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 1 John 4:14And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
American King James Version×) 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 John 13:15For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
American King James Version×, 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 1 Peter 2:21For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps:
American King James Version×). And John added, “Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6 1 John 2:6He that said he stays in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
American King James Version×). Paul understood this and said, “Follow me as I also follow Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1 1 Corinthians 11:1Be you followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
American King James Version×).
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 John 15:12-14 12 This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you.
American King James Version×). 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 Matthew 5:44-45 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
American King James Version×). 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 John 5:19Then answered Jesus and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise.
American King James Version×, 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 Philippians 2:5-8 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.
American King James Version×, 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 Matthew 20:28Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
American King James Version×). 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!