Called to Imitate Jesus

<strong>Called to Imitate Jesus</strong>

We are called to follow Jesus’ example on earth.  He is our example, or pattern, of godliness and holiness.  In order to model ourselves after Jesus, we must first comprehend what He was called to do.

Jesus had prophetic Scriptures to fulfill, and He was very aware of those Scriptures.  Let’s turn to the Bible and explore this topic.

  • The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord anointed me to bring good news to the humble; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to captives and freedom to prisoners . . .  (Isa 61:1 NASB)
  • The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.  (Lk 4:18 NIV)
  • The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.  (Mt 11:5 NKJV)

Jesus came to bring the good news of salvation to mankind.  He was sent to heal the brokenhearted, release the captives, heal the lame and blind and deaf, and to declare freedom to the prisoners of evil.

  • But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  (1 Pet 2:9 NIV)

We are told in 1 Peter, chapter 2, that we who have accepted Christ as our Savior and Lord are a chosen people, called out of darkness into His marvelous light.  As His royal priesthood, we are called to live holy, righteous lives that shine before all men to the glory of God.

In imitating Christ, not only should we desire to act as He did, but to do so with the same purity of character and the motivations of LOVE for His Father in heaven and for the people to whom He ministered.  Without the correct heart attitude and inspiration, our actions would become a mere parody of our Lord’s. In order to fulfill our calling, we need to maintain a profound relationship with our Redeemer—a living relationship clearly conspicuous by our obedience, submission and love for the Lord.  Such an ongoing relationship coupled with an honorable character will result in a life of true service to the Lord and to His Kingdom.  God bless you!

Be Law Abiding & Given to Good Works

<strong>Be Law Abiding & Given to Good Works</strong>

We are instructed by the Bible to live law-abiding lives and to perform good works to the glory of God.  Let’s look at what the Scriptures say:

My son, fear both the Lord and the king, and don’t keep company with rebels.  (Pro 24:21 ISV)

Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and give to God the things that are God’s.”  (Mt 22:21 NCV)

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.  (Rom 13:1 NIV)

He gave himself to rescue us from everything evil and to make our hearts pure. He wanted us to be his own people and to be eager to do right.  (Tit 2:14 CEV)

Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work . . . (Tit 3:1 NKJV)

Clearly, as believers, we must live in two different realms.  We live in this carnal world, which is very much opposed to the plans and purposes of God.  Simultaneously, we are citizens of a heavenly kingdom with Christ as our Lord and King. 

We’re called to represent Christ in the midst of this sinful and pain-filled society without allowing ourselves to become contaminated by it.  The only way that we can succeed is by obeying the Word of God; and by following the leading of the Holy Spirit as He counsels and leads us, individually.

By living holy lives and being valuable, law-abiding citizens, we prevent the gospel of Jesus Christ from being slandered and vilified. 

By living in peace and harmony with our neighbors, and importantly with other believers, we demonstrate our good works in:

  • being courteous to all;
  • doing good works within a civic framework as well as within a spiritual framework; and
  • submitting to our governing authorities.

These points are achieved practically in being honest in business; paying our taxes; being good neighbors; conducting ourselves in an orderly way; and obeying the laws of the land.  In conducting ourselves along these guidelines, we fulfill the Scripture that says:

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.  (Mt 10:16 KJV)  We are being wise and harmless!  Glory to God most high!

Imagination—A Benefit for the Kingdom

Imagination—A Benefit for the Kingdom

The imagination at its core is good because it comes from God who created each one of us with an imagination.  God imagined US before He created us.  When we are curious for answers, it can trigger our imagination to become creative in finding unique solutions.

And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.  (Lk 2:47, underscoring added) 

When you need answers, turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the Word of God.

For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  (Mt 7:8)

When we ask questions or seek for answers (in the Lord), God will bring us the information that we need in wondrous and miraculous ways.

But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.  (Gal 6:4)

When we examine our own work, to determine its excellence or ability to meet a specific need, then we may rejoice over our work and what we have accomplished for the glory of God and His kingdom.

We need to develop our imagination, and in order to do that we need input from numerous other people.  So we need to build friendships and relationships with other, talented people.  As we do this our neural networks develop and we use more and more of our brainpower!

Imagination takes us to new places and helps us to envision new possibilities.  Don’t limit people to your view of the world or to your life experiences.  Create a judgment-free zone in which to grow your imagination.  “Big Imagination” should equal “big sense of humor” as well. 

Think of (imagine) the good and excellent things that God has given to us.  (Phil 4:8)