’t bruise during shipping to the stores. Then, before they are sold, these green tomatoes are sprayed with CO2 gas to turn them red instantly. Gassed tomatoes are edible, but they are no match to the flavor of a vine-ripened tomato that is allowed to mature slowly. While we worry about how fast we grow, God is concerned about how strong we grow. God views our lives from and for eternity, so he is never in a hurry.
Discipleship is the process of conforming to Christ. The Bible says, “We arrive at real maturity — that measure of development which is meant by ‘the fullness of Christ.’” Christlikeness is your eventual destination, but your journey will last a lifetime.
So far we have seen that this journey involves believing (through worship), belonging (through fellowship), and becoming (through discipleship). Every day God wants you to become a little more like him: “You have begun to live the new life, in which you are being made new and are becoming like the One who made you.”
Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be. Years ago people wore a popular button with the letters PBPGINFWMY. It stood for “Please Be Patient, God Is Not Finished With Me Yet.”
God isn’t finished with you, either, so keep on moving forward. Even the snail reached the ark by persevering!
Have a great day!
Pastor Peter Jordan (Adapted from the Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren)