My granddaughter is almost 17 months old and as you can imagine, I love to spend time with her. We play together with two of her favorites, plastic eggs and books. She loves for me to chase her around the room. She loves to sit in my lap and wave at people. She’s the happiest and friendliest baby around.
I love to watch her. She notices everything and is even somewhat nosy to other conversations going on around her. She has also started to imitate me and others around to which we always laugh and think it’s so funny. I’m certain there will be a time in the near future when that will embarrass all of us.
As I was driving between appointments last week, I found myself thinking and even laughing a bit about some of Emma Larsen’s imitations of me and how I could potentially teach her something as she watches me that could get her in trouble with her parents or at the daycare.
As I was thinking about it in this way I was reminded about the Christian life and how people watch me and you live out our lives every day. Do they see something worth imitating that will point them toward Jesus or do they see something that will confuse them?
In Ephesians 5:1-2 (NLT) we find these words: Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
My life as a believer must imitate the life of Christ. I see three things in these verses that stick out to me about imitating Christ.
- Live a life of love
In everything I do, in every place that I go, in every situation or circumstance that I find myself – I must show love. Love flows out of me because I am well loved by Christ. True disciples of Christ are known by the love that flows through them. John 13:35 says: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
- Live a life of example
Throughout the pages of scripture, we find examples from the life of Jesus of a life well lived. He was, and is, an incredible example of life to be imitated. In Galatians 5:22-23 we find these words: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” These are fruits that the Holy Spirit produces in us. These fruits were first modeled in and through the life of Jesus.
- Live a life of sacrifice
God sacrificed His own Son so that we could experience eternity. Jesus willingly sacrificed His life to follow God’s plan of redemption for sinners. Romans 5:6 says: “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly”. Our lives need to be characterized by sacrifice. No, we are probably not going to have to die on a cross, but we will be called on to sacrifice for the greater Kingdom good. We live in a selfish world that is only looking out for themselves. We can all fall into that category pretty quickly. As hard as it is sometimes, our goal has to be to live a life of sacrifice so that others can see something different in us that Christ may use to draw people to Himself.
In 3 John 11, we find these words: “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.” Surrender your life to Christ and imitate Him this week and watch God use your life to influence those around you for His Kingdom.