I’m guilty of praying to be more like Jesus, but not fully understanding what I prayed for. To imitate Christ, I have to be willing to sacrifice a lot.
He Was Born Into Chaos
At birth, Jesus entered into a chaotic atmosphere. His mother was scorned and judged for carrying the child of God through a virgin birth. When Jesus was born, King Herod searched to kill this innocent child.
As Jesus grew older the problems did not stop. He started to preach the simple message- “God loves you. God forgives you. God wants to clean you up, help you change your sinful ways, and invite you into the royal family.” However, people hated Jesus because of this message. They were upset because his message meant people had to give up their idols and truly be good people. Evil didn’t like this, so they tried to capture and harm him multiple times.
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.” (John 3:19-20)
He Was Rejected, Betrayed, & Accused
While Jesus was on a journey to share the gospel, he gathered 12 disciples or companions to help him spread the word. The disciples had the chance to sit directly with Jesus. They spoke with him. They saw him do signs, miracles, and wonders everyday. They had powerful experiences.
Yet, his disciples did not treat him right. They judged him. They questioned him. They betrayed him. They gossiped about him. They acted like they didn’t know him. They weren’t there for him when he needed it the most. They caused him problems He had to fix. They sold him to the enemy.
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In addition, many others denied him while he tried to share his simple message of love. They laughed at him. They scorned him. They said he had a mental illness. They found him innocent at trial and still pushed for his death. They misunderstood his purpose and thought He was trying to destroy the government/political system. They blamed him for political uprisings. They favored a murderer over him. They took his belongings and sold it for profit. They sold him over to the enemy. They treated him like he was the scum of the earth.
“The Jews who heard these words were again divided. Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?” John 10:19-20
Jesus Continued to Love
None of the actions of these people changed how Jesus felt or His Godly living standard. Jesus knew how wicked people were. He knew they needed His help to change their ways. While being murdered slowly by God’s own creation, Jesus still showed the ultimate compassion:
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” – Luke 23:34
Want to know how to live for God? Then ask yourself: Can you do this for the people around you? To imitate Jesus Christ, you must love others despite what they do to you. Personally, I can’t… Without the wisdom and power of Jesus!
12 Characteristics of Jesus Christ
- He LOVED people despite their sins
- Jesus was BOLD and called out religious hypocrites
- He was a ROLE MODEL and taught how to pray for others
- He lived RIGHTEOUSLY and without sin (which is possible through the Holy Spirit)
- Jesus was DEVOTED to quiet prayer time
- He FORGAVE others for hurting him
- He was NOT CRITICAL and had COMPASSION for sinners
- Jesus PERSUADED others to repent & change bad behavior
- Jesus lived in the TRUTH and not hypocritically
- He had AUTHORITY over demons, sickness, and difficult storms
- Jesus was a TEACHER that discipled
- He loved & LISTENED to the Father + do only what the father is doing
5 Tips Live Like Jesus
1. Study the word: Reading the entire Bible will give you a deeper understanding of who God is and how he operates. As a young boy, Jesus studied at the synagogue. Luke 2:40-52 explains that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and the people were impressed by him. Due to Jesus’ understanding of the power of the word, he often quoted Old Testament scriptures. For instance, in Luke 4:18-19, Jesus quotes Isaiah 61:1-2 when he announces he is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophesy of the messiah.
2. Pray: Jesus knew how important it was to spend time with his Father in prayer. In Luke 5:16, it is written that “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” As followers of Jesus, we can learn from his example and prioritize spending time in prayer to grow closer to God and seek His guidance in our lives. And when you pray, as God to help you forgive, remain thankful, and to receive daily revelation.
3. Listen to God: Jesus emphasized the importance of hearing and obeying God’s voice. He only did what he saw his Father doing, and he spent much time getting to know God through the word and prayer. In John 5:19, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.” By following God’s lead and doing His will, we can live like Jesus and experience His blessings in our lives.
4. Depend on God’s Strength: In our mission to bring people to God’s love, the enemy will attack us with every weapon in their arsenal. We must fight hard to love people into healing, but we cannot do it alone. We need to continuously pray, relying on God’s strength to help us. As Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Our job is to partner with God, without developing a God Complex, and love others in His strength, leading to healthy relationships.
5. Love and Serve Others: Jesus didn’t come to exercise his power and show off his miracles. Instead, he came to give salvation, forgiveness, mercy, healing, and love. He came for the sick, widows, orphans, sinners, and imperfect people. Similarly, to imitate Jesus, it is essential to find ways to love and serve others.
In Matthew 25:35-40, Jesus teaches about serving others: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”
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6. Surrender Control to God: We cannot change people; only God can. While partnering with Him, we must also know when it’s time to move on. Like Jesus, who walked away when the Pharisees refused to change their behavior and repent, we must speak the truth and leave those who do not want to change. Sometimes, it is best to leave situations or people in God’s hands. “And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.” – Matthew 10:14
7. Bear Fruits of the Spirit: To be like Jesus, we must pray for God to help us become less judgmental, selfish, impatient, argumentative, defensive, prideful, controlling, negative, and insensitive. Galatians 5:22-23 reminds us that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.”
8. Persevere Through Trials: To live like Jesus means sticking through things when they are difficult and choosing the right path when temptation arises. James 1:2-4 reminds us to “consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
9. Imitate Jesus’ Love: To live a godly life, we should strive to be just like Jesus, being truthful, loving, honoring, patient, prayerful, sacrificial, righteous, devoted, and in tune with the Father. As 2 Timothy 3:12 says, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
10. Claim Your Authority: Jesus knew that He had authority over His emotions, over darkness, over opposition, and over sickness. He forgave His enemies because He knew God had already won. He was tempted as a man, but He remained righteous because He knew God would strengthen Him. He healed the sick and raised the dead because He knew God desired to touch the sick and the broken-hearted.
As believers, we too can claim our authority in Christ to overcome challenges, live in victory, and share God’s love and power with others. “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” – Luke 10:19
What does it mean to love like Jesus?
You can imitate Jesus’ love when you understand what he did for us. God sent his only son to be the final sacrifice. We no longer had to sacrifice animals for our sins as was done in the Old Testament, because Jesus was the most pure and ultimate sacrifice as revealed in the New Testament. Jesus is deserving of all praise and honor. He came to earth and endured all the sin and torture of humanity to show us an example of holiness and provide a path for our forgiveness.
Thanks to the sacrificial blood of Jesus, we only have to accept His forgiveness for our sins and repent. However, could we offer that grace and forgiveness to a pedophile, murderer, adulteress, betrayer, con artist, or someone who hurt us directly? It can be challenging, but only an all-loving God can offer that type of love and healing to people who don’t deserve it.
We can love like Christ when we offer that same forgiveness and love to the people around us, even when they don’t deserve it. It’s important to keep in mind that people can receive forgiveness and grace while still facing the natural consequences of their actions. However, we should never withhold love or store un-forgiveness in our hearts because someone sinned.
8 Verses About Living Like Jesus
Read the verses below that explain Godly living standards within the bible.
- “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32
- “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:7-8
- “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10
- John 15:18-19: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”
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- “For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.” – Leviticus 19:17
- Matthew 5:10-12: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
- “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
- “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial that has come upon you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed at the revelation of His glory. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” 1 Peter 4:13-14