Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Carving Away What Doesn’t Look Like Jesus

But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.  –I John 2:5 (KJV) 

Many years ago I heard a story about a woodcarver who specialized in life-size carvings of American Indians.  One day as he was working, a man stopped by to observe the carver’s handiwork.  After a few minutes the man asked the carver his secret to crafting such detailed and beautiful carvings of Indians.  The woodcarver thought a moment and said, “Well, I just go out into the woods, find a suitable log, brings it back to my shop, and carve away anything that doesn’t look like an Indian.”

Followers of Jesus Christ are called to be growing in our relationship with Him.  As we grow there is a refining process going on all of the time.  The Scripture says that as we keep the Word of the Lord that the love of God is being perfected in us.  This perfecting process in which we become more and more like Jesus, is the evidence that we are truly His followers and that His love is functioning in us.  Through a day-by-day walk with the Lord we are ever being shaped, molded, and crafted into the image of Christ.  A wonderful progression is constantly going on in His faithful followers; The Holy Spirit is ever trimming away anything that doesn’t resemble Christ.  Like the woodcarver in the story, the Lord takes us as we are, with all of our flaws, faults, weaknesses, and hang-ups, brings us into a relationship with Him, and then carves away whatever doesn’t look like Jesus Christ. 

This trimming and refining process involves getting rid of hateful attitudes, an unforgiving spirit, grudges, and desires that run contrary to God’s will for our lives.  As those negative attributes are trimmed away, the love of Christ fills the space left behind.  By faith we then move forward in our walk with Christ and His love is then perfected in us.  People will see it in our attitudes, our outlook, and our love for those around us.  We will also see it in ourselves as we begin to view life from the standpoint of vibrant faith in Jesus.    

Don’t allow hateful and bitter attitudes to rob you of the work the Lord can and will do in your life.  His love can be perfected in you, me, and any who sincerely desire to walk in the fullness of Christ.  We are then empowered to walk in victory, and to overcome that which would otherwise hold us back. 

Walk forward with Jesus, and by faith become more like Him.  

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