If my Dad and I stood together, you may wonder if I was really his son. After all, he has hair and I don’t and there are many other outward traits that distinguish us. So what makes me his child and how would you know that I am?
The other day, my Dad rang to say that Mum was in pain. He was telling me that he didn’t know how to help her and as he did, his voice broke off as he tried to hold off the emotion. I didn’t answer immediately, because I couldn’t. I too was trying to hold off the emotion of hearing my Dad’s pain over my Mum’s pain. Why, because of an inward love and connection to them both that comes from being their son.
The family resemblance is best seen on the inside.
If you have trusted Christ Jesus to be your Saviour, you are a child of God. You have been adopted into his family. The family resemblance however, is best seen on the inside, not on the outside. Don’t worry that those outside the family of God cannot see it, it’s simply because they cannot see God.
But how can we know it – especially when we fail to live up to that resemblance?
In Christ, we have a vision of who we are. He is the firstborn of many.¹ “I have given them the glory that you gave me”, Jesus prayed.²
Jesus then, is at once a picture of who (in him) we have become and then how we are to live up to that.
Jesus goes on and explains how he gave us his glory, “I in them and you in me”. You see, the glory of God resides in Jesus and Jesus resides in us.³ It’s not a case of doing in order to become. It’s more about, doing in line with who you have become.
“Let us live up to what we have already obtained”, says Paul in Philippians 3:16.
We are learning to live up to who God knows us to be. Think of an area of your life that you feel challenged in. Why don’t you ask your Heavenly Father to show you what – in Christ – it should look like!
To become more like Christ, we need to see more of Christ. As his glory shines in us, it will inevitably shine through us.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has 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.” (1 John 3:1-2, NIV).
¹Romans 8:29, ²John 17:22, ³John 17:23