From the psalms we read,
- “I will be satisfied with Thy likeness when I awake” (Psalm 17:15 – NASB)
In reading Psalm 17:15, the words of an old hymn came to me, and they were in my heart,
- “O to be like Thee! blessed Redeemer, This is my constant longing and prayer;
- Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures, Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear”
When I was a kid western movies and TV shows were big. I read somewhere that in the early 50’s there were at one time some 53 western programs on daytime and evening television programming. So I grew up on Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and the Lone Ranger on the TV and Randolph Scott, Audie Murphy, and James Stewart riding the range in the movies. I wanted to be “like” them, I wanted to ride that range on my trusty steed with my Colt 45’s on my hips, black clothing and Stetson, sitting astride a white horse, striving to right the wrong, taking down the bad guys and, of course, always experiencing victory over evil in the end.
But I was just a boy then . . . not understanding the things of God, not knowing the desires of His heart. The culture that I grew up in shaped me, it influenced me, and though these heroes of long ago were always portrayed as virtuous and upright, they were not the “image” God wanted me to be “conformed to.”
At the ripe old age of 32 God saved me! And as He caused me to grow in the knowledge of Him, He revealed His will to me in His Word, and He made it clear that He wanted me to be “like” His Son.
- “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29 – NASB)
Now my desire is to be “like” Jesus, to be “conformed to [His] image,” to be “like” my Lord, my Savior, my God.
I’ve put away the desires of the past, the childish things, and now I am in pursuit of the new . . . .
- “O to be like Thee! full of compassion, loving, forgiving, tender and kind;
- Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting. Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
- “O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee, Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art!
- Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness — Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart”
You know, as I look back I do sense a sadness that the old heroes of the past are not relevant in today’s culture. Surely they always sought to be examples of good to their viewers. Their intent was that moral correctness and integrity marked their character. Young people don’t have such role models in our day, and our world shows the decline in moral character because of it.
But . . . . as time changes people change, and the truth of the matter is, that without Christ they are bound to become morally corrupt. And in this falling away they tend to even corrupt the image of those they seek to emulate. God the Father counters all of this by saving people, and by “predestining” those He has saved, to be “like . . . His Son.” His “image” is the “image” our Father wants every believer to be “conformed to,” this is His will and hopefully . . . . our desire is,
- “O to be like Thee . . . Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art . . . O Thy perfect likeness to wear.”
O Lord . . . “stamp Thine own image deep on my heart,” for “I will be satisfied . . . to awake” with “Thy likeness.”
Have a good day brethren . . . and as you go about the day seek to be like Him, desiring to walk as He walked.
Take a minute and listen to this old hymn. It may have been written long ago (1897), but the word are perennially true.
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