Seeking God for transformation

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God wants His people to become like Christ. Christlikeness is the will of God for the people of God.[1]

J.R.W. Stott

“now I will show you the most excellent way”[2]
You may find it helpful to pray through for a few days what love looks like in practice:

love is patient

Love ‘suffers long’ (as the 1611 King James translation had it): it puts up with a lot; it keeps going. Patience makes it possible to persevere even when surrounded by broken situations and difficult people.

love is kind

Love meets the vulnerable with gentleness, the needy with generosity, brings tenderness to the hurting and encouragement to the insecure. Love is kind, whether kindness is deserved or not. It aims to help enemies become friends.

love does not envy

Envy involves loving myself more than other people, wanting what is theirs, resenting their success if I fail. Love is happy when good things happen, not just to me but to others.

love does not boast

Love sets me free from the need to compete, the need to promote and advertise myself. Instead of working to impress others and get noticed, I can listen to them and notice what is good in them.

love is not proud

When I live in pride, I don’t see my own flaws; or if I do, I have a ready excuse for them. Pride puts what I do in the best possible light. That way I come out on top. Love, however puts others first.

love is not rude

Rude people do and say whatever they feel like, no matter who gets hurt or offended. Those who love don’t always have to vent their own feelings; so they are able to be to be courteous and respectful of the feelings of others.

 

Try substituting your own name for the word love above.FullSizeRender

Father, transform me, by your Spirit who lives in me, so that the way I behave reminds people of Jesus. I know I cannot change by trying to. I need your grace – your power working in me to bring about changes I cannot make in myself. Bring all my thoughts and desires into line with your way of viewing things and your way of acting: I want to pray this, but you know, because you read my mind before you read my lips, that there are areas where I’m not yet willing for change. I lay these before you now… Thank you that your plans for my transformation soar above my own.

Amen.

Further reflection on 1 Corinthians 13 can be found at Seeking God for Transformation 2 and Seeking God for Transformation 3.


 

[1] From the introduction to John Stott’s final major address: “what is God’s purpose for His people? […] I want to share with you where my mind has come to rest as I approach the end of my pilgrimage on earth and it is – God wants His people to become like Christ. Christlikeness is the will of God for the people of God.” The Last Word, John Stott, p.19. [2] 1 Corinthians 12.31 and 13…