Here are five ways we are called to be like Jesus.
Forgiving Others Who Hate Us
Just like Jesus asked for God to forgive those who were nailing Him to the cross (Luke 23:34) and like Stephen said to not hold it against them who were stoning them to death (Acts 7:6), so too we must forgive others who hate us or despitefully abuse us. I’m not saying they can physically abuse us but those who insult us or hate us for our faith.
Giving our Lives for Others
Jesus taught His disciples, and I believe He wants to teach us, that there is no “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). It might not mean you have to die for someone else but it does mean that we die to ourselves and serve one another, and like Jesus, lay down our lives for the brothers and sisters in Christ.
Praying for our Enemies
Try to find another religion that teaches and practices that we’re to love our enemies and pray for them. Christians are called to a higher standard; a standard set by Jesus Christ Who said, “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” (Matt 5:44-45).
Sharing in His Suffering
Did you ever realize that we’re called to share in the sufferings of Christ? No, not to the same extent of course (Isaiah 53) but we are to “rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1st Pet 4:13-14).
Called as His Witnesses
Jesus was sent to His own people but did share the gospel with some Gentiles and even a Roman centurion and so we too must be sharing the gospel with the lost. We’re sent into all the world just like the disciples (Matt 28:19-20) but we can’t forget about those who live next door. We must preach what Jesus preached and that is the need for repentance and faith because that was His message concerning the kingdom of God (Mark 1:15) and it must be ours as well.
Jesus commands His followers to be forgiving of others; to be giving of ourselves to others; to love and pray for our enemies; to share in His sufferings for the gospel’s sake; and to be witnesses for Him in proclaiming the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ but also the bad news for those who reject Him as Lord and Savior (John 3:18; 36b).
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
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