the model, the reality

It is wonderful to have models of godliness around us. And hopefully through Jesus we are becoming more and more an example for others over time. It is one thing though to see the model, quite another thing to live out the reality. Actually when it’s all said and done, there’s no perfect saint out there. Some may come close to that, and for all practical purposes may be that in our eyesight. But none measure up completely to Jesus himself, which of course is the ongoing goal for us followers of Jesus.

When push comes to shove we find out soon enough at times that we not only don’t measure up, but we fall short in ways that are not helpful. Yes, I’ve been there and done that. I’m much better as a rule at handling those matters when they come, but still have plenty of room to grow.

Again I’m cast on the Lord himself. I can’t take back whatever wrong I may do except to confess it as sin to God, and to anyone who was a victim of it and go on. And trust the Lord for his forgiveness and his cleansing, purifying work, to make me better through the ordeal.

It is a blessing to catch a glimpse of the beauty of Jesus worked into my life by the Spirit, altogether too infrequent and too fleeting, though. Yet at the same time, God is working in us individually and together to make us more and more like Jesus, in biblical language: to conform us to his image. The model in scripture of Jesus is not given to us, simply to mock us and to show we are sinners. But that we might long for something better, for something more, yes- that we might want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection in our lives along with participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. And so we need to learn to embrace all of life with that in mind.

At the same time, God gives us all of scripture for a reason. Specifically I’m thinking especially of Jesus’ teachings and commands. That we’re not to be anxious, no matter what, but to trust our Father to provide for our needs, as we seek first his kingdom and righteousness. And many other matters as we consider our Lord’s teaching along with the rest of scripture, with an emphasis I think on the New Testament, the books from Matthew through the Revelation.

All in all we want to grow and keep growing up more and more like Jesus in the depths of our hearts and minds, of course worked out from that into our lives. So that when the matters happen which used to push our buttons, that no longer happens, and we instead live in the way of Jesus. That is not to suggest there may not still be struggles, and yes, sin at times. But to say that we want to learn more and more to live in God’s peace, trusting in him as our Father in and through Jesus. As we take on more and more of the family likeness together in Jesus for the world.