REPLICATE AND IMITATE
40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher. Luke 6:40
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34
5 But if anyone obeys his word,love for God[a] is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him:6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. 1 John 2:5-6
Have you ever felt as if you could really just disappear into the crowd? I mean, are there days when you feel as though you are no different than anyone else? As we spend this week looking at the essential of discipleship, one of the very first things that we have to realize is that being disciples of Christ, we have been set apart. We are not supposed to look like the rest of the world. We are to swim upstream and live a life that exemplifies Christ. There should never be a day where people look at us and cannot see something different than what is of this world. And yes, I know that I am pushing hard already this week, but the real reality is that as disciples of Jesus Christ we really don't get a day off from reflecting Christ to the world. Please hear me. That does not mean that we do not deserve rest and sabbath. That is a different discussion for a different day. What I am saying is that our reflection of Christ does not have an on or off switch. We should be constantly reflection and imitating the story of grace found through the life of Christ. Yes, I know that that really seems hard, but just to let you know, disciples don't get a day off when it comes to reflecting the story of God's grace in this world.
I mean I really don't want to look the same as others. I want people to see the joy of God that is overflowing in my life to others that I may encounter. Denying myself and taking up my cross daily is something that I truly feel as a responsibility. Thank you God for offering to us this chance and opportunity to be your God bearers or THEOTOKOS on earth at this
time. There have been others that have come and gone before us, but for this time, we are called to be the generation that are the disciples of Christ. And to be honest, there are many days that I feel as if I have truly let God down as a disciple. I know that there are things that are in my life that don't truly emulate Christ and I am working daily to change that in me. What about you? Are you ok looking and being like everyone else? Are we all ok feeling as if we can live our same sin filled life and still be a disciple for Jesus? I hope not. I really do. I hope that we are trying every day to break out of the mold of this world and help others to see that there is an opportunity for them as well to become true disciples. People who are not in it for self-gratification or glory, but are doing everything that they can possibly do to help others see Jesus. Step two is exactly doing that as a disciple. We are to live a life that when people see us, they see a reflection of Jesus. Can people say that about you... me... us? Can people honestly say that they see the love of Jesus in our actions and the grace of God in our words. As Christians, we should be striving towards that perfection through sanctification every day of our lives. It is our call, and it should be our desire to live beyond reproach and in hopes of directing others to see Jesus.
Today I used many different verses to get us to this one understanding. Our lives as disciples are not our own. Go and look at the ones that went before us in Hebrews 11. They were the early disciples that thought that they were going to receive one thing but God had something greater in store. Many of them gave their lives for the multiplication of the Gospel and even the disciples never lived out their lives in comfort. They were constantly battling with the world to share the Great News that they had found in Christ. Today's scriptures give us just some of the basic attitudes of a disciple that we should be living out each day. For example, Luke is telling us that we are not greater than the teacher, but that when people look at us they should see the reflection of the teacher in our lives. In other words, we are not going to be Christ, but there should definitely be aspects of Christ's teachings being lived out in our lives. If we were going to teach Chemistry, we should have a good knowledge of Chemistry from those who had taught us before. John's scripture is telling us that we need to live out the example of Christ's love as a disciple. As this love has been poured out on us, we too should be willing to love others in the same grace give to us by God through Christ. We are reflecting that love back to others in this world as disciples. Finally, when we claim to be disciples of Christ, others are able to see it in our lives and our actions. We are to live like Jesus and simply Love God and Love People. Disciples are called to live above the world and not be chained to it.
So today, I am asking that we all take another look in the mirror and ask ourselves who we see. I hope and pray that each day you begin seeing less of you and more of Jesus. I pray that we truly will begin to take hold of what it really means to be a follower of Christ. It is not for the faint of heart and I promise the world is not going to accept you or the lifestyle you are trying to convey. However, as I told you in the beginning today, this life is not about us.
We are God's creation that has been called to reflect and imitate God's love, grace and mercy that was demonstrated through the image of Christ. I pray that I will never become greater but that I will continue to be humble and become less so that God can become more. I pray that God will use every second of my life to become a stronger disciple for Him. A better example of a father to my daughters. A better example of a husband to my wife. A better example of a son to my mom, and a better example of a brother to my brother. All of this is possible if we just realize that reality of what it means to become a disciple. We live out every second, minute, hour of each day for the glory of God. We are going to falter and fail, but so did the disciples that followed Jesus. It is in our attitudes towards humility and service that will truly make the difference to this world. Are you ready to be a disciple of Jesus? It is a life long commitment but the eternal benefits are beyond anything we can fathom. It's time the world really saw an example of what it really means to be a reflection of Christ as we imitate His actions to the world.