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Imitate the teacher

In Matthew 10:25 (KJV), Jesus told his disciples that: "it is enough for the disciple to be as his master". And who is the master? Jesus, of course, so that is our aim, to be like him.

The apostle Paul said in Gal 4:19 (KJV): "I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you". The Greek word for "formed" means an inward change or transformation to take on the nature and character of Christ. Paul also admonished the Corinthian Christians (1 Cor 11:1; KJV), to: "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ". In 1 John 4:17 we are told that we are to walk in the world around us just as Jesus would have done. In addition, in Ephesians 5:1, we are simply taught to follow and imitate God.

The question is how do we do this? We get a clue in 2 Cor 3:18 (KJV). “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord”. The glass or mirror is the word of God. The Holy Spirit uncovers the word to us (John 16:13) bringing revelation or understanding. As we see and understand the character and nature of Jesus, the Holy Spirit can work in us to change us to be more like (him) Jesus. As we see by faith how God wants to change us and all he wants us to be and do, then that allows the Holy Spirit to bring these things to pass in our lives.  We may not be aware of it but our light will shine more brightly (Prov 4:18) the more time we spend in God’s presence. We grow to imitate the teacher.

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The Royal Law

“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34; KJV). It doesn’t get any stronger than that; we are commanded to love one another and not only love but to love as Christ loves us. The apostle James taught us that: “If ye really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well” (James 2:8; KJV). Loving our neighbor is a royal law, a cardinal command. This love of God is an unconditional love.

Although we received the love nature of God when we were born again (Rom 5:5) walking in unconditional love does not come naturally to us. This means that we must develop or grow this love nature that we have; we need to be intentional about love and make decisions to put love into practice. Time spent with God who is love (1 John 4:8) and reading, studying and meditating on love scriptures will help us to do that.

Immediately after Jesus gave the command to love, in the gospel according to the apostle John, he also said that it was in this love for our neighbor that others would recognize us as Christians (John 13:34-35).

When we put love into practice then we will draw others to Christ. If the church universal started truly acting in love there would be a mighty revival. Love is a powerful force and in 1 Corinthians 13:2 we are told that without it we are nothing.

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Apples of gold in settings of silver

The book of Proverbs has a lot to teach us about our words, their power, and how God will give us the words to say to bring life. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov 18:21; KJV). In both Prov. 15:2 and 7, King Solomon teaches that knowledge comes from the tongue of a wise person. Then in Proverbs 16:1 we read that the wise answer of the tongue comes from God.

If we are regularly spending time with God, he will give us his wisdom and we will be able to share that with others.  Then there is this beautiful verse from Proverbs 25:11 (KJV): "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver". Finally, from Proverbs: "a word spoken in due season, how good is it" (Prov 15:23).

If you are still not convinced here's one more scripture: "The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary” (Isa 50:4; KJV). Here's the key, if we have a teachable spirit God himself will teach us how to speak those words of wisdom and blessing.

How does this all apply to us as Christians? In Ephesians 4:29 we are exhorted to use our words of wisdom to edify, build up, be a blessing to and encourage others in their walk with God.

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Love God Hate Sin

It is good for us to spend time in the Old testament of the bible and be reminded that God has zero tolerance for sin. This is portrayed graphically in his dealings with Israel and Judah, he allowed them to be taken into exile because of their rebellion and sin (2 Kings). We are also exhorted to hate evil (Ps 97:10).

In the new Testament we are told that sin causes spiritual death (Rom 6:23), all people sin (Rom 3:23) and that sin separates us from God. Jesus paid the price for our sins by his sacrificial death (1 Peter 3:18) and won justification for us (Rom 3:24). This simply mean that if we repent, ask his forgiveness and ask him into our life as Lord and Saviour we are forgiven and made just as if we had never sinned. Our sins were washed away by his blood (Rev 1:5), the price was paid and God sees us as righteous in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:21). To be righteous is to be in right standing with God.

Does this mean God has gone soft on sin? Absolutely not (1 John 1:5). We are told as Christians that we should not go on willfully sinning (1 John 3:6-9). However, we are still flesh and blood and we will sin (1 John 1:8), but if we repent and ask God’s forgiveness, he is quick to forgive (1 John 1:9). To repent is to simply turn from our sins and do what’s right.

The next question is, as Christians, are we soft on Sin? Do we have things in our lives that we wink at or ignore? Well, you know, God knows I get it mostly right but a few minor issues I am sure He can tolerate? God is still black and white on sin and he tells us to take of the old man and put on the new (Eph 4:22-24). That’s all of the old man and all of the new. Let’s not limit God in our lives by ignoring sin. Now don’t get condemned, God knows our hearts (Ps 44:21) and as we desire to be everything he wants us to be, he will provide grace to help us to change (Eph 1:7-9). The apostle Paul never claimed to be perfect (Phil 3:12) and God does not expect us to change overnight. Keep on keeping on, the blessings are amazing.

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In Ephesians 6:5-7 Paul teaches us that we should not do things to please men but work to please God. Chasing after the affirmation of man is an elusive and frustrating trail to follow. We should encourage each other but the true affirmation that edifies and uplifts is to hear God say: "well done, thou good and faithful servant" (Matt 25:21; KJV). God wants his fullness to be exhibited through us (Eph 1:23). We are his hands and feet and voice upon this earth (Matt 28:19).We are not just workers on the job but ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor 5:20), not just a shopper in the store but a light shining for him (Matt 5:14) and not just a face in the crowd at a social gathering but salt (Matt 5:13).

Salt should season things wherever it is spread. On the job we should be on time, go the extra mile: “do all things without murmurings or disputings” (Phil 2:14). We need to have God in our spiritual eye all day so we please him and hence our employer. We can do this; we have the greater one on the inside of us (1 John 4:4) and in the word we read that: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil 4:13). What did the Lord say in the parable of the talents to the good servants? The Lord said: “Enter into the joy of thy Lord" (Matt 25:21). I don't know about you but enjoying God’s abundant life (John 10:10) sounds good to me.

Please pass this on. All rights reserved.

Check out our web site ( ) for information on our book: “On the Way: Basic Christian Training”, including how to purchase it and also to see more encouraging Bible based blogs. Please recommend our book to others.