Have you ever had a celebrity crush? Have you ever thought someone was just so great that you wanted to be just like them? I think we all have. *Cue I believe I can fly* Growing up I used to watch Space Jam a lot, this made we want to be like Mike; Michael Jordan. So I tried dunking (jump), as you can see I came really close to achieving my basketball dreams.
When I grew a little older however, that’s when I met Jesus. I met my Creator, and he far exceeded anyone I had ever met in personality, in behavior, in power, in wealth, in honor, and in love. So I decided I would become His follower, I would be an imitator.
“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” – 1 Cor 11:1
How do we become imitators?
“For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” – 1 Thess 1:4-6
Why imitate God?
“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” – Ephesians 5:1-2
We imitate our Heavenly Father because we are so deeply loved by Him. We imitate Jesus because we hope to share this supernatural and exceedingly great love with our neighbors.
How should we imitate Him?
God has many qualities that we ought to imitate, and to get a fulfilling perspective of who He is and how to be like Him, we really need to read the entire Bible. For today’s sermon, I have summed His qualities up into 3 categories.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – John 15:13
“ But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” – Ephesians 2:4-5
“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior” – Titus 3:4-6
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Eph 4:31-32
“Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[a] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” – Luke 23:34
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” – Matthew 6:14-15
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son…” – John 3:16
“…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” – Acts 10:38
Healing, visiting Sick.
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” – Matthew 9:35-36
Feeding the Hungry.
“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.” – Matthew 14:14-21
“ This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:16-18