Imitators of Christ

Change the baby’s diaper, take the dog outside, feed everyone breakfast (including said dog), start a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher, fill the dishwasher with more dishes, fold and put away the laundry, clean counters, vacuum, sweep, mop, snack-time, school-time, nap-time, lunch-time, snack-time, dinner-time, snack-time, bed-time. Do it again tomorrow. 

As a mom and wife, I am given countless opportunities to set aside my wants and give my love, time, and attention to the needs of my husband and children. Pouring yourself out like that on a daily basis can sometimes be physically exhausting; I find myself praying for supernatural strength often! Yet, at the end of the day, even though I am tempted to wonder where my “me time is,” my heart is always full. 

This is when I begin to see more clearly what the Apostle Paul meant when he said:

“I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”

1 Corithians 15:31, NASB

The Biblical principle of dying to yourself has always been true, but I didn’t always live it or even understand it. Becoming a stay-at-home mom has challenged me in more ways than I can count in the area of putting others before myself, and I am always learning and finding that it is truly is more blessed to give than to receive. 

As Jesus’ disciples, we are called to follow Him. That was Paul’s mission in life – to imitate Christ. And it is what he and the rest of the apostles literally gave their lives to preach to the world through their words and actions. We may not ever get the honor to literally die for Jesus Christ because of our faith in Him, but by God’s grace, we can imitate His selflessness every day.

To be able to imitate Christ, we must look to Jesus as our example. Even though Jesus was God in the flesh, He still leaned upon God the Father for everything He said and did while He walked this earth. Jesus would rise early to pray and seek God for His will for the day.

In addition to seeking God in prayer, Jesus obediently submitted Himself to the will of the Father, even unto death. Each day, we are faced with the temptation to satisfy our flesh and go outside the boundaries of God’s perfect will. We discover what that will is when we read the Bible and study it for ourselves to learn God’s ways. We are not perfect, but thankfully Jesus was, and because of His sacrifice on the cross, we have been given the precious gift of the Holy Spirit as born-again believers.

Ultimately, Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve others (Mark 10:45). Jesus ministered to thousands upon thousands of people during His time here on earth. John 22 tells us that if all the things Jesus did were all written down, the entire world could not contain the books that would be written!

Dying daily definitely isn’t easy, but it is worth it because Jesus promises us that whoever loses his life will find it and find it abundance (Matthew 10:39/ John 10:10)!

But remember, we cannot die daily in our own strength, friends. The Holy Spirit is who empowers us to choose God’s way through the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). With each passing day, by God’s grace, we mature and cultivate a life worth dying for, a life found in Christ alone!

Who is God asking you to serve?

What selfish desires do you need to lay aside to put someone else’s life before your own?

Are you too busy or too distracted to serve others?

Take some time and write down those who may come to mind who you can minister to, even if it is just a simple phone call to encourage someone. May God empower us to die daily and choose others above ourselves.

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Consumed with YourSelfie

With the overwhelming flood of social media sites and phone apps filling every millisecond of our lives, it is blatantly clear how self-centered our culture has become as we post about our lives and our opinions numerous times a day.

With the invention of the front-facing camera on our cell phones, we have been able to take endless pictures of ourselves with ease called “selfies.” It has to be asked, if we want to see ourselves that much we might as well consider carrying around a mirror everywhere we go, right?

Are we too focused on ourselves?

This is a question I have recently asked myself as I am finding myself dwelling on my own issues so much that it is overwhelming my thoughts, completely over-crowding my mind, and creating more problems than solutions. Also, as someone who enjoys praying for others, I’m realizing how less and less of my time talking to God is spent interceding on others’ behalf and more and more of my time is spent asking Him to simply “help me, me, ME” or ignoring Him altogether and trying to figure it all out myself.

And I am utterly convicted because I have become so self-centered and consumed with my own life. Not to much how consumed with consumerism I have become as I am bombarded with sponsored ads and marketing campaigns constantly as I scroll through social media. Influencers and bloggers pushing all kinds of products that they are “obsessed” with and posting that quick swipe-up link for us too. I suddenly find myself envious and want what they have.

James 3:16 tells us:

“Where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”

NKJV

Whoa… “every EVIL thing?”

Are you finding yourself confused and needing clarity regarding your circumstances?

What about worry? Are you finding yourself frantic, anxious, or on edge often? Thinking that you are lacking something and trying to be your own provider and seeker of necessities/wants.

These feelings are not from God and are rooted in fear. 

When we cast our anxieties upon the Lord like 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to do, we are humbling ourselves and telling the Lord we know that we cannot figure out this life on our own. We look to God as our ultimately provider, trusting that He knows all that we need. This act of surrender frees our lives up to think upon truth found only in God’s word, to spend time communing with the Lord, and to be able to lift others up in prayer. Not to mention being mentally present for people who we cross paths with on a daily basis who may need some encouragement, a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on.

The less we focus on ourselves and our problems, the more freedom, clarity, and peace we will experience.

So let’s shift the focus off of ourselves for a while…your mind (and your Instagram) could use a little rest.

Here are some practical ways we can limit time on your phone: 

  • Keep yourself on a schedule/ use app tracking timers
  • Turn off as many push notifications as possible
  • Unfollow social media influencers that may tempt you to impulse buy what they are advertising
  • Remove distracting apps from your home screen or uninstall apps over the weekend
  • Move your phone away from your bedside 
  • Ask your spouse or a friend to be your accountability partner
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