Grow: Becoming Like Jesus

J. D. Conley
May 1, 2016

The title of this article was the theme for last week's lectureship at the Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies, [formerly the East Tennessee School of Preaching and Missions] which is overseen by the Karns church of Christ, just outside of Knoxville, TN.

I've been privileged to attend this lectureship for the past five years, and Denise the past four. This year I was graciously invited to speak and appreciated the opportunity greatly. Our lives were greatly enriched by hearing 23 gospel sermons and one Open Forum discussion. Each evening the lectures were preceded by 25 minutes of singing. How wonderful it was to be able to worship God almost around the clock for four consecutive days, and to be in the constant company of the Lord's people! The lectures kicked off Sunday morning with 529 in attendance and concluded Wednesday night with a baptism and a request for prayer. In short, it was one of the most enriching weeks Denise and I have ever experienced. When it was over and after we had said our goodbyes, I told Denise as we were pulling out of the parking lot, "This is why I want to go to heaven." Meaning, in heaven we will never have to say goodbye, never have to leave off worshipping God, and never have to return to the reality of living in a wicked world.

But in order for that to be a reality, we must not allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security. We cannot afford to go through life just assuming we are right with God because we attend worship services and don't overtly sin. In order for heaven to be our eternal home we must become like Jesus. This should be our top priority, becoming like Him. This zenith goal can only be reached if we invest everything we have into the process. His life needs to be carefully studied, meaning observing what He did and what He taught. Educating our lives in how He served others, showed humility and compassion, and then following His example is the only way heaven will be attained. Christians must do as Christ did, not just know to do.

Most members of the Lord's church do a good job of staying away from sin. You and I got, out of the overt sinning business when we obeyed the gospel. But dear friend, this is not enough. Its the sins of omission that seem to plague so many. For one reason or another, we often fail or neglect to do what we know we should. May we ever guard against this blight and truly become like Jesus. Lets us do what we should and not do what we shouldn't, (Jas. 2:22, 4:17).