I WOULD BE LIKE JESUS
James Rowe, 1865–1933
For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:29)
I may not understand, Lord, but one day I shall see
Thy loving hand was taking pains to fashion me like Thee.
There is much about the word predestined that is difficult to understand. One very obvious lesson that can be learned, however, is that God planned ahead of time for His children to be like His Son. The Scriptures teach that Christ has left us an example, and that we should seek to imitate Him and follow in His steps (Galatians 5:1; 1 Peter 2:21). Like our Lord, we have been called to have the spirit of a servant, spending and being spent, meeting the needs of others. But we cannot develop a Christ-like life merely on the basis of religious activity or even an accumulation of biblical knowledge, as important as knowledge and sound doctrine are to Christian living. Rather, spiritual maturity—Christ-like living—is the result of an implicit obedience to God’s will for our lives, even as our Lord was always obedient to the will of His Father. This awareness of God’s purposes is made possible as the Holy Spirit reveals the truth to us through the Scriptures.
Nothing demonstrates the truthfulness of our verbal witness for Christ more than a life in which the very character of Jesus is clearly evident. This hymn has been used to help Christian people in this spiritual desire and development since it was first written by an American gospel musician, James Rowe, and published in the Make Christ King Hymnal in 1912.
Earthly pleasures vainly call me—I would be like Jesus; nothing worldly shall enthrall me—I would be like Jesus:
He has broken ev’ry fetter—I would be like Jesus; that my soul may serve Him better—I would be like Jesus:
All the way from earth to glory—I would be like Jesus; telling o’er and o’er the story—I would be like Jesus:
That in heaven He may meet me, I would be like Jesus; that His words “Well done” may greet me, I would be like Jesus:
Refrain: Be like Jesus—this my song—in the home and in the throng, be like Jesus all day long! I would be like Jesus.
For Today: 2 Corinthians 3:8; Galatians 4:19; Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:1–11; 1 Peter 2:21
“Great oaks from little acorns grow—and character from deeds you sow.” Earnestly seek to bring Christ-like attitudes and actions into every area of life. Sing as you go—