By: Lisa Lothian
I have often wondered what people would say about me when I die. The greatest compliment in the world to me, or I think for any Christian would be for someone to say that we “acted just like Jesus.” It’s funny how even secular, unbelieving people have a sense of who Jesus is or what He was like. Even if they don’t believe in Him. They always know when a professed Christian is doing right or wrong. It seems they know—even if they don’t believe that Jesus left unrefutable evidence that He was someone quite kind, loving, and compassionate. He cared for people. He was a healer. A restorer. A radical reformer for His time.
If we are his followers, what does that say about us? 1John 2:6 says that if we abide in Him, we ought to walk as He did. That’s quite a calling. Could anyone mistake you or me for Jesus today? Is that even possible?
One of my favorite prolific female authors has some remarkable quotes in some of her writings. Her name is Ellen G White. One of the most sobering is this: “Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p 69). That stands to reason even if you examine Matthew 24:14. God is waiting for US. The end of all things isn’t dependent on world events and prophetic events solely. Yes, God has a timetable and yes, prophecy must and will be fulfilled. But because God cares so much about people, about US, He is giving us an opportunity to be co laborers with Him and show the world what He is like—through US. He is calling us to spread the gospel to all the world in such a way that they can see a witness to the power of the gospel—US. We are His witnesses! (Isaiah 43:10). But what is the gospel? Romans 1:16 says it’s the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes. This means that everyone who spreads the gospel has—or should have experienced the power of God in their own lives regarding this salvation that they proclaim. Christ in US—the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). Christ being reproduced in US is what the world is waiting to see. They want to see if this thing called Christianity is actually attainable. Authentic. Relevant. Possible—to be like Jesus? Really??
It can’t be theorized. It can’t only just be preached. It must be experienced. It must be fleshed out daily in our lives so that others may see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven (Matthew 5:16).
So how does all of this happen? We must pray to be like Jesus. In the uppermost part of our minds must be the desire not to be religious, but to be like Jesus. We must know Him in order to be like Him. We cannot do it in our own strength so the only way is to pray and ask Him to transform us (Romans 12:1).
We would all do well to pray daily and ask God to make us like Jesus. Among other things, Jesus was a humble servant (Philippians 2:5-8). He was compassionate (Matthew 9:36). He was vulnerable (Luke 19:41, John 11:35). When was the last time you cried for others? He was a healer which we are called to be a part of on earth Mark 16:17,18 James 5:14,15. He was a radical social justice reformer for his time (Luke 4:16-18) and calls us to care about the poor and disenfranchised (Michah 6:8, Isaiah 58:5-10). God is love (1John 4:8) and we are encouraged to love one another fervently (1Peter 4:8).
Will you pray and ask God to make you like Jesus today?