“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ.” (Eph 5:1)
“Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.” Salvador Dali
This week, I am leading our church’s Men’s Group. Our focus is on the development and awareness of our identity in Christ. I thought I would share some insights and questions from the group. These questions come from collaborating with a couple of other leaders of our church!
“Imitators” in the Greek is: μιμητής mimētēs (from “mimos”- which means “to mimic”)- meaning “followers.” This gives new and deeper meaning to the phrase “Christ-follower.”
1 Cor 11:1 And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. (Paul)
1. How do we imitate/follow Him? How do we know what He’s like?
-Joining with Community: Lifegroups and creating/involving one’s self in fellowship opportunities,
surrounding self with positive people who encourage, love, extend genuine grace, and act like
-Engaging in Spiritual Disciplines: include communal elements (worship, service, and fellowship) & private exercises (silent retreats, journaling, meditating on Scripture, prayer, and fasting).
Look at His attributes, character, and nature and put them into practice. We can see examples of who He is throughout Scripture…
-LOVE (1 John 4:8)
-Good (Psalm 136:1- “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.”)
-Forgiving (Eph 1:7- “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”)
-Merciful & faithful (Heb 2:17-”Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation (atonement/sacrifice) for the sins of the people.”)
-Humble & Obedient (Phil 2:8- “He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”)
-Servant (Phil 2:17- “but he made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant.”)
-Others-focused/Selfless- (Phil 2:3-4- in humility, count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”)
-Patient, slow to anger, eternal (Psalm 103:8)
-Holy (1 Peter 1:16, “because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”)
-He has no fear in Him (1 John 4:18).
-He is kind, not jealous, not irritable, doesn’t hold grudges, lover of truth, hopeful, faithful, and enduring/persistent (Cor 13:4-7).
-Life! (“I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” [that it might be full and meaningful] (John 10:10).)
-The light of the World (John 8:12 [John 8:23- YOU are the light of the world]).
Here are some more questions to consider as you reflect on Jesus’ character and how to demonstrate these characteristics in your daily life:
2. Who is the greatest example of someone you have witnessed that lived like Jesus?
3. What is your most memorable moment of witnessing a person being Christlike?
4. When have you felt the most like Jesus?
5. If you had one day to dedicate to being the most like Jesus what would you do?
6. Instead of asking, “what is keeping you from imitating Him,” (can often get you stuck)- try asking… “what moves you towards imitating Him?”
5:10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord…. 4:23-24 and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph 5:10/4:23-24)
We need to take moments each day to understand who we are currently (as individuals & members of body of Christ) through the benefits of joining part of a genuine community, and exercising disciplines and take steps to move towards becoming more Christ-like.
Our goal is not to analyze, criticize, or control each other, but it is to grow and affirm what God is doing in and through one another! You are the light of the world, you are influential, you can be Jesus to someone today… don’t miss your opportunity!