Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. We all want to imitate our favorite athlete or actor. We can try to emulate others so much that we lose sight of who Jesus calls us to become. What would happen if we imitate Jesus everyday? Imitation doesn’t just happen. It occurs with a clear understanding of who Jesus is. What are the areas of daily life that we need to imitate Christ? Following Jesus is not an event but a lifestyle.
“Imitate God in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 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.” Ephesians 5:1-2
Part of Imitating Jesus is learning from him. Use the following to help you break down scripture and understand it.
How to SOAP daily:
Scripture: Read the Bible until God speaks to you. Write down the verse that impacts you in your journal or a verse that “sticks out to you” from a longer passage. Do not just skim it but meditate and think about each word of the verse(s). Understand “scripture interprets scripture” – Ever word is part of a sentence, sentence is part of a paragraph and so on.
Observe: Ask the questions about the background of the scripture. Who was the author? Who was the author writing to? How would I explain the scripture to another person? Write out the verse in your own words to try to understand it further.
Apply: How do you live out what the verse(s) in your personal life? Be specific. Memorize specific verses that stick out to you.
Pray: Write down specific prayer requests about your personal needs. Keep your prayer requests written down in a journal to go back to in the future. Meditate on the verse(s), read and reread. Meditate on it throughout the day as you apply it to your life! “How will I be different today because of what I have just read?”
Part of Imitating Jesus is sharing your story. What is your story? Follow the Layout below to help you write your story.
1) Before I began a relationship with Jesus. The purpose of your story is not to just memorize a script but to share the important aspects of your life before Christ. Keep in mind that you do not have to share all of the details of your life. Share the top few areas of life before Christ. How were you finding hope and purpose? What were you living for before Christ? What positive or negative ways were you seeking meaning? (Sex, money, sports, relationships, drugs/alcohol, partying, etc).
2) How I began a relationship with Jesus? Describe the circumstances that caused you to consider Christ as the solution to your life. Talk about what led up to you beginning a relationship with Christ. If it was over time, talk about the different steps, people or events that helped you learn about Christ. What were the steps you took to respond? Explain the important moment of when you surrendered to Christ? Where were you? What was God leading you in your heart? Paint the picture of that moment that you responded to God’s grace.
3) After I began a relationship with Jesus this is how He is changing my life. Explain how different your life is now in comparison before you met Jesus. Share a few specific areas of your life that you are different. The greatest news is that there is HOPE in Christ. Share with your friend that the greatest news is that now you have hope not only now but in Heaven eternally. Now transition into a conversation to the person with a question similar to, “has anything like this ever happened in your life?” or “can I share with you about the story of the gospel?”
Imitators of Jesus influence others with Jesus. Be courageous enough to share your story and connect it to God’s Story.