In order to be successful in our calling as God’s people, we must continue to grow in following the example of Jesus Christ. God the Father sent Him to be the Savior of the world (1 John 4:14) and to set the example of how we are to live our lives.
Jesus said to His disciples, “For I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you,” and He added, “If you know these things, happy are you if you do them” (John 13:15, 17). Peter wrote, “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21). And John added, “Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6). Paul understood this and said, “Follow me as I also follow Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).
Let’s look at the example that Jesus Christ set for us to follow. And remember that we cannot do this on our own strength. Christ will live His life in us by the power of the Holy Spirit, as we submit ourselves to Him.
First is Christ’s amazing example of godly love.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:12-14). He not only loved His friends, but also His enemies: “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:44-45). His love is so great that He died for friend and foe alike. May we follow that example!
Next, consider His attitude of humility.
Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does...By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me” (John 5:19, 30). Christ was totally yielded to the will of His Father. He completely humbled Himself and remained faithful in doing His Father’s will all the way to His death: “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a Man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8, NIV). May we also follow that example!
Also, consider Christ’s example of service to others.
Jesus said of Himself, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). And that’s exactly what He did—serve others and give His life for them—setting an example for us to follow. That is why, at the May General Conference of Elders, we chose the theme, “Serve as Christ Serves.” We in the ministry want to become better servants by following Christ’s example. Please pray for us!
Finally, I want to mention that we will be emphasizing and striving to practice Christ-like service at every level within the United Church of God.
This is for every member, as well as the ministers.
God will help us to finish the Work He has given us to do if we will follow Christ’s example of love, humility and service!