How to Become More Like Christ

Becoming Christ Like by City on a Hill Studio and Jeremy Linneman

Money is not the problem, a heart that loves money is the problem.

In America, we often think that money can buy happiness. I think most people would agree with the statement: “The more money I have, the happier I will be.”

Recently, researchers from the fields of psychology and sociology have tested the hypothesis that money leads to happiness. A survey of almost two million people from more than 160 countries showed that money does lead to happiness—but only to a certain point.

When our basic needs are met and we don’t have to worry about where our next meal will come from, our emotional well-being increases. However, after that point, additional money actually decreases happiness.

Mother Teresa said this:

“The spiritual poverty of the Western world is much greater than the physical poverty of our people in Calcutta. You in the West have millions of people who suffer such terrible loneliness and emptiness…. These people are not hungry in the physical sense, but they are in another way. They know they need something more than money, yet they don’t know what it is. What they are missing really is a living relationship with God.” (quoted in End of Me, page 123)

Now, is money bad? No, money is not the problem, a heart that loves money is the problem. That’s why Paul doesn’t say, “money is the root of all evil.” He says, “the love of money is the root of all evil.”

Our many attempts to fill ourselves through possessions and experiences have left us feeling emptier than ever. As Kyle Idleman puts it, “We’re trying to fill the cavity of the soul with things that won’t fit.”

Small Banner for The End of Me Journal by Kyle Idleman and City on a Hill Studio

In other words, there’s something so much better than money, possessions, and experiences.

So what fills “the cavity of the soul”?

True blessedness is not found in feeling good but in being good—being good as defined by Jesus and shaped by our relationship with God through him.

Following the Way of Jesus

True blessedness is not about a position in society or set of possessions; it’s about your life in God.
Out of the love that we experience in God, a life of humility, security, service, and peace emerges.

We would be capable of living a truly good life if we could experience joy, regardless of the rise or fall of our circumstances.

As always, God is interested in the internal state of our hearts—not external appearances. Jesus’s life on earth illustrates what it means to be in lack and in need.

Jesus was born into ordinary circumstances and was raised without much financially. In other words, ordinary life and meager possessions are not hindrances to life with God.

Jesus was intimately committed to his family and friends. He cared for his mother and spent most of his public ministry leading the disciples. In other words, to be poor in spirit is to create space for others’ needs and interests.

Jesus had eyes to see the value of the poor, the sick, the outcast, the brokenhearted, and the dying. In other words, poverty of spirit views itself as on the bottom of life, not the top.

Jesus challenged the religious leaders of his day but praised those who served God without pretense or show. In other words, genuine faith and love are at the heart of the poor in spirit.

Jesus gave his own life to save the lives of many. In other words, the poor in spirit are quick to give, ready to sacrifice, put the needs of others above their own.

Becoming Christlike Blog By City on a Hill Studio and Jeremy Linneman

Learn and grow in your relationship with Christ in The End of Me Journal!

The truly good life cannot be found in the accumulation of possessions and experiences that can be stripped away in a moment. The good life must be deeper, stronger, and less dependent upon circumstances.

We would be capable of living a truly good life if we could experience joy, regardless of the rise or fall of our circumstances.

Becoming Like Christ in Everyday Life

You need to pursue life with God in a broken world by coming to the end of yourself and becoming like Jesus. Author Dallas Willard has written in The Divine Conspiracy:

“Jesus and his early associates overwhelmed the ancient world because they brought into it a stream of life at its deepest… The early message was not experienced as something its hearers had to believe or do because otherwise, something bad would happen to them. The people initially impacted by that message generally concluded that they would be fools to disregard it…

How life-giving it would be if the gospel allowed them [say], ‘I will do [this]! I will find out how. I will devote my life to it! This is the best strategy I have ever heard of’ and then go off to their fellowship and its teachers and into their daily life, to learn how to live in his kingdom as Jesus indicated was best… The really good news is that Jesus is now taking students in the master class of life.”

So, how do we become like Jesus? By following the overall pattern of his life.

If Jesus has the ultimate wisdom of God, then we would be wise to follow the way of life he embodied while on earth.

What do we see when we look at Jesus’s earthly life?

  • Complete devotion to the Father
  • An active, abiding fellowship with the Father
  • An awareness of the leading of the Holy Spirit
  • Deep knowledge of God’s Word
  • Frequent retreats for silence and solitude
  • Committed relationships with a small group of people
  • Loving, consistent ministry, especially among the poor and needy
  • Willingness to suffer for the sake of others

Much more could be said of Jesus’s way of life and ministry on earth. But it’s important to remember that Jesus isn’t merely a model of wise living; he’s our Savior and our one hope in life!

The apostle Paul put it like this:

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)

Jesus, in his infinite wealth, he took on poverty. He became poor in spirit so that we might become rich.
The riches that he offers aren’t temporary pleasures like money and possessions. No, those come and go—and apparently, don’t offer increasing happiness anyway.

Becoming Christ Like by City on a Hill Studio and Jeremy Linneman

Through his poverty, Jesus gives us the most valuable thing possible: He makes us sons and daughters of God.

He lived the perfect life that we ourselves have resisted. He died the brutal death that our own sins demanded. And yet he was raised from the grave in victory over Satan, sin, and death.

By coming to the end of our ourselves, finding Jesus, and then becoming like him, we discover true, unshakeable, never-ending blessedness.

The End of Me Bible Study by City on a Hill Studio in Louisville, KY

Do you long for a deep, authentic relationship with Jesus?

Here’s a hint: The end of you is the beginning. In this four-week devotional study, return to the first-century hillside with Jesus and the disciples. Sit among the crowd and listen in on Jesus’s words afresh. Receive his invitation to come to the end of yourself and find what you’ve always been searching for. Learn more about The End of Me now!

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