The humble, loving Jesus. An example worthy of following, but not one that “normal” humans are tempted to emulate. That’s where transforming grace and the new birth comes in. God wants to take normal humans and make them into new creatures — into Christians who reflect His character of love.
That was another of Ellen White’s preaching themes at Minneapolis. On October 20, she presented a sermon that the Minneapolis Tribune noted moved many to tears and that she herself claimed brought forth many heartfelt testimonies from her hearers.
“You cannot,” she told her audience, “be a fruitful Christian and have knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ unless you are a practical Christian, unless you are making progress all the time in Divine life. This is all important. Many seem to think that as soon as they go down into the water and receive baptism, and their names are entered upon the church book, then the work is all done.”
To the contrary, “if they do not bring into their households practical religion, they will soon lose it all. . . . It is important that we keep all the time adding grace to grace, and if we will work upon the plan of addition, God will work on the plan of multiplication” as He develops His “moral image” in His followers.
“All the universe of heaven was interested in the great work” of Christ. “Every world that God has created is watching to see how the battle between the Lord of light and glory and the powers of darkness will end. Here is Satan, who has been seeking with all his power to shut out the true character of God, so that the world could not understand it, and under a garb of righteousness he works upon many who profess to be Christians, but they represent the character of Satan instead of the character of Jesus Christ. They misrepresent my Lord. They misrepresent the character of Jesus every time that they lack mercy, every time that they lack humility” (MS 8, 1888).
“God is love” (1John 4:8). Christ came to demonstrate that love in His life and death. And He wants us to be like Him, to let Him develop His “moral image” in us.
Take me today, Lord. Help me to not only desire Your gift but to accept it and live it in my daily life.