I think the Bible tells us to live and love like Jesus, and the scriptures tell us a lot about how He lived and loved. Last time, I offered some thoughts about what I think that means. Keep reading your Bible! You can see for yourself what it says about Jesus, and how we’re supposed to love our neighbor as ourselves.
I’ll tell you what living like Jesus is not about. It’s not about health, wealth, and prosperity. These are things that God chooses to bless us with as He sees fit. Whether you are blessed with them or not, you can still be fulfilled through discipleship.
Living like Jesus is also not about your best life now. Not all the time. I know sometimes Christians say that once you’re saved, everything’s going to be hunky dory. But that’s a tactic they use to get you saved. And it works! People hear that, and they get saved. They think they’re going to become rich!
And when they don’t become rich, they say there is no God.
We get into this salvation mentality. We think we just have to get people saved, and we’re done. I truly don’t believe that’s where it ends. I truly, truly, truly believe that salvation is just the beginning of a lifestyle of discipleship that we begin to live. It’s living out an understanding of what the Gospel means.
What is the Good News? I mean, what is the Jesus Gospel? That you have to accept Christ or rot in hell? I’m sorry, but you’re seriously telling me that sounds like good news? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.
The lifestyle of Jesus, the one He lived and taught us to live, is good news. The discipleship lifestyle is the Gospel. Salvation and justification are part of it. They are our beginning. But we’re called to live it.
You hear people ask, “Did Jesus speak the Gospel?” And some people will say He didn’t. They’ll say He couldn’t have. They’ll say the Gospel didn’t come until after Jesus died.
That’s a little mind-boggling to me! I mean, Jesus is the Gospel! Jesus is the good news! Whatever Jesus did was good news. He was IT! Of course He preached the Gospel, because He did the Gospel! But people don’t think like that.
That just shows me where we’re at. We’re stuck in this salvation mentality. We focus everything on Jesus’ death. We think we’re done being Christian when we acknowledge His death for our sins. But what about His life? How can we ignore that, when the Bible contains a detailed account of all the things He did, and all the things He said, and all the instructions He gave to everyone who wanted to be His disciple?
Sometimes I ask myself why I live the way I live. That’s the question! That nails what I’m saying here. Why do I live the way I live? I don’t ask myself why I am the way I am. I know the answer. I’m saved. I’m justified by Christ. But I don’t assume that means I’m good. I’m not necessarily good. I’m not necessarily right. I’m not necessarily on the right path.
Do I mess up? Yes. Am I always good? No. Am I always on the right path? No. But when I get off on the wrong path, I ask the Spirit to lead me back. And I believe that the Spirit does, because I want to live as a disciple of Jesus. I want to be deeper, I want to go further, I want to be on His path.
How do I know when I’m on His path? I’m fulfilled, I’m happy, and I’m full of joy.
I have more to tell you about this! See you Monday.