So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him,“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,” (John 8:31 ESV)
I have three awesome boys. They are so much like me, even at an early age. It’s remarkable. And to be quite honest, sometimes scary. Jayden is my big boy who loves to do what I do. He wants to lead people, he loves to be out in front and especially wants to be on stage whenever he gets the chance. As he laid on my shoulder watching Rocky, he was excited when I got excited. Jimmy is a brute who might become the next Hulk Hogan. His intensity and strength even at an early age is remarkable. He is always picking something up and then wanting to show us his muscles. Jordan is the baby, but not for long. He is eating everything and is growing faster than we can buy him clothes that fit.
We are the best examples of Jesus, either for the good or bad that many will ever see.
A week ago Sunday I made the point in my message that we are the best examples of Jesus that many will ever see. Sadly, much of modern Christianity today lacks good models to follow. Many outside of the church think that all Christians are hypocrites and I’d have to agree to a point. We as Christians need to be followers of Jesus. We need to be followers of His example.
Jesus was an example of love, humility, servanthood and compassion.
Jesus is the best example for all of us to follow. His love shined even in the darkest hours of his life. His service was to the lowliest of the poor. His compassion was given and nothing was expected in return. As His followers, we are to emulate Him, serving one another in lowliness of heart and mind, seeking to build one another up in humility and love. When we seek the preeminence, we displease the Lord who promised that true greatness in His kingdom is attained by those with a servant’s heart.
“I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” -Jesus (John 13:15 ESV)
Followers of Jesus should deny themselves, we should pick up crosses, we should be shining lights in a world in search of hope. Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? (Matthew 16:24-26 ESV)
As followers of Christ, we must love people. This means to be nice. We should be like Jesus to other people. And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-39 ESV)
It doesn’t stop there, we should love our enemies, even those that hate us. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? (Matthew 5:43-47 ESV)
Basically, we as Christians should love everybody…sinners & saints. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35 ESV)
How good of an example of Jesus are you?
Without being a disciple you can’t be a good example. Period. You need to be following Jesus in community (church, small group, one on one coaching). You need to be learning of Jesus (Bible reading, prayer, studying, meditation). You need to be partnering with others to make a difference (on your street, in your city, where the need is at).
My kids are watching me. The best example they will see of Jesus is me. For me to show them Jesus, I must be a disciple of Jesus. Who are you following?