1 John 4:7 & 16
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:7,16)
From all eternity God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit were bound together in love, for God by nature is love (1 John 4 :7,16). From the overflow of his loving nature, he wanted people to whom he could show his love and who would love him back.
For communication and love to flow freely, the people God made would have to be like him. The relationship couldn’t be like you and your dog. Fido may be a great friend, but communication is limited, and a dog is not exactly a “suitable helper” to you, as God said of the mate he was creating for Adam (Genesis 2:20). Fido is a different species, but Adam and Eve, that’s another story. They were made for each other.
Just as God created Adam and Eve compatible with each other, He created us to be God-compatible. If that compatibility weren’t there, in-depth communication would not be possible, intimate companionship would be missing. That is why God the Holy Spirit created humankind on God’s own patten. As a result, Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden of Eden, sharing his presence and love. They were created to love God and be loved by him. They were created in his likeness so they could experience that love.
God’s design determines genuine life purpose. What do you consider to be your supreme purpose in life? The ultimate goal of our lives is to love God. Even becoming Christlike in character falls short of that supreme goal. Becoming more like Jesus enables us to fellowship with God, but it is not the ultimate goal. The more like Christ we become, the more we will be able to love God and receive love from him. Becoming like Christ is so important that the major emphasis of this devotional is how we become like him; transformed. But keep in mind that becoming like Christ is not the final goal.
The goal is to develop our love relationship with God. He created us on his pattern and provided the salvation process as a way for his image in us to be restored . He did all these things with the ultimate goal of loving us and us loving him. Before we close the study of God’s purpose in making us like him, let us reflect on ways we are becoming like him and ways in which we are not. Take a few minutes and list five ways in which those who know you best would say you are growing in Christlikeness-ways in which he is making you more like himself. Now list five ways in which you are least like Jesus, or ways in which people who know you best would say you least remind them of Jesus . If you fear someone may see this, you may want to list them on a separate sheet of paper, such as in your journal. But it will be very helpful to have them before you for reflection and prayer. I encourage you not to just read this but to do it and consider the implications.
Sometime during the next week ask someone close to you to answer those two questions about you. Ask someone who will tell you the truth. Write that person’s answers in another color so you can see clearly and reflect on the differences between your own perceptions and those of the other person. Comparing ourselves to Jesus could lead to discouragement. We fall so far short. Actually becoming more like him is the great desire of the true lover of God-to develop a character that is just like him so that we can experience his purpose in making and redeeming us. We want to know an ever-deepening love relationship that will bring him joy and bring us joy, too.
As you conclude your study today spend some time talking with God about the following areas :
- First, thank the Lord for what he has done to change you into Christ’s likeness.
- Spend time confessing the ways you haven’t changed but want him to change you.
- Finally, thank the Lord that he loves you with an everlasting love, and tell him how much you love him. Like the surge of joy I feel when my wife responds with a smile, your Eternal Lover is waiting for your response.