1 John 3:2-3 (New Living Translation)
Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.
God has given us an amazing promise. Not only will we receive eternal life but we will be changed into the likeness of the Son and will share in his glory. This means that our bodies, our minds, our personalities—everything that we are—will be purified and restored to perfectly reflect God’s image and glory, the purpose for which we were originally created.
Imagine yourself restored to your original personality, your “real” self, the person you would be if you had never been touched by sin. What beautiful and flawless essence did God fashion to be uniquely you? In such innocence and purity, you could walk among the world as Jesus did, allowing yourself to see the good in people without fearing the bad, never prone to take offense or a defensive stance because you are so supremely confident in God and in your worth as his child that others’ actions could never threaten you.
When we grasp the true hope of God’s promise to us, we have good reason to “keep ourselves pure, just as he is pure.” Such hope motivates us to cooperate with the Spirit’s refining work in our lives and relationships, knowing we are being prepared for our eternal life with God and our perfected brothers and sisters. We can choose love and kindness and forgiveness over the ways of the world because we recognize that these qualities move us closer to who we really are in Christ—that perfect and beautiful essence that God is restoring in us.
FATHER, grant me a vision of who you created me to be. Thank you for your promise to see me restored in Christ, free of sin, a cherished child who is welcome in your home. Kindle in me a desire to do good, to love and forgive others, and to welcome the refining work of your Spirit in my life, even when it hurts or costs me. Give me faith to imagine eternal life with you amid the glory and perfection of all your creation.
Romans 8:16-17; 1 Corinthians 11:7
What aspect of your personality do you long to see changed and perfected into a likeness of Christ?