“But we have the mind of Christ” 1 Corinthians 2:16
We so often hear the phrase, “To be like Jesus” but what does it really mean in our everyday lives? My BSGs were in a deep conversation on Revelation about whether or not we believe in the rapture. And, more importantly how does either position effect our lives. History and our current world are full of scholars who know a lot more about the details of the Bible than probably you or I will ever grasp. But there’s a difference, which is a deep and wide crevasse, between knowing and living out the qualities of Jesus.
“We, therefore, desire to copy his character and put our feet into his footprints. Be it ours to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goes. What says our Lord himself? “Follow me,” and again, “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest unto your souls.” Not Christ’s apostle, but Christ himself, is our guide; we may not take a secondary model, but must imitate Jesus himself.”Charles Spurgeon
Imitation is not knowing of something but molding ourselves into an almost exact copy. I say “almost” because of course, Jesus is God and we are not. We walk the Jesus drawn path toward His perfection but we are always in a human mode my friend Betsy calls, “imperfect progress.”
Our modern view of Jesus seems to be stuck in one quality, however. And truth be told, if we could regularly live out that one quality it’d be a great step forward on our path. That quality? A loving friend.
We hear the word “love” over and over in our churches, in our faith songs, on our Christian social media. But what about Jesus’ other characteristics? How many of us are willing to take on being Jesus the Warrior, Jesus the Servant, or Jesus the Counselor? If we have hesitated is it because we know that once we decide to move along in our sanctification journey, we will encounter more and more resistance from the outside world?
Are we prepared, like the disciple Stephen, to be a martyr for God? Are we prepared to state unequivocally that we must obey God rather than human beings? (Acts 5:29)
And so, we return to the original question, what does believing in the words of the Bible and Jesus mean to our lives? It means we are to be in constant preparation for His coming. It means we love our neighbors, we share the gospel whenever possible, we humble ourselves, we seek reconciliation and not revenge, we encourage and lift up our fellow travelers, we carry the message of Jesus throughout every generation, and we stand up for the truth of His Holy Word. It means we make a perspective shift on every single aspect of our lives because we believe that one day soon our “age of grace” will turn to the “age of judgment.”
Jesus expects us to be working on that preparation. It’s why He came – not to just leave us knowing God loves us – but living like God knows and loves us. He came to be our example for gathering up residents of the future Kingdom come.
Join me in this journey of looking at the different qualities of Jesus as we delve into His mindset so that we can become His imitators. We will be challenged to accept all of His qualities, not just the ones with which we feel most comfortable. Along the way we will meet some people whose lives are examples of those characteristics.
Jesus was a great disrupter – possibly the greatest of all time. Let’s let Him disrupt and reshape us.
As we begin this series take a moment to pray this confession found in Rick Renner’s, Sparkling Gems from the Greek:
“I boldly declare that I am a new creature in Christ. Old things have passed away and all things have become new! I am not who I used to be anymore. I don’t think like that old person; I don’t see like that old person; I don’t talk like that old person; and I don’t behave like that old person anymore. Now I am in Jesus Christ, and I think like Him, see like Him, talk like Him, and behave like Him. I have come alive with vibrant life because of His resurrection power that works in me! I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!”