Do people see Jesus in your life?

(This article is part of the series “Building GenNext.” You can read the previous post by clicking here.)

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The next three posts in this series are going to address the second in ‘E’ in Raising Gen-Next Christians: Exemplify: Demonstrating how a Christian ought to live. Before launching into the mechanics of how to be an example to our children, new Christians and other believers, we need to address who our example ought to be.

Several years ago, there was a commercial on TV in which a young boy was following his father everywhere and attempting to imitate him in every way. The commercial concluded with the Father smoking a cigarette and the son trying to mimic the action. The shock of that concluding seen was intended to discourage parents from smoking, because children would ultimately do the same. Our example shouts louder than our words.

When we become a Christian, we are born to a new life, adopted by God, and endowed with a new name. We have to re-learn how to live in order to resemble our new Father. Like a little child, we want to do what our Father does so we can make him happy. Jesus demonstrated this during his life on earth.

We have one small problem: Jesus lived on earth 2000 years ago! He didn’t live in modern-day society with all it’s quirks nor did the church exist while he was on earth. So how are we supposed to know what we ought to do in various situations? This is where good, hard, life-long analysis of God’s word and experienced Christians come in. Those who have been following the Lord for a long time should have a working knowledge of what God desires and should be an example worth following. If they reflect Jesus, they will be an example for others to do likewise.

Paul told the Corinthians, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11.1) Paul was not perfect. He was prone to the foibles of humanity. He was only worth following if his life was patterned after Christ’s life. If Paul had strayed off the path, his example would no longer be worthwhile, yet inevitably, those who were ignorant of Christ would likely follow in his footsteps. A poor example can destroy the gullible soul.

What is your goal? Do you desire to drift aimlessly through life, following your own heart and doing what seems right to you? Or is your goal to know God and be like Christ?

Consider the words of this hymn:

Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me,
All His wonderful passion and purity.
May His Spirit divine all my being refine
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.

When somebody has been so unkind to you,
Some word spoken that pierces you through and through.
Think how He was beguiled, spat upon and reviled,
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in you

From the dawn of the morning till close of day,
In example in deeds and in all you say,
Lay your gifts at His feet, ever strive to keep sweet
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in you.

~ Albert Orsborn

“From the dawn of the morning till close of day, in example, in deeds and in all you say… let the beauty of Jesus be seen in you.” Before we speak or act, we need to consider how Jesus would speak or act. In order to do this, we need to have a working knowledge of his life and his words.

4 Things We need to do to imitate Christ: Read. Pray. Observe. Apply.

Read: Be immersed in the word

When you read the Word, focus on gaining a knowledge of who God is. Knowing the Lord should always be your aim when reading the Bible. You cannot know God intimately and understand the wherefore’s of His actions without being in the word.

Pray: Ask God for help

It isn’t easy to imitate Christ. We need God’s help because we are going to fall short.  Pray that your foibles will not lead to the loss of any soul. This is one of the most pivotal reasons to be engaged in prayer. We need help to be more like Christ and we need grace when we fail.

Observe: Look at good examples.

There are excellent examples in the bible of those who lived by Faith. There are also living examples near you. Seek them out. If the people you think are good examples don’t seem to reflect the attitude of Christ in their words or deeds, then they aren’t good examples! This is why it’s so vital to be immersed in the Bible. The more it becomes part of your thoughts, the easier it is to distinguish between those led by the Spirit and those led by their own desires.

Apply: Put what you’ve learned into practice

People often accuse Christians of being brainless, but I’ll tell you right now that living a quality Christian life demands some major critical thinking. The bible isn’t a checklist, so we have to try to apply what we know to every situation in which we find ourselves. That takes some serious consideration! Knowing the bible is important, but it isn’t enough, we have to put into practice what it says.

Are you ready to reflect Christ? Is your example what it ought to be?


I hope you will continue to join me as we consider how to train up a new generation of Christians. If you missed the previous posts, here is a list:

GenNext: Raising up Christians who know the Lord

Engage: Building Meaningful Relationships with our Children

Forming Relationships with New Christians

Expanding the Core: Building relationships with Christians in the Church

 

 

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22 thoughts on “Do people see Jesus in your life?

