Guest Post by Richard Rogers. Richard writes daily posts via his Facebook page. Follow him on Facebook here.
As we all know, children are great imitators. What kids see and hear, they are going to copy in their speech and behavior. Children look to us for guidance and direction, and we need to be careful to portray positive images to them. An anonymous author once wrote, “Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.” As Christians, we should also be great imitators! We should imitate the lifestyle of the greatest role model who ever walked the face of the earth, the one through whom God created all things and provides our salvation, Jesus Christ! By reading the Word of God, especially the four historical biographies of Christ as recorded in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and asking Jesus to reveal Himself to us personally, we get a clear picture of who Jesus is and who we, as believers, are in Christ—children and heirs of God. In Jesus we see the most desirable qualities that mankind can possess. Having existed always, Christ was, is, and will forever be the ultimate example of love, humility, and graciousness. He is the Almighty God who humbled Himself as mankind’s most faithful servant.
As we seek to become imitators of Jesus, allow me to share a few relevant Bible verses that illustrate His flawless character. Ephesians 4:32 points to Jesus eagerness to pardon those who seek forgiveness with a willingness to turn away from their sinfulness: “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Romans 5:8 is a great testimony to the unimaginable love that prompted Jesus to go to the Cross in our place: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” One of my favorite images of Christ as our humble servant is recorded in Philippians 2:5-8: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
Like children, we are all imitators. We need to be careful, however, that we imitate, not the wickedness of this world, but the beautiful character of Christ Jesus! A supreme example has been set by Jesus for each of us to follow in seeking to become the disciples that we are called to be. Each day we should ask ourselves what would Jesus do, say, or think in particular situations as the changing circumstances of our lives present themselves and then respond accordingly. Let’s follow in His footsteps and strive to truly be imitators of Jesus. As Christians and imitators of Christ, we have the promise that gradually we are being transformed by the Spirit of God into Christ’s likeness. In fact, by yielding our hearts to Him, we allow Jesus to live His life in and through us. Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)