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>Living Faith: Life in the Kingdom

Christ-made Christians

I expect Peter thought of himself as a self-made man—a fisherman in charge of his own life and capable of ordering his own destiny. But one day, a Man greater than Peter walked along the Galilean shore with these words for Peter: "Follow me, and I will make you . . ."

Christ, you see, is in the business of making men.

Or, as Ephesians 2:10 succinctly states, "We are his [God's] workmanship."

To allow Christ to make us into what He wants us to be can involve some of the hardest experiences in Christian living. There is something about being shaped, molded and created that can be brutally difficult for the flesh. But for a believer who is serious about being Christian and becoming Christ-like, there is no alternative to allowing Christ to make and shape his life.

In our world, there are uncounted self-help books and self-help courses, all developed to help you become the person you want to be. We are deluged by "make-yourself-into-something" thinking from self-development gurus that peddle their wares on every corner.

But it is not Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking or Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People that believers need. Instead, it needs more of Christ. It needs more worn knees and surrendered hearts—hearts that are sold out to Jesus, hearts that are open to being conformed into His image, hearts that want nothing more than for Him to shape their character and disposition.

One man said, "I am a self-made man, but if I had it to do over again, I'd let someone else in." For us as Christians, it would be a shame to come to the close of life only to make a similar discovery—a discovery that we have mistakenly devoted our efforts into making ourselves into "successful" Christians. Christ doesn't reward this kind of self-development with blessing. Instead, He looks only for broken, contrite hearts whose deepest longing is for Him to work within. And when He finds those hearts, Christ can make masterpieces.

—Arlin Weaver

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