There is a great quote in the movie Lion King. It comes toward the end when the young lion, Simba is living in exile, avoiding adult responsibilities, and living a life of leisure. Finally Simba is forced to face reality when he is confronted in a vision by his late father, King Mufasa. His father challenges the young lion to take his rightful place as King of the Pridelands with these words:
“Simba, you have forgotten who you are. Look inside yourself. You are more than what you have become.”
Our word of the word of the week is “be.”
In a world that puts so much importance on having, the emphasis of the Bible is on being. Being transformed. Being different from the world. Being the person who is seeking to become like Christ.
At the Hickman Mills church, where I preach in Kansas City, our theme this year has been BECOMING LIKE CHRIST. After spending six months examining the gospel accounts of the Jesus’ life, we have been studying the two letters of the apostle Peter. I was struck by the number of times in just 8 chapters Peter exhorts Christians to “be.”
Here are 7 important things we can be.
Be Sober Minded
Be of One Mind
There were also some things that Peter said not to be.
Be Not Afraid
Be Not Put to Shame
Be Not troubled
Be Not Barren or Unfruitful
How are you doing so far?! Well, if those are not enough. Here are 9 more areas we can work on in our Christian growth.
Be Ready to give a defense
Be Glad with exceeding joy
Be clothed with humility
Be Partakers of Divine Nature
These “be” exhortations remind me that Christianity is more about the inward person than our outward activities. It is easy to become so involved in doing, serving and participating in group activities and we neglect the needs of the heart. The soul seeks nourishment. Our mind requires stimulation. The will needs to be stirred. Our conscience calls for constant evaluation.
What we are to be is wrapped up in the person of Jesus Christ! God not only sent Him on a rescue mission from Heaven to earth to redeem us from sin and secure our pardon, but to give us a flesh and blood example of what we are to be.
Peter put this way: “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1 Pet 2:21).
God wants us to be like Jesus! Peter sites at least 20 ways in which we can work to be like Him! The apostle Paul said that God has called us, chosen us and consecrated us to “become like His Son” (Rom. 8:29)
To be like Jesus demonstrates our love for God, our desire to grow in grace, and our focus on the reward at the end of this life. Peter says this world will end! Everything in it will be destroyed. And there is a better home awaiting God’s people.
And, so what is the conclusion?
“Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness” (2 Pet 3:11)
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman