PRAYER part 1
by John Thomas Lowe
My son-in-law asked me if I would tell him how to become a more Christlike person. I had already decided to write an article on the subject, 'How can I become a more Christlike person.' I responded with, 'I CAN; GIVE ME A COUPLE OF DAYS TO REVIEW THE INFO ON THE INTERNET. The first thing that popped into my mind was 'prayer.' That is one significant answer, but I quickly discovered that many more aspects are involved with becoming more Christlike. I will share them with you in this article titled 'prayer.'
How can I become more Christlike (Christ-like)? You become like the people you spend the longest time with. If you want to become more like Christ, start by spending time with Him. Talk to Him in prayer. Read His Word. Spend time with others who live like Him. When you do this, you will know Him better and become more like Him, making you more Christlike.
As Christians, we all want to be more like Jesus. We all know that this life is about seeking after that one goal every day so that others might see Jesus in us and want to come to Him. Here are some practical ways to achieve the goal in your daily life of making Christ greater and greater and yourself less and less. Paul said, 'I have been crucified with Christ. No longer is it I who live, but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.' (Galatians 2:20, ESV)
This is the core of Christianity: God loved the World enough to come as Jesus, and to die for us, so anyone who trusts in Him will be saved from sin. This is undoubtedly the most well-known verse in the Bible. It is probably the best-known and most-memorized part of any holy text in human history. The verse is a one-sentence summary of the gospel and the subject line of the entire Bible. John 3:16 also reflects another critical aspect of the gospel: the essential idea is obvious, but there are layers of meaning and knowledge inside it.
Jesus is an expression of God's indescribable love for "the world," meaning all of humankind (1 John 4:9–10). The opening phrase is traditionally translated as "God so loved the world that…" and is typically understood to mean, "God loved the world so much that…." There is nothing incorrect about that idea, but the actual phrase means "God loved the world in this way," emphasizing what God did more than why.
The phrase translated as 'One and Only Son,' or 'only begotten Son" uses the Greek word monogenes. This is an exact word that John uses in other places in this gospel (John 1:14; John 1:18; John 3:18). While the English term 'begotten' often makes people think of biology, monogenes do not imply it. The word means something of the same "stuff." In other words, the Son is of precisely the exact nature as God the Father. This makes John 3:16 an essential part of proving the biblical concept of the Trinity.
There is no question that, according to the Bible, people can be saved only through faith in Jesus. The life offered to those who believe in Christ is "eternal," from a Greek word meaning "never-ending." The alternative to life in Christ is destruction: to "perish." Verses 16 and 17 explain that the purpose of sending Jesus was our salvation, but verse 18 reminds us that those who do not believe are condemned.
John 3:16–21 begins with the most easily recognized portion of any holy book on Earth: John 3:16. This is a one-sentence summary of the entire gospel. Still, the following verses are critical for understanding the Christian message. Christ was not sent to judge the World but to bring salvation. This is an expression of God's incredible love. However, those who do not believe in Jesus Christ are condemned in the eyes of God. Human preference for sin causes many to choose darkness over Light.
Answer #1 to the question, 'How can I become a more Christlike person.'
First, You become like the people you spend the longest time with. If you want to become more like Christ, start by spending time with Him. 'Talk to Him in prayer.' Read His Word. Spend time with others who live like Him. When you do this, you will know Him better and become more like Him, making you more Christlike.
Answer #2 is 'Read the Bible.'
To be like Him, you have to know Him. How do you know Him? Study Him, and that means studying His teachings and His Word. It means knowing how He treated people and how He handled life. The only way to do that is to get out that Bible, and read it, every day!
Converse with God often throughout the day. He is your strength and your guide through life. You need to talk to Him. Pray.
Answer #3 - Take Action
Now that you know, it is time to obey the convictions that the Holy Spirit puts on your heart through that knowledge and understanding—no more putting it off or pretending not to have felt the conviction. Just go where He is leading you and trust that He will show you what to do when you get there—no more excuses. Just go.
