Being Like Jesus is Enough

One of our Inspirational Devotions

Is being like Jesus really enough?

Like many of you, I am a volunteer. I view disciple-making from the pew, not a paid position or title. I often wonder, "Do most believers have the confidence that they can spread the love of Jesus?" Unfortunately, I think the answer is, "Not really." Why? I believe that one reason is that being like Jesus is under-emphasized. Many followers of Jesus think that having a Christ-like character is not enough. The unspoken belief is that somehow you must be "gifted" to truly make a difference. A Christ-like character is the fundamental key. Read on and I'll explain.

photo courtesy of darwin bell heart

Jesus' priority

During his earthly ministry, Jesus' priority was training people to be like him. Jesus said, It is enough for the student to be like his teacher (Matthew 10:24). A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher (Luke 6:40). Our Lord emphasized “likeness education” because the gospel flows through hearts – hearts like his.

Being like Christ in our disposition.

The key is our hearts

No matter what other methods we employ for spreading the love of Jesus, ultimately the gospel flows through hearts. In other words, the love of God is spread from one person's heart to another. The means to make this happen is a transformed heart. The condition of our hearts is the key.

The condition of our heart is key if we want to be shaped into Christ's likeness.

Hearts not talent

The gospel flows through hearts, not talent. Whether we admit it or not, most people are not leaders (in the traditional sense) and will primarily influence others through who they are. This was just as true in the first century as it is today. Thus, discipleship is more about character development than skill development. Many are capable of becoming mature disciples; very few will become gifted leaders. Talent intimidates; love motivates. Jesus led by influence of character more than gifts or abilities. Being like Jesus is enough.

man studying Bible

E. M. Bounds says it best

The need of the hour is people development. Our influence begins with who we are. We influence others out of our character more than our skills. Competence alone is not enough. Competence and charisma have their place, but they fall in line behind character. Jesus taught nothing about discovering your gifts, identifying your temperament, or creating a personality profile. E. M. Bounds writes, Nothing is too hard for God to do if he can find the right kind of man to do it.

Encouragement from Bill Gothard

Think about your discipleship plans and strategies. Do those you are discipling really believe that being like Jesus is enough? Imagine how encouraged the average believer would be if he or she learned that a Christ-like character was enough to be used by God. Bill Gothard encouraged me when he said, Focus on the depth of your life. God will take care of the breadth of your ministry. The great commission is more about depth than strategy. If we will make our life aim to simply be like Jesus, God will take care of the rest. The love of Jesus will flow through you.

Discussion questions for your small group or Sunday School class:

1. How can you focus more on character development?

2. In what areas do you want to be more like Jesus?

3. Who influenced you for Christ because of who they were, not necessarily how gifted or talented they were?

4. How will you focus on the depth of your life, rather than the breadth of your ministry?

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Author: Paul Schlieker

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