God knew His people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. Romans 8:29
Not long ago, I was having dinner with my friends and their two sons. As we were eating a dinner of spaghetti and salad, their youngest son declared, "I love, I mean like, this spaghetti!" You see, he changed his wording from "love" to "like" because his parents had been teaching their sons a very important principle: "We like things. We love people." My friends are working hard to instill character in their sons. They want their sons to be people of integrity who value people over material things. Like my friend's desire for their sons to be people of character, God also wants His followers to be people of character.
This type of character is not often seen in our world. For many, there is a gap between where they are and where they want to be. This gap causes people to be disappointed with their lives, wishing that their lives had turned out differently. Many times, people feeling this gap are not living with a sense of purpose, which is why they feel such a gap.
Paul knew that God values character in His people. In fact, part of living out our God-given purpose is living with Christ-like character. The apostle Paul knew this when he wrote Romans 8:29, explaining that God calls His people to become more like Christ. Becoming more like Christ means loving people, not things, being honest, living with integrity, and pointing others to Christ. When we live with Christ-like character, we will gain a sense of purpose. We will sense fulfillment, and the gap we feel will begin to disappear.
What character trait do you need to improve on this week? Do you want to become more patient, kind, honest, trustworthy, etc.? Pick a Christ-like character trait to focus on this week and spend time reading Scripture about that trait. Then, go apply what you have read in the service of others, asking God to help you as you seek to develop that character trait this week.
Read Romans 8:29-39 (NLT)
For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
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