Answer #4 – Humility
Humble yourself. Put away selfish ambition and focus on the needs around you. Put other people at a higher priority than your desires. As the Bible says in Philippians, 'we must count others as higher than ourselves.'
12 Ways to Humble Yourself
#1 - Routinely confess your sin to God (Luke 18:9-14). All of us sin and fall short of the glory of God. However, too few of us have a routine practice of rigorous self-honesty examination. Weekly, even daily, review of our hearts and behaviors, coupled with confession to God, is an essential practice of humility.
#2 - Acknowledge your sin to others (James 3:2, James 5:16). Humility before God is not complete unless there is also humility before man. A test of our willingness to humble ourselves is a willingness to share with others the weaknesses we confess to God. Wisdom, however, dictates that we do so with others we trust.
#3 - Tolerate wrong (1 Peter 3:8-17). When something is unjust, we want to react and rectify it. However, patiently responding to the unjust accusations and actions of others demonstrates our strength of godly character and provides an opportunity to put on humility.
#4 - Actively submit to authority, the good and the bad (1 Peter 2:18). Our culture does not value submission but promotes individualism. How purposely and actively do you work on submission to those whom God has placed as authorities in your life? Doing so is an excellent way to humble yourself.
#5 - Receive correction and feedback from others graciously (Proverbs 10:17, 12:1). In the Phoenix area, a local East valley pastor was noted for graciously receiving any negative feedback or correction offered. He said, "thank you for caring enough to share that with me. I will pray about it and get back to you." Look for the kernel of truth in what people offer you, even if it comes from a dubious source. Always pray, 'Lord, what are you trying to show me through this?'
#6 - Accept a lowly place (Proverbs 25:6,7). Accept and look for the lowly place; it is the place of humility. Suppose you find yourself wanting to sit at the head table, wanting others to recognize your contribution, or becoming offended when others are honored or chosen. In that case, pride is present—the purpose of supporting others being recognized, rather than you.
#7 - Purposely associate with people of lower state than you (Luke 7:36-39). The Pharisees derided Jesus for socializing with the poor and those of the lowly state. Our culture is very status conscious, and people naturally want to socialize upward. Resist the temptation of being partial to those with status or wealth.
#8 - Choose to serve others (Philippians 1:1, 2 Corinthians 4:5, Matthew 23:11). When we serve others, we are serving God's purposes in their lives. Doing so reduces our focus on ourselves and builds the Kingdom of God. When serving another costs us nothing, we should question whether it is servanthood
#9 - Be quick to forgive (Matthew 18: 21-35). Forgiveness is possibly one of the most extraordinary acts of humility we can do. To forgive is to acknowledge a wrong done to us and further release our right of repayment for the wrong. Forgiveness is a denial of self. Forgiveness is not insisting on our way and our justice.
#10 - Cultivate a grateful heart (1 Thessalonians 5:18). The more we develop an attitude of gratitude for the gift of salvation and life He has given us, the more genuine our perspective of self is. A grateful heart is a humble heart.
#11 - Purpose to speak well of others (Ephesians 4:31-32). Saying negative things about others puts them "one down" and us "one up." Speaking well of others edifies them and builds them up. Make sure, however, that what you say is not intended as flattery.
#12 - Treat pride as a condition that always necessitates embracing the cross (Luke 9:23). It is our nature to be proud, and God's nature in us brings humility. Committing to a lifestyle of daily dying to ourselves and living through Him is the foundation for true humility.
Answer #5 - Do Right (Galatians 6:9) 'Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.'
A) Verse Concepts
Genesis 18:25 – 'Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?'
B) Verse Concepts
Psalm 103:6 - 'The Lord performs righteous deeds And judgments for all who are oppressed.'
C) Verse Concepts
Deuteronomy 32:4 - The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just.
D) Verse Concepts
Luke 9:23 - He is a God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous, and upright.
E) Verse Concepts
Daniel 4:37 – 'Then he said to them all: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.'