To Be Like Jesus (20 February)

You know that I love you.
John 21:17
All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death, in the hope that I myself will be raised from death to life. I do not claim that I have already succeeded or have already become perfect. I keep striving to win the prize for which Christ Jesus has already won me to himself. Of course, my friends, I really do not think that I have already won it; the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead. So I run straight toward the goal in order to win the prize, which is God's call through Christ Jesus to the life above.
Philippians 3:10-14

My greatest concern in life is to be a Christian. By this I do not mean, to make sure that I am neither Muslim nor Jew; what I mean is that I want to be like Christ. And if I cannot always be like him (yet), my deepest longing is to become like him. I want to be like him in my thinking, in my behavior, in my words, and in every other thing that I represent.

This is more than a full-time job. It starts the moment I open my eyes in the morning and it goes beyond the moment I fall asleep. God can reach me even in the nights. He can speak to me in a dream or in a vision or he can wake me up in order to tell me something or to remind me of things I need to be reminded of.

I am blessed with some believing friends, and they pray for me on a regular basis. They often tell me that they pray for "openings" to share the gospel. I always ask them to pray that I will never fail to be a Christian. I do not have to be "successful," not even in preaching or in teaching or in concern for others. God will measure my "success" only by how much I am like Jesus.

Jesus, Beloved of my soul, may I never fail you. Without you this is "a mission impossible." But with you my thinking may become pure, my behavior humble; and through your spirit I will gain wisdom to make the right decisions. Grant that I may be like you. I do not ask for more. This is my longing, my call, and my goal for life. You know that I love you.

Make me like you, you and only you, in everything, in all I do, today, for you – as you, Jesus.

© 2012 United Bible Societies - Palestinian Bible Society, Bible Society in Israel, and Arab Israeli Bible Society. All rights reserved.