2011 Theme: MAKING GOD GREATER!
“Imitate God, therefore, 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, NLT).
Choosing to Imitate Christ: The Bible indicates that we are to be new creatures after having accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and personal savior. Although change in physical appearance might be enhanced due to conviction of being a better steward of the body, this ‘newness’ must be evident in our spirit. Our attitude and life perspective should be different than the past person. How many times do we see people get saved and a year later you feel the need to introduce them to Christ? But what if you or I was that person? Just because we confess Christ, does not mean that a magical experience is going to happen to automatically transform us. Yes, we now have power to transform. But we have to imitate Christ daily in the decisions we make, our conversations, our actions and our thoughts. The enemy is always on his post. We can not wait until disaster strikes or persecution occurs to activate our resistant power. Trying to charge up only during attacks will make us explode. You will not have to wonder when or why the old you ‘all of sudden’ resurfaced. That spirit was there the entire time.
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice-the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Rom. 12:1-2, NLT).
Spiritual Manifestation: We were reminded weeks ago that ‘practice makes perfect’. Imitating Christ is not in one good deed you do in a week, it is not measured by how many kind acts you do in a year, how much money you donate, how well you prayed Wednesday night or sang Sunday morning. Our flesh wants to gain recognition or score brownie points for the notable things that we found difficult or considered a sacrifice. We secretly wish that GOD would turn his face during the times we are tested to bless those that curse us, pray for those that persecute us, forgive those that lie on us and accept those that reject us. If we were to be honest, we have this thought pattern because we want our good deeds to justify our failures. We crutch ourselves with the verse “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23) and never try to walk without it for either fear of failure or to feed the flesh. We avoid or ignore the continuation of Paul’s letter in chapter 6, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer” (1-2, NIV). We can not say that we can’t imitate Christ because the Word clearly states that we can. We can say that we choose not to imitate Christ. We choose to make the same mistakes over and over again. We choose to let other spirits direct us. We choose to defile the body GOD has given to us. We choose to use our tongues to curse others. And the more we choose to rebel, the more we imitate the world’s behavior and customs. In this rebellious state, we can not say that we know GOD’s will for us. Once we yield to GOD’s transformation we will think like Christ and imitate Him daily and not sporadically. Then, GOD will be made greater in our lives!
With Love in the Spirit,
Evangelist SJ Hastings
Spirit Realm Divine Manifesto
Bible Trivia: Which church in the Bible was referred to as being lukewarm? (you may answer on my Facebook blog page)