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Brother Lawrence

When in prayer: “Sometimes I considered myself before Him as a poor criminal at the feet of his judge; at other times I beheld him in my heart as my Father, as my God…. Sometimes I considered myself there as a stone before a carver, whereof he is to make a statue; presenting myself thus before God, I desire Him to form his perfect image in my soul, and make me entirely like himself.” (The Practice of The Presence of God, 31-37)

Richard J. Foster

“As we travel this path, the blessing of God will come upon us and reconstruct us into the image of Jesus. We must remember that the path does not produce the change; it only places us where the change can occur. This is the path of disciplined grace.” (Celebration of Discipline, (New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 1998), 8.)

Amy Carmichael

Amy Carmichael, took a group of children to see a traditional goldsmith at work in India. In the middle of a charcoal fire was a curved roof tile. On the tile was a mixture of salt, tamarind fruit, and brick dust, and embedded in this mixture was the gold. As the fire devoured the mixture, the gold became purer. The goldsmith took the gold out with tongs, and if it was not pure enough, replaced it in the fire with new mixture. But each time it was replaced, the heat was made hotter than before. The group asked him, “How do you know when the gold is pure?” He replied, “When I can see my face in it.” (Amy Carmichael, Learning Of God, (London: SPCK, 1983), 50.)

Ellen White

1. The focus on Jesus. As the disciples waited for the fulfillment of the promise, they humbled their hearts in true repentance and confessed their unbelief. As they called to remembrance the words that Christ had spoken to them before His death they understood more fully their meaning. Truths which had passed from their memory were again brought to their minds, and these they repeated to one another. They reproached themselves for their misapprehension of the Saviour. Like a procession, scene after scene of His wonderful life passed before them. As they meditated upon His pure, holy life they felt that no toil would be too hard, no sacrifice too great, if only they could bear witness in their lives to the loveliness of Christ’s character. (Acts of the Apostles, 36)

2. The desire to reveal the character of Jesus. What was the result of the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost?… Every Christian saw in his brother a revelation of divine love and benevolence. One interest prevailed; one subject of emulation swallowed up all others. The ambition of the believers was to reveal the likeness of Christ’s character and to labor for the enlargement of His kingdom.  (Acts of the Apostles, 48)

3. The church as God’s vehicle to reveal his character. The church is God’s appointed agency for the salvation of men. It was organized for service, and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world. From the beginning it has been God’s plan that through His church shall be reflected to the world His fullness and His sufficiency. The members of the church, those whom He has called out of darkness into His marvelous light, are to show forth His glory. The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to “the principalities and powers in heavenly places,” the final and full display of the love of God.  Ephesians 3:10.  (AA 9)

4. The role of the Holy Spirit. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church.  (Desire of Ages, 671)

5. God’s ambition for his people to reflect him. God’s ideal for His children is higher than the highest human thought can reach. The living God has given in His holy law a transcript of His character. The greatest Teacher the world has ever known is Jesus Christ. And what is the standard He has given for all who believe in Him to reach? “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). As God is perfect in His high sphere of action, so man may be perfect in his human sphere. The ideal of Christian character is Christlikeness. There is opened before us a path of continual advancement. We have an object to reach, a standard to gain which includes everything good and pure and noble and elevated. There should be continual striving and constant progress onward and upward toward perfection of character.  (HP 141)

6. Reflecting God’s glory. “These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand.” Revelation 2:1. These words are spoken to the teachers in the church–those entrusted by God with weighty responsibilities. The sweet influences that are to be abundant in the church are bound up with God’s ministers, who are to reveal the love of Christ. The stars of heaven are under His control. He fills them with light. He guides and directs their movements. If He did not do this, they would become fallen stars. So with His ministers. They are but instruments in His hands, and all the good they accomplish is done through His power. Through them His light is to shine forth. The Saviour is to be their efficiency. If they will look to Him as He looked to the Father they will be enabled to do His work. As they make God their dependence, He will give them His brightness to reflect to the world.  (Acts of the Apostles, 586-7)

7. Reflecting God’s glory throughout eternity. And the years of eternity, as they roll, will bring richer and still more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. As knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness increase. The more men learn of God, the greater will be their admiration of His character. As Jesus opens before them the riches of redemption and the amazing achievements in the great controversy with Satan, the hearts of the ransomed thrill with more fervent devotion, and with more rapturous joy they sweep the harps of gold; and ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of voices unite to swell the mighty chorus of praise.  (Great Controversy, 678)

8. Reflecting Jesus through meekness. “The difficulties we have to encounter may be very much lessened by that meekness which hides itself in Christ. If we possess the humility of our Master, we shall rise above the slights, the rebuffs, the annoyances, to which we are daily exposed, and they will cease to cast a gloom over the spirit. The highest evidence of nobility in a Christian is self-control. He who under abuse or cruelty fails to maintain a calm and trustful spirit robs God of His right to reveal in him His own perfection of character. Lowliness of heart is the strength that gives victory to the followers of Christ; it is the token of their connection with the courts above.” (Ellen White, Desire of Ages, (Boise, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1940), 30.)

9. How Enoch revealed Jesus. It was through constant conflict and simple faith that Enoch walked with God. He realized that God is “a very present help in trouble.” When in perplexity, he prayed to God to keep him, and teach him His will. What shall I do to honor Thee, my God? was his prayer. His will was submerged in God’s will. His feet were always directed in the path of obedience to God’s commandments. Constantly his meditations were upon the goodness, the perfection, the loveliness, of the divine character. His conversation was upon heavenly things; he trained his mind to run in this channel. As he looked to Jesus, he became changed into the glorious image of his Lord, and his countenance was lighted up with the glory that shines from the face of Christ.  (ST, October 12, 1904)

10. Focusing on Jesus. In order to perfect Christian character, we must dwell upon the perfection of Christ, and as we behold his matchless charms, we shall desire to be like him, and become changed, reflecting more and more of his spirit of love.  Signs of the Times, January 26, 1891)

11. Grace is character. To learn of Christ means to receive His grace, which is His character. (COL 271)

12. The Holy Spirit brings the change. It is impossible for any of us by our own power or our own efforts to work this change in ourselves. It is the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, which Jesus said He would send into the world, that changes our character into the image of Christ; and when this is accomplished, we reflect as in a mirror the glory of the Lord. That is, the character of the one who thus beholds Christ is so like His that one looking at him sees Christ’s own character shining out as from a mirror. Imperceptibly to ourselves, we are changed day by day from our ways and will into the ways and will of Christ, into the loveliness of His character. Thus we grow up into Christ, and unconsciously reflect His image. . . .  (Heavenly Places, 337)

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