Christlikeness

Paul’s prayer continued in verse 10. Let his words sink into your spirit and rest there. Receive them for yourself. He prayed, “That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy.”

When I don’t know how to pray for someone who is spiritually struggling, I use these verses. It is God’s word that will never return to Him void. He constantly watches over His word to perform it on our behalf.

Romans 8:29 says, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…” It is through the discipline of our trials that He works His character into us. Like a Master Potter, He works the water of His word into our heart.

The progression of Romans 5:3-4 bears out this irrefutable truth. The Amplified says, “Moreover (let us also be full of joy now!) let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.

And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character (of this sort) produces (the habit of) joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.”

Hebrews 10:36 says, “For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” The Greek word for endurance is hupomone. I love the definition of this word. It is like spiritual rebar.

Note in my Bible: It means constancy, perseverance, continuance, bearing up, steadfastness, holding out, patient endurance. It combines hupo, “under” and mone, “to remain.” It describes the capacity to continue to bear up under difficult circumstances, not with a passive complacency, but with a hopeful fortitude that actively resists weariness and defeat.

Jesus is our example of endurance. Hebrews 12:2 says, “…who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame…” Isaiah 52:14 says, “…His visage was marred more than any man.”

Isaiah 53:11 says, “He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.” 1 Peter 2:24 says, “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”

How then shall we walk in Christlikeness? Romans 6 is a great chapter to memorize and meditate on. Verse 13 says, “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”

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