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  A Heart Like Jesus

So let's try to imagine something. Imagine if for one day Jesus was to become you. Imagine for the next 24 hours, Jesus wakes up in your bed, walks in your shoes, lives in your house, and assumes your schedule? Your teacher becomes His teacher, your boss becomes His boss, and your stress becomes His stress?. Nothing in your life is different. Your body is the same. Your circumstances remain unchanged. Your problems are still there.

But one thing has changed and that is that you have taken on Jesus' heart. For one day, Jesus lives your life with His heart. Your life is directed by the heart of Christ. His priorities govern your actions. His passions drive your decisions. His love directs your behavior.

So let's imagine what it would be like?
1. What would you be like? Would people notice a change?
2. Would your family notice a difference?
3. Would your coworkers notice something new?

And what about you? Would you notice a difference?
1. How would you feel?
2. Would this transplant of Jesus' heart change your stress level? How about your mood or your temper or your interest?
3. With Jesus taking over your heart, would anything change?

Over the next few weeks we want to work on cultivating a heart like Jesus'. Philippians 2:5 Paul suggested that we should do this.

Philippians 2:5
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

John put it like this

1 John 4:15
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.

So if we have Jesus living in us, then why aren't we all living like Christ? The answer is because being transformed into Christ is a process that requires our involvement and effort. Just because Jesus is living in us doesn't mean He is allowed to be in charge.

Ephesians 4:22-24
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

From that passage we see two things that we need to do:

1. We Need To Choose Transformation

First, We need to choose transformation - it must be intentional. It has to do with a conscious choice to 'put off' and 'put on' - dropping the old and taking up the new. It has to do with the attitude of the mind. This kind of transformation is not a one-time thing; it is not a sprint, it's a marathon.

It is a daily, consistent choice to 'put off' and 'put on'; the deliberate choice to choose godly attitudes and ways over ours. So on the one hand, the transformation process is not passive; it is proactive, and it involves our choices and effort.

We make many decisions every day, and each time we choose to be like Christ and do things like Christ, we are a step closer to His likeness.

2. We Need To Cooperate With God

It must be spiritual or supernatural. The Ephesians 4 passage said, "to be made new ." That is a passive activity.

Paul explains the same in 2 Cor. 3:18:

2 Corinthians 3:18
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

This has to do with our connection to and dependence on Jesus, through the Spirit.

Jesus said in John 15: "Apart from me, you can do nothing." (Jn. 15:5)

John 15:5
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Ultimately lasting change does not come through a good program or good counseling - it comes from Him. It comes through the power of God.

Philippians 4:13
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Our conscious and consistent time spent with God opens our heart to the work of God's Spirit within us.

The story is told about a lady who had a small house on the seashore of Ireland at the turn of the century. She was quite wealthy but also quite frugal. The people were surprised, then, when she decided to be among the first to have electricity in her home. Several weeks after the installation, a meter reader appeared at her door. He asked if her electricity was working well, and she assured him it was. "I'm wondering if you can explain something to me," he said. "Your meter shows scarcely any usage. Are you using your power? "Certainly," she answered. "Each evening when the sun sets, I turn on my lights just long enough to light my candles; then I turn them off." She had tapped into the power but didn't use it.

Her house was connected but not affected. Many Christians are just like that today - connected but not affected. We have our souls saved but our hearts are unchanged. We occasionally flip the switch, but most of the time we settle for shadows.

What would happen if we left the light on?
What if we kept the power flowing?
What would happen if we lived constantly in the light?
Wouldn't it be great if we were constantly employing God's power to live like Christ?

The same God who saved our souls longs to remake our hearts. Unfortunately, our desire for transformation is often not as great as God's. The transformation process is not finished until God says it is finished.

Our goal must not be to simply become religious or well-respected. Should not even simply to become a leader in the church. Our goal must be to become like Christ and have His heart. If we lose sight of this goal, then we will stop before the finish line. No wonder the average Christian lives a life that is not much different from that of an unbeliever. They haven't seen the race through to the end - to maturity in Christ.

1. How is our heart condition today? On a scale of 1-10, how close would we say it reflects the heart of Christ?
2 How is our power usage? On a scale of 1-10, how much are we tapping into God's power?