Now that the New Year has begun, I’m sure you have all of your resolutions in place. Several people I know have made it known that their resolution is to be more like Jesus this year. I think this is the best resolution anyone can make. As the Apostle Paul says, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
But there is a problem with this resolution. Too often, we only see Jesus as we want to see Him. In fact, almost every religion and every philosophy claims that Jesus really taught exactly what they do. Everyone points to Jesus as the perfect example of their own ideas.
So if we want to truly follow Jesus and become like Him, the first step must be to empty ourselves of our own ideas of who He is and devote ourselves to the study of Jesus. We must become His disciples. We must let Him be our teacher.
God inspired Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to write down what we need to know about how Jesus lived as a human being and what He taught His disciples on earth. We should study and memorize these words with total devotion. Often you will come across passages in these works that puzzle or trouble you. Meditate on these especially. Through them, Jesus is shaping your soul.
And remember that Jesus is not a dead teacher, but a living Lord. When Paul says that we all “contemplate the Lord’s glory” he is not talking about just reading the gospels. He is talking about the living experience of prayer. When your heart truly desires to be like Jesus, He will be working in you, through your study of His word and through prayer and through imitation of Him, to make you more like Him each day.
In our resolution to be like Jesus, the first step is to be willing to know Jesus as He truly is. This is a life-long pursuit. 2014 is a great time to start.
Love in Christ,
Greg Burriss, Pastor
Rocky River Baptist Church