1 Peter 2:21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

This simple text is an invitation to transform your life, belief system, moral compass, social reference and simply everything you think you understand. It requires us to attempt something that is impossible to achieve – yet noble and good to strive for. But most importantly, it is a journey. This journey singular in purpose, intentionally moving you closer and closer to God Almighty.

For this post to work we have to agree on some elements:

1. Every single word in the Bible is true, necessary and included by God’s Will – 2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness
2. Jesus came to earth as a human with no special powers except those granted to Him by God through the Holy Spirit based on the foundation of Jesus’ faith (exactly the same powers that we have access to) – Philippians 2:7 (NIV) rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness
3. Jesus lived independently from God the Father while He was on earth. Jesus was “limited” to experience the same access to His Father as we do – Hebrews 5:7 (NIV) During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission
4. Jesus experienced sin, temptation and normal human emotions on a daily basis (just like us) and not just when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness Hebrews 4:15 (NIV) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin
5. Jesus did not sin – performed human actions that would bring separation between Himself and His Father – Romans 8:3 (NIV)For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh
6. If we believe in Jesus as our savior, does not matter who we are, we receive the Holy Spirit – Galatians 3:14 (NIV) He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit
7. We have access to incredible power through the Holy Spirit. This power is provided to us by God, as promised by Jesus, through the Holy Spirit and it is based on our faith – Matthew 17:20 (NIV) He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

I have a view that the life we live here on earth is a preparation for eternity – Just like Jesus. – 1 John 3:2-3 (NIV) Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will have not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

To become more like Jesus? Where do we begin?

Contrary to popular belief, we do not have to be perfect to do God’s work. Look no further than the twelve disciples whose many weaknesses are forever preserved throughout the pages of the New Testament. Jesus chose ordinary men – fisherman, tax collectors, political zealots – and turned their weakness into strength, producing greatness from utter uselessness. – From Synopsis of Twelve Ordinary Men: How the Master Shaped His Disciples for Greatness, and What He Wants to Do with You – by John MacArthur

John 14:23 (NIV) Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

Obedience to God, His word, His laws, and His ways are non-negotiable. It is at exactly this point where ordinary Christians struggle. To put it mildly, becoming sinless is impossible, and some give up right here.

However, in the second part of that verse, there is a SECRET!!!

Come closer… [My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them]

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NIV) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

God is in control of this process… All you have to do is submit, obey and have faith. That is how everybody starts – everybody.

Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.

Endure suffering and hardship?

Yes, you read it right. Be prepared because the path to becoming like Jesus does not hold the possibility of suffering and hardship – it is a written guarantee…

1 John 2:6 (NIV) Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

Acts 14:22 (NIV) strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.

Suffering is part of God’s process of making us like Christ, it is the same process He used on Jesus.

James 1:12 (NIV) Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NIV) For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Romans 8:28-29 (NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

If someone offered you a huge sum of money to endure short term anguish, would you take it? (I’m guessing you are contemplating the pain/reward ratio – how much money for how much pain…)

The reality of evangelism

Why did Jesus come to earth – His own perspective?

Luke 4:18-19 (NIV) “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Do we have direct instruction?

Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

So does becoming more like Jesus mean that you have to quit your job? Do you have to sell all your belongings? Do you have to go and live in some obscure place? How should we do it?

Luke 12:8 (NIV) “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God.

Matthew 5:15-16 (NIV) Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Luke 21:12-13 (NIV) “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. And so you will bear testimony to me.

Do what you can, with what you have right where you are – remembering that God is in control. Be an example.

Love – Vertical and Horizontal

Luke 10:27 (NIV) He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Sounds easy enough. But does this include the stinky homeless man? Does this include my government? Does this include the thief? Does this include that Mary woman with the sharp tongue? Does this include the teenager with funny hair and strange tattoos?

Matthew 25:37-40 (NIV) “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Yes… All of them.

Romans 5:8 (NIV) But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

He loved you BEFORE you were saved…

John 13:34-35 (NIV) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

…As I have loved you…


2 Corinthians 8:21 (NIV) For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.

The title of this post includes the word uncomfortable – for a reason. To achieve this growth in your spiritual life, you will have to forego the world, status, recognition (from people), wealth, your identity and your life.

Philippians 1:6 (NIV) being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

But through this post, you have also become aware that God is in the driving seat of this process. This is the same God who created the universe, everyone you will ever meet, everyone you will ever hear about and everything you can see and everything you cannot see. God is a finisher…

John 4:34 (NIV) “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.

Jesus finished what he came here to do – It cost Him His life, but He did not hesitate to save you and me – He finished it.

Originally posted on - https://discoveringgod491609808.wordpress.com/2019/01/21/jesus-an-uncomf...

Author's Bio: 

Anton van den Berg is a normal person. I have no specialized theological training but I have led a life of hard and tough lessons. Like silver, I had to be taken to the furnace to get rid of a lot of impurities. In that process, I have learned to let certain things go, and to attach to other values. These posts represent some of the pivotal growth-moments in that journey. I hope that it would assist you on your journey in some way. May God Almighty, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit be with you.