In His Footsteps
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. – Ephesians 5:1-2 (NASB)
Christ On Earth
We see the character and heart of God revealed in His Word, and especially through the time Jesus spent on earth. Throughout the rest of this month, we’re going to look at how Jesus handled Himself with God and with people. It is our prayer and confidence that together as we “are looking as in a mirror at the glory of the Lord [we] are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:16 HCSB).” As we see Jesus in Scripture, we will worship Him together and the Spirit will work in us to make us more like Jesus (Romans 8:29).
Jesus Was Devoted To and Dependent On God
But the news about Him spread even more, and large crowds would come together to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. Yet He often withdrew to deserted places and prayed – Luke 5:15-16 (HCSB)
Jesus, Son of God, made it a priority to spend time in prayer and learning and understanding the Scriptures. Not just for academic or ritualistic purposes, but to draw on the Father’s
strength and wisdom for His every day. When He was busy and everyone needed or wanted His attention, He knew it was more important to spend some good alone time with His Father.
Jesus Was Committed to His Purpose
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life – a ransom for many. – Mark 10:45 (HCSB)
Jesus knew what God had called Him to do and was determined to do it – to serve and ultimately give His life to save sinners. We see Him keep His eyes focused on the cross and beyond, as He repeatedly tells those around Him “My time has not yet come.” This isn’t something He could have done in His own strength though. It was the dependence on His Father in prayer and Scripture that gave Him strength for His task. He knew exactly what God wanted Him to do as it was laid out in Scripture, and He drew daily strength from God’s presence in prayer. When the time came that He was called to the ultimate act of sacrificial obedience, God continued to empower Him to do what He had called Him to do.
Now My soul is troubled. What should I say—Father, save Me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name! Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again!” – John 12:27-28 (HCSB)
Jesus Was Bold
Every day He was teaching in the temple complex. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people were looking for a way to destroy Him – Luke 19:47 (HCSB)
Jesus was gutsy, whether it be driving merchants out of the temple complex with a homemade whip or teaching in the temple right under the noses of the people who most wanted Him dead. He did things that were uncomfortable because of what He knew to be true about God and God’s will. And the things He used are still available to us today – security in God because of our relationship to Him, knowing God in the Scriptures, communing with God in prayer, and being empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Live It Out
Make a habit of spending time with God daily in prayer and in scripture reading, meditation and memory. God will strengthen you by His Spirit at the core of who you are.
Study Scripture to know what God’s dreams for humanity are. Look at what is going on around you and in the world at large. Then ask yourself, “What is God doing in this world, and how can I be a part of that?”
When you are given the privilege to stand for something because of Who you know God to be and what you know He has revealed in His Word, do so bravely but gently and smothered in prayer; be gutsy – but let the only offensive thing about you be the message you carry about Jesus’ Good News.