How Do I Imitate God?

Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. Coarse and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks. For know and recognize this: Every sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of the Messiah and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient because of these things. Therefore, do not become their partners. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light — for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth — discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭5‬:‭1-10‬ HCSB)

Be imitators of God. What a high command. This is the call of every Christian—no excuses. So what does it mean? Firstly, it’s a denial of self.

Christ was always denying Himself and giving glory to the Father and doing whatever He told Him to do.

Jesus answered them, “My teaching isn’t Mine but is from the One who sent Me. If anyone wants to do His will, he will understand whether the teaching is from God or if I am speaking on My own. The one who speaks for himself seeks his own glory. But He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. (‭John‬ ‭7‬:‭16-18‬ HCSB)

This is the attitude and obedience we are supposed to imitate. And of course, being a servant to others from the love of the Holy Spirit who has been poured into our hearts.

But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and the men of high position exercise power over them. It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life — a ransom for many.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭20‬:‭25-28‬ HCSB)

Now here’s a hard reflection: are we imitating Jesus? Maybe we are sometimes, but think of the times we aren’t. Is that okay with God? If we cuss at times, or get drunk, or have an outburst of anger, is that fitting for someone who is supposed to be imitating the forgiveness, love, patience, and humility of Christ? How about if we do these things often?

Christ enables you to repent if you are sincere about following Him. He can renew and establish you in the faith, cleanse you and make you holy; make you like Him. He is able, we only have to be willing.

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. (‭Philippians‬ ‭2‬:‭14-16‬ NKJV)

May we all grow more like Christ from glory to glory.

Grace and peace to you,

Natasha

What To Do When Your Christianity Isn’t Changing You

If we are serious about following Christ, we must have pure motives, and our pride has to be denied.

• Shifting blame to others: pride
• Not owning up and being truly broken for our wrongs: pride
• Failing to realize that when we sin, we are rebelling first and foremost against God: pride
• Refusing to change until the other person does, or only changing until the person sins against us again: pride
• Going to church and putting on a smile so others think we got it together: impure motives
• obeying God yet harboring bitterness: impure motives
• obeying God because we think He will then give us our selfish desires: impure motives

Is there no fear in knowing that God sees beyond our outward deeds and doesn’t just look at, but searches the heart?

For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. No creature is hidden from Him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭4‬:‭12-13‬ HCSB)

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (‭I Samuel‬ ‭16‬:‭7‬ NKJV)

“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭17‬:‭10‬ ESV)

If your motivation for being a Christian isn’t only because you have grasped the incredible love God has for you and that He is worthy to be worshipped, and thus you want to love and worship Him in return, your heart is not pure.

Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. (‭Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭8‬ NKJV)

That word for “see” in the original language is horao which means to see, know, and experience. When your heart is pure in God’s sight, you will undoubtedly be transformed “from glory to glory” in His image and see Him actively working in your life and answering prayers. The opposite is also true, for the Word of God says:

God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble. (‭James‬ ‭4‬:‭6‬ NKJV)

To repent isn’t a mere outward change of behavior. The word repent in the Greek is metaoeno, which actually means to change one’s mind; heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins.

Repent means you ditch your thoughts and opinions and agree with God’s. You no longer justify retaliating when others sin against you, you no longer justify bitterness or unforgiveness. You change your mind about following God when the other person starts to follow Him. You deny yourself; your ideas, your feelings, and just follow Jesus. That is true repentance. Without genuine repentance of the mind, everything you “do for Jesus” is just a show. There is no real transformation, real growth, real power, real love, or real joy. Though outwardly you may seem alive to others, inwardly you are still “dead in your sins.”

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.”-Jesus (‭Revelation‬ ‭3‬:‭1-3‬ ESV)

May all who need to repent, repent in truth and be healed.

Love and grace to you,

Natasha