Sunday, 18 September 2016 17:54

Christ-Likeness

Christ-likeness Christ-likeness

Recently, I’ve talked about wanting to live a life completely surrendered to Jesus. A life where I can truly say it’s not my own. I want to make a difference everywhere I go. I hear people often say, speaking of others, “he/she says they’re a Christian but they really aren’t”. This is because here in Guatemala it’s popular to be a Christian, so many people confess to be a Christian but live lives completely indifferent.

I refuse this kind of life. I want people to see my life and say “wow, that guy’s a Christian” before I even say that I am. As we live in a Christ-like way people will notice something different about us. We will walk, talk and live differently than the rest of the world. Let’s make our aim absolute Christ-likeness.

I’m not talking about only living a life while in front of others you are a perfect saint, yet when you’re alone or with other friends you’re someone different. We need to be full time Christians, knowing Christ lives in us and wants to live through us. I refuse to walk in such a way that I only serve Jesus on the surface. I want my roots to go down deep and serve Him for all He is.

A few weeks ago, Karla & I were in Honduras with a team from Buffalo where we were serving an unreached tribe. These people had heard very little if anything about who Jesus is. We were there not only to preach to them but to be a living example of who Jesus is. What would Jesus do if He lived amongst this tribe? How would He react to the situations we were facing?

First, we woke up at 4:00am to try to get things ready to go up the mountain. We knew we had a six hour drive ahead of us so we had to start early. We got everything packed and hopped into a 4x4 and began to drive up the mountain. We had to cross through rivers, do some amazing sharp turns and believe God for His Angels to be protecting us.

We arrived in the first community and saw the people, how they lived, and their shyness and need to be loved. We ministered to them and gave them many things to help them, things such as flour, rice, beans, tools, machetes, vitamins and most importantly the Love of Jesus Christ.

Could you imagine if we went to this tribe and began to act indifferently toward them? Pushed them away or not shown them any love. What if we would have acted in ways that Christ wouldn’t? We were about to take a few days to live as they did, not caring that we weren’t going to be comfortable.

The first night was rough. We slept on the floor. The place where the women were sleeping started to flood because of the rain. (I was thankful because now my wife could join me and we weren’t separated for the night). There were bugs crawling and flying around as we tried to sleep. We had no cell phone signal so we had no way to communicate with anyone else. It was quite the experience.

We did this so that we could bring Jesus to the different communities that needed to hear about Jesus. It wasn’t easy, but it was well worth it.

I was asked to lead worship during the morning devotions and we just started singing in the Spirit and allowed God to direct us. As I did, I really felt like God had impressed on my heart to thank Him for all the incommodities that we had faced the night before. The atmosphere began to change as we thanked God for the concrete floor we slept on, for the bugs that were all around, the flooding of the shelter, etc.

As we sang and shouted praise it seemed as if the Heavens opened. Instead of complaining (which would have been easy) we began to sing songs of thankfulness to Jesus. As we did this I realised that what we were doing was Biblical.

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name. Hebrews 13:15 NKJV

If something is a sacrifice it’s because it costs us something. A sacrifice, a letting go is never easy to do. If it were we wouldn’t call it a ‘sacrifice’. I understood at this moment that we were thanking God for who He is in midst of our circumstances. It doesn’t matter that hardships are happening all around; we just need to lift up our voices and shout praises to God.

This morning helped us to shift our attitudes from complaining to heartfelt worship. If we had decided to complain all day I’m sure our days would have been tougher. The next two nights sleeping there would have gotten harder and harder. When in midst of our circumstances we place our focus on Jesus our attitudes change. We become more into His image.

When Jesus said, “the Son of Man has no place to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20). I don’t think He was complaining, He was just stating a fact that He went from place to place and wherever the Father led Him that’s where He slept. He was talking about true discipleship. He was always willing to sacrifice. We must always have the same attitude. Even when we don’t think that others are watching us.

Who are you when no one else is watching you? Are you the same that you say you are or do you act differently since nobody’s watching? If we want true Christ-likeness we need to be the same everywhere we are. We must lay aside all hypocrisy and move forward to advance His Kingdom.

 

Let’s live our lives in such a way that Jesus is glorified 100% of the time. Let’s choose to walk as Jesus did and live a life of holiness. One of which onlookers will see us and say, “I want to be like that”. Not because of the fame or the outward appearance but because of how they see you act all the time. Let people see the real you which is: Christ in you, the hope of glory! Colossians 1:27

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