We all try our best to either start or stop something when a new year arrives. I’m not sure what it is about the date changing that causes us to intentionally focus on doing something new with our lives, but I’m glad it gives us a time to reflect and challenge ourselves to a new path.
In 2020 – what would it look like if you decided to take the calling of Jesus more seriously?
When Jesus went home to the Father to go and prepare a place for us – He gave us a task that is deeply intimate and personal. He asked us to live a life like His, where we create relationships that are based on the relationships that He had with His disciples. He asked us to teach others about Him, to teach them everything He had taught us, to live like He had lived here on this earth.
For too long, the church has not focused on teaching this idea. The church has focused on growth through baptism, through adding numbers, through programs, by offering benevolence – and while all these things are wonderful things that should indeed happen – we’re missing out on one key component: being a disciple.
You are a follower of Jesus. And when you put on Christ in baptism, it is so much more than just being forgiven of your sins. You have decided to go on a new adventure where you put Christ at the front of every decision you make.
Here are 3 ways to be a better disciple of Jesus in 2020:
- Live like Jesus.
How did Jesus live His life? With purpose, with His eye focused on the goal. He lived His life knowing that He had a job to do for all mankind. He was going to go to the cross.
You have a purpose as well. You have a task of telling others about Jesus.
You live your life like Jesus lived His – with intentionality. Everything he did, He knew was a reflection of the Father. The way he interacted with strangers and friends alike demonstrated that He was the Son of God. Since we are part of God’s family, and since He is our Father, shouldn’t we do the same?
- Look like Jesus.
What does it mean to look like Jesus?
I know Jesus got angry when He overturned the tables in the temple – but He did that because of how it was offensive to God that people were turning the temple into a place full of corruption.
What does it look like when you defend God? What does it look like when you live like the Son?
Be consistent. Be disciplined. Be focused. Live your life so that people see the Father, the Son, and the Spirit in you by your actions.
The old saying of “What would Jesus do?” works very well here – but replace it with this: will others see Jesus in this action? If the answer is no, perhaps you should rethink what you’re doing.
When people see you – do they see Jesus?
- Love like Jesus.
Ephesians 5:2 tells us this: “Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” (NLT)
It looks like in order to love like Jesus, we simply follow His example. Christ did this best when he told us to love our enemies. In our world today – this probably looks like praying and loving those who have it out for us, who gossip about us, who spread rumors about us. But it also means praying for those who don’t look like us, sound like us, or act like us.
How better to love each other than in a year of political strife, campaigning, and fighting – you resolve to not look at whether or not people are in a red state or blue state, but instead examine their spiritual state. Love conquers all.