Summary: Years ago there was a large group of people who wanted to be "Just Like Mike." I wonder - doesn’t anyone want to be just like Jesus?

In the mid to late 90’s, an athlete rose to the top of his game. He became everyone’s hero and turned the game of basketball into one of the most watched sports of that day. He was labeled as being able to “defy gravity.” Although he is retired today, he is still considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Children and adults alike still want to be Just Like Mike.

I. He increased Mentally – 2 Timothy 2:15

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

a. Don’t stop learning

Thomas A. Edison, the great inventor, was talking one day with the governor of North Carolina, and the governor complimented him on his inventive genius.

"I am not a great inventor," said Edison.

"But you have over a thousand patents to your credit, haven’t you?" queried the governor.

"Yes, but about the only invention I can really claim as absolutely original is the phonograph," was the reply.

"Why, I’m afraid I don’t understand what you mean," said the governor.

"Well," explained Edison, "I guess I’m an awfully good sponge. I absorb ideas from every source I can, and put them to practical use. Then I improve them until they become of some value. The ideas which I use are mostly the ideas of other people who don’t develop them themselves."

—Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations

b. Always look for an opportunity to learn

i. From mistakes

ii. From life lessons

II. He increased Physically

The executive was just buttoning up his coat after a physical examination. "Doctor, if there is anything wrong with me, don’t try to hoodwink me by giving a long scientific name. Just tell me in plain English what’s wrong with me."

"Well, to be perfectly frank, you are just plain lazy and need more exercise."

"Thank you, doctor. Now please give me the scientific name, so I can tell the people at the office."

—Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations

a. Take care of yourself


III. He increased Spiritually (no seminars or tv evangelists)

a. Spend time with your Father

i. Morning – Mark 1:35

And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

ii. Night – Matthew 14:23

And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

iii. In times of need – Matthew 26:26-38

Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

IV. He increased Emotionally

a. Build solid friendships – Proverbs 18:24

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

b. Build Strong Family Relationships

In the Diary of Brooks Adams is a note about a special day when he was eight-years-old. He wrote, "went fishing with my father; the most glorious day of my life," and through the next forty years there were constant references to that day and the influence it had on his life.

Brook’s father was Charles Francis Adams, Abraham Lincoln’s ambassador to Great Britain. He also had a note in his diary about the same day. It simply said, "went fishing with my son: a day wasted."

—Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations

c. Disciple others – Matthew 28-20

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

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