  1. Fearfully Wonderfully Me June 29, 2016 / 06:20

    This is so true! I’m blessed to have lots of good examples in the church and my Mom, but nothing can quite measure up to the perfection of Christ!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. samaritansong June 29, 2016 / 08:36

    You know, this hit home with me because I think we are used to thinking about living as examples of Christ to the secular world, but not always to our own congregations. You mention “gullible souls” – and man is it sobering to realize that we carry a heavy responsibility to people even in our own church body, to not lead them astray or do anything that would begin to damage their burgeoning walk with Christ. It’s an enormous responsibility.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Elihu June 29, 2016 / 08:40

      You’re right. It’s a huge responsibility and a daunting one. The more I think about my need to be a good example, the more I become I aware of all the times I have not been.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. helpthyselffaith June 29, 2016 / 08:46

    Many years ago, while at work, I mentioned to a coworker that I was a Sunday School teacher. She burst out laughing and said “You teach Sunday School??”. I was mortified that she should find this so funny. It made me take a hard look at the example I was portraying and I have worked since then to make sure that no one finds it shocking that I follow Christ. Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu June 29, 2016 / 11:24

      Ouch! That’s never a pleasant response. Good for you for being willing to examine yourself and make changes. I need to do this daily!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. beckielindsey June 30, 2016 / 08:42

    Thanks for another convicting post. Nothing is more important than letting the light of Christ shine through our lives!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu June 30, 2016 / 11:39

      Agreed! There are many times I forget that in my daily walk…

      Like

  5. marijo1245 June 30, 2016 / 23:10

    I think of the Newsboys song “Shine” here… “make em wonder what we got. Make em wish that they were not on the outside looking bored”

    We serve such an amazing savior! And our actions speak much louder than our words ever could. Oh to be so contagious for Christ that another would say, “I’ll have what she’s got!”

    Excellent post Elihu! Job well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu July 1, 2016 / 04:03

      Exactly! The early Christians possessed that impact because they were so radically different. I long to shine like that.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The True Light! July 1, 2016 / 12:57

    A very good post!

    Steve

    Liked by 1 person

    • Elihu July 4, 2016 / 10:35

      Thank you for sharing! God be with you!

      Like

  7. Agent X September 3, 2016 / 22:44

    To answer the question which is your title… Yes.

    First it is my aim. My goal in life and ministry. I have worked at it with much discipline for many years.

    Am I perfect and it? No. Do I fail at it? Yes. Sometime miserably. But not always. And nor usually.

    Have I succeeded ever? Yes. How would I know? Feedback.

    I once sat on a street corner waiting for a citibus to take me across town. As I sat there, I was reading a Christian book when a minivan pulled up and the woman asked if I was a Christian. She had spiritual needs and she thought I looked like someone she should approach with them.

    On several occasions I led groups of homeless men in informal worship services on street corners, in parks, in alleys etc where we sang hymns, preached, prayed, communed and so forth. And on several occasions we attracted passersby. One time a car load of women screetched to a stop, flipped a dangerous U-turn in heavy traffic, and came back around to join us because, they said, “We saw something important happening here.” Another time a pastor found us and blessed us saying, “Sometimes you gotta take it to the streets!”

    One time, I had two welfare grannies tell me, after years of serving and loving on them, that they imagined that Jesus really looked like me because I showed him to them so vividly.

    Yes. I have had success at it.

    Now… To engage your post a bit more in depth…

    I would point out that the church is the living Body of Christ in the world today. If you want to see Jesus, go look at his church! St Paul gives us the basis for this analysis in Eph 5:23 and Colo 1:18 & 24 among other places.

    You really should not have to imagine that Jesus is our model who lived so long ago before the church existed etc… no. You should imagine that you actually know him quite intimately. And if you cant imagine that, then it reflects quite poorly on the church.

    Thanx for the post. Thanx for asking the provocative question.

    Agent X
    Fat Beggars School of Prophets
    Lubbock, Texas (USA)

    Like

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