By Bill Risinger
When we sing lyrics that prayerfully ask God to make us more like Jesus, I wonder if we really understand what we’re asking for. I wonder if we fully grasp the implications of what our prayer entails.
To be made more like Jesus is to be made in his image. To reflect him. To allow the Spirit within us to shape and mold us into people who look and sound like the one we follow.
To be like Jesus is to:
- Love our enemies to the point of laying down our lives for them.
- Put aside our need for revenge and offer forgiveness.
- Embrace those who have been pushed to the margins of society.
- Bring healing and hope to a world full of sickness and hopelessness.
C.S. Lewis once said, “The Church exists for nothing else but to draw people into Christ and to make them little Christ’s. And, if the Church is not doing that, then all of the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time.”
As Jesus-people, we need to daily immerse ourselves in the stories that the gospel writers have provided us. We need to cultivate a posture of traveling along with Jesus in the stories we read and to place ourselves as characters within the unfolding drama that has him as its central character. On a daily basis, we need to, through formative prayer, seek the Holy Spirit to form us into a people who consistently reflect the attributes and qualities of Jesus. By the Spirit, Jesus will reproduce himself in us, as any good rabbi would do. However, we as students (disciples) need to also intentionally follow our Rabbi very closely, doing what he says to do and saying what he says to say.
Discipleship is a life to be lived. A life that reflects Jesus. He becomes the model we seek to emulate in every way. We respond in obedience to the Spirit who enables us and who creates situations where we are called upon to act out of our commitment of following. The Spirit produces within us the fruit of this abiding followership.
So choose well. Choose Jesus-shaped stories, songs, prayers, ethics and service opportunities empowered by the Spirit to fashion in you a Jesus-shaped life.
Let others see Jesus in you!