The Our First Calling: Be Like Jesus

Blog by Shelly Beach
Author, Speaker,
& Consultant © 2017

Award-winning author of
The Silent Seduction of
Self-Talk, Love Letters
from the Edge, Precious
Lord, Take My Hand,
Hallie’s
Heart & other fiction & nonfiction titles

We’re imperfect people. All of us. Definitely me, and yes, you too. 

Even the most godly Christian you’ve ever known is an imperfect sinner. And if they’re honest, they can humbly point out their flaws because they know them well and do battle with them on a regular basis.

But we can’t be complacent about our gossiping tongue, bitter spirit, unforgiving heart, angry outbursts, private moments with porn, potty mouths, condescension toward (spouse, children, siblings, boss, MIL, you know who). Not at least if we claim to love God.

As Christians, our first calling is to become more like Jesus.

This is a lifetime calling. As long as we’re still on earth, we’re going to be working on “the sin[s] that so easily besets us.” You know…the moment when you say or do the things you regret the next instant. But as followers as disciples of Jesus, we should all desire to become like Him. This means intentionally assessing our motives, priorities, attitudes, and actions on a regular basis.

Accountability is a necessary, bittersweet part of growing.

Our love for God should compel us to please Him. He has made us complete in Christ, but we to become more like Him as the Spirit of God transforms us. This is a lifelong process. Unfortunately, we don’t go from sinners to perfect people the moment we receive Christ, even though positionally in the spiritual realm, God sees us as sinless and complete because He sees Jesus’ righteousness in place of our sin.

Instead, we grow as we learn more about God’s love for us. The more we know Him, the more we love Him and release the rights we have falsely believed we had to rule life our way. We begin to substitute His will for ours, which is the essence of Jesus’ heart. His every breath, word, motive, and act were to glorify the Father.

Doing “good things” has nothing to do with a moral checklist.

We measure “good things” by arbitrary preferences or personal and cultural biases. Or we do good things to bolster our pride, gain value in others’ eyes fit in, or for other self-serving reasons.

God defines doing good things as doing the things Jesus would do and being conformed to His character. Paul said, “This will continue until we are . . . mature, just as Christ is, and we will be completely like him” (Ephesians 4:13 CEV).

As believers, we all are works in process. God is on our side and wants to build our character so we become more like Jesus, not so we live from a list of dos and don’ts.

We become like Jesus as our minds are transformed and renewed. 

Transformation is more than following a list of dos and don’ts. It’s learning to live by the fruit of the Spirit–fruit that grows naturally from the spiritual nutrients that flow through our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We lost much of the divine image of God when Adam sinned in the garden of Eden. Jesus restored it on the cross, and our calling is to show the world God’s goodness reflected in Jesus as we bear His image.

What a humbling partnership and blessed calling. Amazing grace…

 

Music for the Soul, Healing for the Heart

 Music

I’m so excited…

A phenomenal new book is releasing May 11th–a book written by one of my best and most respected friends, Steve Siler, founder and director of MusicfortheSoul.org.

I don’t want to brag, but I just received my copy of Music for the Soul, Healing for the Heart. While the book chronicles the miraculous story of Steve’s Dove Award-winning songwriting journey that ultimately culminated in his founding MusicfortheSoul.org, the book is much, much more.

Music for the Soul, Healing for the Heart captures the captivating, healing, God-inspired power of music to reclaim and transform lives. 

Using the evocative vehicle of sstory, this book gives a glimpse into the healing power of music. MusicfortheSoulMusic for the Soul, Healing for the Heart relates the true-life events of how God called Steve from among West Coast’s musical elite to Nashville’s gospel and contemporary Christian music scene, where Steve would win the highest awards in Christian songwriting. But he would leave that world to follow his passion and create a ministry that focuses on soul-healing music that binds the broken and hopeless.

Music for the Soul, Healing for the Heart tells how God led Steve on a journey through pop music and culture, to contemporary Christian music, then to ministry-focused music that focuses solely on songs crafted to help the broken heal. Steve’s songs are written for parents of special needs children, for those who have lost their homes to natural disasters, for those who have been sexually abused, for those who have been trafficked, for those who have experienced cancer, for caregivers, for military and law enforcement officers, for those who have lost loved ones to suicide, for those who have lost children to the pain of abortion.

Music for the Soul, Healing for the Heart is not a book simply about music or ministry. It is a book about broken people, hope, and healing.

I recommend this book to anyone who has ever felt broken, known or loved anyone who has felt broken, or who works with broken people. I recommend this book to those who love music, to those who love musicians, and to those who want to better understand the God-given power of music to restore hearts. I recommend this book to anyone who has felt called to follow God’s passion for their life and followed that call in spite of the risk. And I recommend this book to those looking for well-written inspirational, God-honoring reading.

Shelly Beach

Multiple award-winning author, speaker, consultant
ShellyBeachonline.com
PTSDPerspectives.org

Bluetooth and Self-Talk

bluetooth_logo

This week my husband and I bought a new car–the first new car we’ve ever owned.

My writing partner/colleague and I do a lot of driving.

lot.

For instance, we’ve driven from California to Michigan more than once. So it seemed like a good idea for two women alone on the road to start driving a car that had less miles on it than the distance from the earth to the moon. (238,900 miles for you Jeopardy fans.)

I didn’t need a lot of bells and whistles. You don’t expect them when you’ve been driving a vehicle with a driver’s window that you can’t roll down to pull through a Sonic drive-thru in the rain unless you’re going to a pool party and don’t need the window back up for say…three days.

So I got really excited when I learned my car came equipped with Bluetooth. This would mean I could talk on the phone hands-free. The world would be safer. My husband Dan would be less fearful about calling me. And I could get frustrated trying to figure out yet another form of technology. Yeah.

I was tooling down the interstate yesterday, mentally making a packing list for an upcoming speaking trip, when my car rang and pulled my thoughts back into the present. A few seconds later, I was talking to my ninety-two-year-old father, whose voice was apparently being broadcast to me from what sounded like the bowels of my engine. (Do people eventually get used to this?)

The experience was a bit surreal but pretty cool–to be snatched out of my day-to-day reverie by the voice of my father and be reminded what’s really important. To take time to listen to him.

Self-talk is a lot like learning to listen expectantly for a Bluetooth call. One minute I can be sitting beside my husband, annoyed that he’s breathing wrong/chewing too loudly/has hairs sprouting from his ears. Mentally, I’m packing my bags for trip to Wife-Nagging-Land, stuffing in self-righteousness, pride, a controlling spirit, sarcasm, condescension, and a few other toxic attitudes into my bag. But if I listen, a call will come.

The still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, speaking the words of the Father.

“Take a look at what you’re REALLY doing. Listen to my voice. Right now, in this moment, I want to change your heart and change you.”

That’s pretty much been my journey for the past eight years–learning to listen for the voice. Leaning into the expectancy of change. Thanking God that I’m not the same nagging wife and mother I used to be.

And that through the divine gift of self-talk, I can chat with God non-stop. Hands-free.

Yes, I’m packing my bags and ready for this trip.