Encouraging Words

Heb. 10:25 “... let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Being Made Like Christ

by Merilea Bigham

On Wednesday night, since we had no service in Ramona Park for lack of water in the church, Bob and I zoomed with Columbia and were blessed. Rudy made a comment of how he saw a picture of God with an ear to listen to us when we call in need. I’m glad that he does hear, however he wants us to listen with his ear.

Later during the night thoughts flooded my mind of God’s purpose to make us more like Him so that we can manifest His Spirit and have an ear to hear our brothers’ and sisters’ needs. The first thought brought me first to the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12. “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

We are truly blessed because God is working these things in us. Our trials are not to hurt us but make us more like Him who created us. He is doing the work, not us.

Then, in thinking of these things, the thoughts of the gifts of the Spirit and the fruits thereof came to mind. In Ephesians, Paul talks about how we should be: “lowliness, meekness, longsuffering, forbearing one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unit of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Then in Galatians 5:22-23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Notice in both references, longsuffering and meekness are mentioned.

These fruits or attributes are the ones that God wants us to be like. He wants these words to be, not just words on a page, but His words written in our hearts that become a part of our life. Then when they become so much a part of our lives we can walk in the Spirit manifesting all these things.

For a while I struggled with my place in the body. As a woman I knew that the Scriptures plainly said “Let the women keep silent in the Church.” I prayed and prayed asking God for answers to my questions. One night again the thought came to me that Brother Thomas had written an article about women’s ministry in the Church. Then the next day I went through my stash of MCM’s and, wonder of wonders, the very first paper had the article, I think the name was “Women’s Place in the Ministry.” Wow, God is good. That article gave me peace in understanding a little more.

Now, in thinking of this in relationship to being made like Christ, I understand a little more. As God is changing us by causing us to go through necessary trials to put to death our sufficiency and bring to light His excellence.

When we speak in His Spirit, we are no longer men or women; it’s His Spirit being made manifest. Of course that doesn’t make us proud or perfect. We still have the earthly body to contend with. It only enables us to serve as His body in the earth. We are one body, created by one Spirit and are made to drink of the same Spirit.

There are so many other Scriptures that come to mind and really, if you listen, you’ll see that most of the Bible confirms the fact that God wants a people to walk and talk with him. He is the only one who can change us by giving us His Spirit so that we can be like Adam was at first and walk and talk with Him and each other. We can be one with Jesus and the Father as Jesus prayed for. Hallelujah!

We need to rejoice in the fact that we can be full of rest and peace and joy that passeth all understanding even though the world is full of unrest and lack of peace. Thank God, He is changing us to be made like unto Him. I’m a candidate.

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