Formed Like Jesus
By Apostle Aje Pelser
Preached at Harvester Reformational Church, Cape Town
Most sermons will promote the king and power and glory in you. That is exactly opposite to what Jesus taught. His way is meek and humble, then God does the glorifying! Read through this passage and glean some instructions to form you like Jesus.
Php 2:1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,
Php 2:2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Php 2:4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
Php 2:6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
Php 2:7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
Php 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Php 2:9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
Php 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
Php 2:11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
We can receive comfort from the way Jesus went about his life. His servant attitude and form released tremendous love and compassion, and his obedience released the most powerful name above all, Jesus!
It is clear that the name, the accuser, the tempter, the Satan of this world, seeks to break down our esteem of Jesus the Servant and seeks to place our emphasis on kingship. That is exactly opposite to what Jesus taught. His way is meek and humble, then God does the glorifying!
Discern the following instructions that will form you like Jesus:
1. Focus on love and compassion
2. Draw from fellowship with the Holy Spirit
3. Take the time to hear others in your sphere of ministry to ensure like-mindedness – or unity of faith philosophy.
4. Don’t do things to be seen.
5. Celebrate other people’s success and stop trying to be better versions of them, rather become a better version of you in Christ.
6. Apply the 50/50 principle in prayer and make your requests not only for yourself in prayer but for others as well. If your child needs school fees, pray for another parent’s wishes to come true for their child’s education. Invest in other people, but at the same time do not neglect yourself altogether. There is a balance. Dr Gray teaches in his book on prayer that we should be loving others as we love ourselves in prayer too. Too may times, we pray from an embittered soul thinking no one cares for us so we will just pray for others and hope God sees that. God cares for you and you should care for yourself too! Ascetism is the extreme form of self-discipline in the guise of holiness – that is not holiness but inverted spiritual pride. It flows out to others eventually and you become hard on those around you. Isn’t it obvious how caring and comforting spiritual mentors come across, while they have every right to make you feel inferior they don’t. Rather they make you sense that God cares and you see how they enjoy life in spite of the challenges and how they even reward themselves and celebrate little things and events? Dr Gray would go for a milkshake on a Saturday after the early Morning Prayer that very students attended at Miracle Valley. Students would mock him for his diet but he would just enjoy himself anyway, having given a lifetime to the study and teaching of the word, preparing Greek Lexicons and working in 5 Bible Colleges over several decades. [“Prayer Power the secret of Spiritual Success” available form MBTC firstname.lastname@example.org]
7. Discover the mind of Christ when He was sent to us.
a. Apostle Andre preached about being conformed to the image of His Son last week. I would like to continue with that thought. Form is used in sprit, so when an athlete is on top form, they win tournaments like Roger Federer.
b. Imagine Roger Federer leaving Wimbledon after holding up the trophy and going to play tennis with your young child in the drive way because they got a tennis racket for Christmas!
c. Jesus was fully God in heaven with all the rights and privileges and power. He left that and took on the form of a servant, and stooped down to our level to live and work like us. He felt what it was like to be hot and hungry and thirsty! He experienced friendship and betrayal. He saw his friends die and he raised them back to life.
8. He took the beating for our sins and also rose again to enforce his victory and our emancipation.
9. Because Jesus was willing and obedient to do this, God highly exalted him.
True success and glory is not when you do it yourself, but when God raises you up and gives you the stamp of His approval and the Seal of His Holy Spirit.
Everything else is hot wind – puffed up Christians parading around their gifts but lacking the fruit of the Servant Lord, Jesus Christ.
And you will know them by their fruit….
10. So when we follow Jesus – the first thing we have to do is deny ourselves – step out of the rat race and world circuit of our existence and stoop down and serve where He chooses.
Some of the most wonderful moments in ministry are when a little child sees you as a spiritual servant and recognizes something in you.
Sometimes I spot a little kid worshipping God in the audience, struggling to keep up with Apostle Leigh the dance leader, and I think – the next generation is ok!
These simple instructions will help form Christ in us that will be our hope of glory. Stop trying to be a Christian and allow Jesus to be formed in you through the various moments and experiences God allows. The Holy Spirit is busy with you – get out of His way and the process will speed up! Be comforted that you too can have the mind of Christ, the same power, anointing, glory, yet with the form and heart of a servant and mentor willing to stoop down and play backyard tennis with someone who is willing to learn. Discipleship comes from such an attitude and that is our command: to love like Jesus. That is our commission: to go and make disciples of Jesus