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God's Purpose and Method

Romans 8:29-30
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (NIV)

Many people are confused about God's purpose. What is He trying to do? Christian faith is not primarily about making us feel better, or providing for our needs. These verses tell us: God's plan is for people to become like Jesus! As we do we will exhibit the family characteristics of God and become siblings of God's Son. In that family relationship we may have confidence that our Father will also safeguard our hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7) and supply every need (Philippians 4:19). But His essential goal is to mould us into the nature of Jesus.

God does not work blindly. He personally knows all who will come to Him and He pursues them, calling them to repentance and faith. When we submit to His call by putting our faith in Jesus as Saviour and Lord, He justifies us by His grace - making us 'right with God'. But that is not the end. He continues to work in us (Romans 8:28) until we can be revealed sharing His glory (2 Thessalonians 2:14). He is so confident about the end result of His work that 'glorified' is in the past tense, as though it has already happened.

Yet the path between our calling and our glorification is a challenge to our flesh. It is also the path of suffering (Romans 8:17). But all along that path we must trust Him that He knows what He is doing, working everything into His glorious conclusion. And even when the pathway is hard we need to be confident that God only allows it so that we can become like Jesus. The hope of glory continues to sustain many believers all over the world. And when the tough times come to you, don't forget it is all part of God's work: making you like Jesus.

Lord of all hopefulness. Thank You that You really do know what You are doing, in the world and in my life. Thank You for being determined to draw me to Yourself, to justify me through the precious blood of Christ and to prepare me for glory. I am sorry when I complain about the sufferings along the way and fail to see that You will complete Your work in me so that I can share in Your glory. Teach me how to live through this day with my focus on Your loving plan to make me like Jesus, and share in His glory. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams