How to Be More Like Jesus (Eph. 1:19)
"That you may really come to know practically, through experience for yourselves, the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge that you may be filled through all your being, unto all the fullness of God (may have the richest measure of the divine Presence and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God himself." (Eph. 1:19) Amplified
Proposition Statement: The greatest way to give God glory and to please Him in all respects and bear fruit in every good work is to be like Jesus Christ, as your spiritual worship.
When the wife of missionary Adoniram Judson told him that a newspaper article likened him to some of the apostles, Judson replied, "I do not want to be like a Paul...or any mere man. I want to be like Christ...I want to follow Him only, copy His teachings, drink in His Spirit, and place my feet in His footprints...Oh, to be more like Christ!"
Paul wrote, "For my determined purpose is that I may know Him (that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly. that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from the resurrection (which is exerts over believers) and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed in spirit into His likeness even to His death in the hope. That if possible I may attain to the (spiritual and moral) resurrection (that lifts me ) out from among the dead (even while in the body).
Not that I have now attained this ideal or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of me and made me His own. Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the supreme heavenly prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward." (Phil. 3:10-14) Amplified
The following are guidelines to becoming more like the Master, Jesus Christ, in all our relationships, activities, and personal concerns:
1. CONSISTENT - Jesus practiced what He preached. He said, Love your enemiesand do good to those who despitefully use you. Jesus forgave His persecutors because He knew that his example would overcome all problems.
Illustration: On a wall near the main entrance to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, is a portrait with the following inscription: "James Butler Bonham--no picture of him exists. This portrait is of his nephew, Major James Bonham, deceased, who greatly resembled his uncle. It is placed here by the family that people may know the appearance of the man who died for freedom." No literal portrait of Jesus exists either. But the likeness of the Son who makes us free can be seen in the lives of His true followers.
2. COURAGEOUS - Jesus showed courage without being arrogant. In the midst of terrible threats he said, "I could have called 10,000 angels to set me free, but nevertheless not as I will, but let My Father’s will be done."
3. PRIORITY DRIVEN - Jesus set His sights on the most important goals of His heavenly Father. He siad, "It is not those who are healthy that need a physician but the sick. The Son of Man has come to seek and to save those which are lost." At the end of Jesus life He was able to say, "I have accomplished what God sent Me to do." (John 17:4)
4. MOTIVATED BY LOVE - Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you that you love one another as I have loved you. By this will all men know that you are my disciples because you have love for one another."
5. VISION INSPIRED - Jesus said, "Who do people say the son of man is? Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the son of the living god." Jesus said "Blessed are you Simon for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter and on this rock (the confession of your faith) I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. (Matt 16:18)
In Discipleship Journal, Carole Mayhall tells of a woman who went to a diet center to lose weight. The director took her to a full-length mirror. On it he outlined a figure and told her, "This is what I want you to be like at the end of the program." Days of intense dieting and exercise followed, and every week the woman would stand in front of the mirror, discouraged because her bulging outline didn’t fit the director’s ideal. But she kept at it, and finally one day she conformed to the longed-for image.
Daily Bread, August 8, 1990.
6. GOAL ORIENTED - Jesus said, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth workers into His fields." Jesus would never allow His men to be content with just doing maintenance work.
7. INVOLVED KEY DISCIPLES - Jesus said, "Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men. Jesus knew that by discipling a small band of faithful, available, and obedient followers who would multiply His life and purposes, God’s purposes would be accomplished.
8. EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT - Jesus said to the disciples, "But you shall receive power when the Holy spirt comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
9. YIELDED TO GOD’S WILL - Jesus bore the pain, suffering and shame of the cross because he said, "Lord, let this bitter cup pass from Me. Yet, nevertheless not as I will, but let your will be done."
10. RESISTED TEMPTATIONS - Jesus overcame all the temptations for power, pride and lust by relying on God’s promises.
11. NOT DISTRACTED BY MERELY GOOD PROJECTS - Jesus could have spent all of His time healing people and doing miracles. Instead, he chose to focus on His primary mission as expressed in His great commission. "Go and make disciples of all nation. (Matt. 28:19,20)
12. ALLOWED FOR DIVERSITY - One day John said to Jesus, "Teacher, we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us. Jesus said, "Do not stop him. No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us."
13. HOLISTIC IN HIS TEACHING - Jesus said, "A student is not above His teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. Jesus helped people mature in all aspects of life.
14. AUTHORITATIVE - Jesus said, "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me." We have strength for all things through Christ who empowers us. We are ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses inner strength into us.
15. ENRICHED BY WORSHIP - Early in the morning jesus got up and went out to a lonely place and there He prayed. (Mark 1:35) He gained strength, perspective and power in worship.
16. SHOWED NO PREJUDICE - Jesus’ mother and brothers once sent someone to call Him. However, Jesus said, "Here are my mother and brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother."
17. UNDAUNTED BY PHARISAICAL OPPOSITION - The Pharisees said to Jesus, "Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?" Jesus said, "the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath. Jesus did not allow His critics to discouraged, frustrate or cause Him to become bitter or resentful.
18. NOT TIED DOWN BY RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES - One day the Pharisees noticed Jesus eating with the sinners and tax collectors. The Pharisees asked, "Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners? Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
19. COMMITTED ALL OF HIS RESOURCES TO GOD - A rich young ruler once asked Jesus, "What must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus said, "Sell all that you have, give it to the poor and come follow Me."
20. SHOWED WISDOM WITH HIS INVESTMENTS - Jesus said, the best example was the seed sown on good soil. These are the people who hear the word, accept it and produce a crop - thirty, sixty and even a hundred times what was sown. Jesus demonstrated wisdom in sowing His seed in the hearts of people who were ripe for the harvest.
21. STOOD THE CHALLENGE OF THE RELIGIOUS AUTHORITIES - One day when Jesus entered the temple, the chief priests asked Jesus, "By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority? Jesus said, I will ask you a question: and if you tell me the answer, then I will tell tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, where did it come from - heaven or from men? They said, "We do not know!" Jesus said, Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
Concluding Illustration: Beware of counterfeits! If you’re planning to vacation in Zambia, beware of the street-corner "emerald vendors." And if you’re driving, be prepared for some confusion in the streets, owing to stolen traffic lights. The two warnings are related: The traffic light thieves are selling green glass chips to unsuspecting tourists who think they’re getting bargain-basement emeralds.
Reader’s Digest, March, 1980.