Those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many. (Rom. 8:29)

THEOLOGIANS AND PASTORS HAVE DEBATED the meaning of this verse for centuries. Does it mean that God has specifically chosen those who will go to heaven and those who will not? Has God placed us all in a row and ordered us to count off one, two, one, two—then decreed that the ones go to heaven and the twos go someplace else? No! Yet, God has predestined everyone who has ever lived to be one thing. This is God’s ultimate goal.

What is it?

God wants you to be in a personal, vibrant, daily relationship with Him. God wants us to be so close to Him that we become like Him. He wants us to be conformed into His image. We are made in His image and He desires nothing more than for us to display that divine image as we go through our daily lives.

As we are fully transformed into the image of God, we will discover what we have been created for. We will dedicate ourselves to God’s Word and obey it. We will emulate the ways Jesus treated others. We will walk like He walked. We also will live under the direction of the Holy Spirit of Christ because we are filled with the Holy Spirit of Christ. God wants us to be transformed into His image so we can do the Lord’s work.

Thank God that He has chosen you to be one of His holy children.

Jim Dunn is vice-president of church relations for Wesleyan Investment Foundation, and is a former pastor and church leader.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.