Sunday, June 21, 2015

Imitation...

Today is Father's Day and I am proud to be a Dad, and proud to have a Dad who taught me so many things. To get ready for our Father's Day Celebration at our house later, I did what so many do - cleaned up the yard...and in so doing was reminded yet again of two things; 1) the tremendous responsibility I have as a Dad, and 2) what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Let me explain.

Doing yard work is more fun then ever because of one big reason - my 5-year old son does it "with me." He's been doing it for a couple of years. What do I mean? When I mow the lawn, he grabs his lawn mower and literally follows me the entire time, copying everything I do. Check the gas, the oil, clean the air filter, and away we go. When I pause, he pauses. When I pick up a rock, he finds a rock to pick up. When I stop to yank out a dandelion, he comes over and closely watches what I'm doing. No matter what I do - pruning, loading the truck, leaf-blowing or weed-whacking, he copies me. If "imitation is the highest form of flattery" then I should be the most flattered person.

What is he doing? He's learning, copying, trying to be just like me. Trying to do things the way I do and understand why. Reminds what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1 - "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ."

Switching tracks for a moment - what is it that Jesus calls us to? He calls us to be disciples. I once heard pastor and author John Ortberg share that there are many who call themselves Christians but maybe fall short of disciples.

  • There are those who "admire" Jesus, but never give their heart to Him.
  • There are those who "follow" Jesus, maybe even believe He's the Son of God, but have never trusted their lives to Him.
  • There are those who "use" Jesus, whose main interest is in escaping hell, but have no vision for "living for Him".
  • Then there are "disciples." Disciples believe what their teacher believes, lives like they live, and imitates everything they see. 
In a very real way, my son is my disciple, (at least while doing yard work). He's trying to do what I do, think what I think, know what I know...he's trying to "be me."

I believe this is what Jesus is calling us to - to "be Him." Now to be sure, none of us can truly "be Him" - but our goal and aim should be to imitate Him. Christ never made a call to admire Him, use Him, or even just follow Him, but He did make a call to become His disciples. Look closely again at His words:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)

The point? Strive to be a disciple of Christ. Know Him, imitate Him. And don't get caught up in trying to be perfect - my son tries to be like me just because he loves me and wants to be with me. In the same way, we are dearly loved Children of God, and His desire is to imitate Him and His Son. The point?

"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children." (Ephesians 5:1)

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