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Seeds of the Kingdom

The Imitable Christ

by Peter Brokaar

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
Ephesians 5:1-2, NKJV

When we think of Jesus Christ, the perfect and sinless Son of God, we might become aware of the huge dissimilarity that distinguishes us from Him. He is the radiance of God’s glory, the sinless and spotless Lamb of God, holy, perfect and completely good. We, on the other hand are, well … us. We all know that we are not quite perfect yet!

Upon consideration of this great contrast between us and Him we might think that seeking to become like Him is too big a task. We might come to believe that we might be better off not even trying. Yet we find that the Bible gives us this strange command: ‘Be imitators of God’. It says that, just as children seek to copy their parents’ behaviour, we should seek to be imitating our heavenly Father.

The word ‘imitation’ carries a bit of a negative connotation in modern day language, due to the fact that many cheaply made products have flooded the market. This kind of imitation, lower-rate and sub-par, is not exactly appealing. Thankfully there is another kind of imitation, one that genuinely seeks to be a copy of the original, as far as this is possible. That kind of imitation must be what God is looking for. He desires to see as much as possible of the nature of His Son- His own divine character- in us.

Personally I’m glad to find that the Bible also gives us some handy stepping stones towards becoming more like Jesus. In Hebrews 13:7 it says: ‘Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith’. The great thing is that for each of us, we can think of people in our life who have walked with Jesus in a deeper way then ourselves. We can imitate them! And even if we feel that there’s no one we personally know we can draw from in this way, we can look over the boundaries of space and time and start reading up about famous missionaries, preachers and other godly men and women of faith whom we would do well to imitate.

In a society, that has something like an obsession with ‘being original’, we should remind ourselves that there’s nothing wrong with imitating others, providing their conduct and faith is worthy of emulation. I sincerely hope that today you’ll feel encouraged to seriously seek to imitate Christ. The fact is we live in a world that’s blind to God, in which sincere and wholehearted Christians are sometimes few and far between. Perhaps your personal ‘imitation of Christ’ will be the best chance for some people to witness something about the living God!

Prayer: Father in heaven, I know that I’m Your child, and You’re my Father. Please help me, as a good child, to become more like You by imitating Your Son Jesus Christ. In His holy name I pray. Amen.

Peter Brokaar is Co-Director of Ellel Ministries Scotland and has been there together with his wife Liz since 2005. They have 3 kids, all born in Scotland! In his free time he likes reading, cooking, running and surfing. Being at Ellel Scotland has given him the privilege of getting to know God deeper and sharing that joy with many others.

 

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