(Its been over a year since I have published Monday Morning Devotions which feature brief impressionistic examinations of various scriptures. At some future date they may be expanded upon to produce sermons.)
IJn. 3:3- "And everyone who has this hope in Him (Jesus Christ) purifies himself, just as He is pure." (NKJV, insert, my own)
Once we repent of our sins and trust in Jesus Christ, we have many things to hope for. We hope that during times of adversity the Lord will come to our aid. In times of sickness, we hope the Lord will heal us. We hope that however the Lord leads us, He will empower us to obey. When our lives take directions we do not understand, we hope that the sovereign Lord is working out all things for our good. And of course, we have the hope that when our time on this earth is done, we will spend eternity in the presence of God.
And yet, there is one object of hope we often overlook. The hope that one day we will be like Jesus Christ. We won't ever possess divine attributes such as sovereignty, omniscience or omnipresence. But we shall be like Jesus Christ. What we shall be when we are like Him I don't know, neither does this scripture's author, John, know. But we know enough of what Jesus is like that to be like Him is a great hope indeed. Scripture contains many commands that God's children purify themselves. Many of these commands demand the forsaking of the ways of the world and our own desires. But hope also purifies. And John assures us that the hope that we will be like Jesus will purify us, just as Jesus Himself is pure.
As we mature in our Christian walk, our wants start to line up with our Father's wants. Why? If we truly believe, then Jesus lives in our hearts through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 1:13) As more and more of our lives are brought under the control of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit transforms us into the people God wants us to be. And the Holy Spirit births in us a desire to be like Jesus, which purifies us from sin.
As a believer, do you have this hope? Do you desire this purity? If this promise of becoming like Jesus has not become real in your life, ask yourselves how much you have allowed the Holy Spirit to change you. Seek to have your own wants, legitimate they may be, to be supplanted by what God wants by spending time with Him. Let the Holy Spirit make you whom He will. By faith we know that if we allow this, we will be better than even our highest expectations for ourselves. For we shall be like Christ!