Salvation is a gift given by God to us. It is free for us because Messiah Yeshua paid the price so that we have no need to. On the other hand, being like Christ requires effort and obedience on our part. There is continuous action required. Luke 9:23 CJB states,
“Then to everyone he said,”If anyone wants to come after me, let him say ‘No’ to himself, take up his execution-stake daily and keep following me.””
By nature, we are – for the most part – selfish people. We think mostly of our wishes, our wants, our desires – what we will. In addition to this, our society indulges and promotes this culture of ME. However if we wish to be like Christ we must:
- Say no to ourselves
- Take up our execution-stake (or as King James states it, our cross) DAILY
- Keep following Him
It is a common thought that once we receive the gift of salvation, it is signed, sealed and delivered for us, that our space in heaven is reserved and we are on our way to glory land. However that is not entirely truth. It is a misconception.
It is one thing to accept Messiah Yeshua as Savior but an entirely different thing to take Him as Lord of our lives. When He becomes Lord of our lives, we no longer live as we wish because we now do His will and not what we will. Therefore, we must say no to ourselves – no to what we want until what we want is what He wills.
Striving to be like Christ is an ongoing process. It is an everyday goal. It is a present, moment-by-moment endeavour. We have to die to our desires and wishes every second of every day. What we did last year, last month, last week, yesterday, a few hours or even mins ago is irrelevant. Nevertheless it is neither beyond us nor impossible, for
“God’s power has given us everything we need for life and godliness, through our knowing the One who called us to his own glory and goodness” 1 Peter 1:3 CJB.
The LORD has provided everything we need thus all that is required is obedience. This takes extra effort. In order for us to keep following, we need to be obedient, faithful and persevering. We do not need to pray the longest, preach the hardest, sing the sweetest or shout the loudest. We only need to be consistent and remain – finishing the race.
“For you need to hold out; so that, by having done what God wills, you may receive what He has promised” Hebrews 10:36 CJB.
Let us not just be saved but also make our Saviour our LORD. May we realign our lives to decrease in self as He increase in us.
– Faithful to the end