Thursday, January 23, 2014

Becoming Like Jesus

             Most Christians would readily admit that they would like to be more like Jesus. But they also discover that wishing doesn’t make it so. I recently read this amazing statement: “Hope is not a strategy!” In order to become more like Jesus you are going to have to couple your desire with a commitment to spiritual disciplines.

The most obvious beginning point is prayer. Jesus prayed – a lot! Although he is the very Son of God, he knew the value of prayer in spiritual formation and he kept in constant contact with his Father. Obviously we need this even more than Jesus did!

We need to be immersed in the word of God. Jesus was so familiar with God’s word that he could maneuver the Isaiah scroll to the exact spot he wanted in a time without chapter and verse notations! He used God’s word to answer temptations. He spoke with themes, ideas, and truths mined from Scripture. Recently the church family in Ukraine gave up TV and Internet each night at 6 PM and committed to an hour of Bible reading for a week. They learned it was both more difficult than they imagined and more rewarding than they would have guessed. Imagine how much more helpful the Gospel according to Matthew would be than another episode of your favorite TV show or an hour of surfing the internet. 

Both prayer and Bible reading/study are spiritual nutrition but there must also be exercise if we are to become healthy like Jesus. While there are many types of spiritual exercises the cream of the crop is certainly simple service to people around you. Jesus spoke of the value of just a cup of cold water. He also demonstrated the awesome power of washing someone’s feet. There are multiple opportunities all around you to serve someone in the name of Jesus. Learn to see then DO them! (The disconnect for most Christians is the lapse between intention and performance).

If you really want to become like Jesus – try doing what Jesus did. He will walk beside you in prayer, study and service! He desires nothing more than for you to follow him. These three simple practices can change your life and greatly increase your faith.

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