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“Oh! to be like Thee, blessed Redeemer, This is my constant longing and prayer; Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures, Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh! to be like Thee, full of compassion,Loving, forgiving, tender, and kind, Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting, Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

Oh! to be like Thee, oh! to be like Thee, Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art; Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness; Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.”

“This hymn/prayer was written by Thomas Obadiah Chisholm (1866-1960) after he became a believer at the age of 27. His desire was to shape his life after the character traits of Jesus. He started his spiritual journey with the stated desire to be like Jesus. May this be our experience and testimony as well.” (Barry Kauffman/Hymns With A Message)

Years ago I heard this hymn sung by Dr John Rice. It made an impact on my life. Also, in Sunday school last year, while studying the characteristics and heart of God, I was challenged anew to live more like Him. While neither I, nor anyone else, can ever attain perfection like Jesus, with His help we can become more and more like Him. The longer we know Him, the more like Him we should become. Here are some character traits of Jesus that we as believers should desire.

The Lord is Gracious
: The word gracious means merciful, forgiving, kind, tenderhearted, patient. “The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy” (Psalm 145:8). Oh, to be like Him!

The Lord is Forgiving: ”If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”(1 John 1:9). Yes, if we confess to God (agreeing with Him that we have sinned and want to change), He will forgive us, cleanse us, and never bring it up to us again, That is true forgiveness. “…forgiving one another… as Christ forgave you, so also do ye” (Colossians 3:13). “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). Oh, to be like Him!

The Lord is Love: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another” (1 John 4:11). The most unlovable people tend to need love the most. “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1 John 4:8) Oh, to be like Him.

The Lord is Compassionate
: The meaning of compassion is to recognize the suffering of others and then take action to help, to make a difference. “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd” (Matt. 9:35, 36). “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (1 John 3:17). Compassion should be set in motion when we see the needs of others whether they are physical, spiritual, or social. The Lord is our example of compassion. Oh, to be like Him!

The Lord is Meek: Meekness means to be gentle, patient, kind, humble. It is not weakness, but it is power (self-will) brought under control. Meekness means making a choice to lay down your rights, your authority for the sake of others. It is making the choice to put others ahead of yourself. Our greatest example of meekness is the Lord Jesus Christ. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8).

Oh, to be like Him!

There are so many, many more character traits of our Lord that we could list. And, of course, we can never attain them all. Becoming more like Him will not be accomplished through self-effort. But by submitting to the Lord, asking Him to work in our lives, keeping a close relationship with Him by reading and studying the Bible, attending worship with other believers, and staying alert to the “nudges” of the Holy Spirit. As these changes occur in our lives they will make a difference in our world and will glorify our Lord Jesus Christ. They can be attained. I want His “image stamped on my heart.” Oh, to be like Him!

This is written because I care… Carlene

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