PJ’s Daily Devotional for Tuesday, February 14, 2017.
Who are you imitating your life after? Whose example are you following in the day to day challenges of following Jesus?
Jesus said, “Follow Me and I will make you become fishers of men” (Mark 1:17). The invitation into the Christian life is an invitation to follow Jesus and become someone that you once were not—a disciple-maker. Jesus Christ promises that the Holy Spirit will make you become a new person—a transformed person in Christ.
Change is hard work! The transformation process of becoming like Jesus is both instantaneous and ongoing. In a blink of an eye you are taken from death to life, but it takes a life-time to manifest the fullness of life (as evidenced by the fruit of the Spirit) of who you are in Christ—to live fully the life of the Spirit.
The flesh is lazy and does not want to change; it stubbornly wants to continue on its own path towards its inevitable destruction. The mind is lazy and doesn’t want to think differently as the ruts of the worldly philosophies (e.g. humanism) are more natural; it takes work to get out of a mental rut! The heart is a deep storage cistern with hurtful memories of life experiences that make it hard to love sacrificially and trust wholeheartedly.
Change is harder still if you try to do it on your own power or by yourself. Jesus offers you the fullness of His power and presence in you to partner with you in the transformation process. But you must be willingly dominated by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God.
Listen to Paul invite the brethren (men and women of Christ called into the Church as the new people of God): “Join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Philippians 3:17-21).
Who are you imitating? Are you still imitating the people who have put their hope and trust in the kingdoms of earth and their respective earthly kings and queens? Are you serving your appetites for the approval and acceptance of the earthly systems and their temporary rewards?
We are called to be like Jesus and He has left for us mature disciples of Christ—disciple-makers (like Paul was for the first century church) to imitate. Change is hard and there are many off ramps in this ongoing process of transformation. It is an intentional journey to stay on the Way of Christ; you need one who has walked this Way to help you as you go. We need one another!
Do you have a mentor in the spiritual life?