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Just Like You, Jesus

Lord I want to be just like You ‘cause she wants to be just like me; I want to be a holy example for her innocent eyes to see. I want to be a living Bible Lord that my little girl can read. Lord I want to be just like You ‘cause she wants to be just like me.”

The past few Mondays I have had the privilege of teaching Ladies Bible Study. I so love starting the week off with these precious ladies. Learning, playing, laughing, crying (ok this is mostly me;) lol, discussing, arguing (yes, we can get into some interesting arguments that to me seem totally banana’s, but to them it’s real….sometimes I forget this and have to remind myself that many of these ladies are young in their faith…grace. Amen? Sometimes too, I have to remember to take the log out of my own eye, before I can help pull the plank out of my sisters eye.) serving, evangelizing, worshipping and praying. It’s been so exciting to witness these ladies grow in the ways of the Lord. Seeing those that lead and are mature in their faith grow stronger and be the example to those that are new in their faith.

This is where the lesson Pierre and I was sharing was rooted. The week before we had one of those drawn out discussions that I felt went in circles, but in the midst of it all I listened to their hearts as God translated and gave me better understanding. After that day one verse and the song above kept swirling in my head.

The song has been a prayer of mine since 1994 when one of the swimmers I coached drove with me from Ohio to Dallas, Tx. It was a great drive, but also difficult as I knew at the end of the trip I would have to say good-bye. This precious girl had become like a daughter/ little sister to me over the years as I helped coach her, and though I did not know what God was doing in her then, a few laters she would accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior. As we crossed the border into Texas this song came on the radio. The radio had not worked for hours so to listen to this song and soak in the words it put a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. This was the time God began to birth a deeper passion for discipleship and growing in Christ character. It still helps fuel this passion especially during seasons of struggle and confusion.

We shared with the ladies this scripture from 1Corinthians 11:1…Paul writes, “follow my example as I follow the example of Jesus Christ.” Why had Paul wrote this? Was he being arrogant or self-righteous? Paul never saw himself as sinless. In fact during this time of this writing the Corinthians knew nothing of the life of Jesus or His ministry. Paul couldn’t say, “hey look at Jesus, imitate Him, He is Your example” because the Gospels weren’t even written yet. They had no idea what Jesus was like. The best way to point these new Christians to Christ was to point them to a Christian whom they trusted. Paul had live in Corinth almost 2 years and had built relationships of trust with many of the new believers. (taken from Application Study Bible)Paul walked in Christ-like character…like the line to the song, “I want to be a living Bible Lord, that my little girl can read.”

I posed this question to the ladies…When we think of the characteristics of Christ what do we think of? It took them a couple of minutes to begin to answer, but once one of our ladies began, they were off and running. Compassionate, Forgiving, Patient, Gentle, Protector, Provider, Friend, Counselor, Peace, and on and on:) I shared with them that when I look up the characteristics of Christ I can find way over 60 traits and that I can get overwhelmed by so many, but the one place we can look for is in Galatians 5:22-23 Listing the Fruit of the Spirit and then asking ourselves Am I walking in Christ-likeness? What is it that I need to ask Jesus to help me with and who can I recruit to keep me accountable and walk alongside of me?

The week before one of the ladies shared this during our heated discussion. She shared with the ladies that she comes to Ladies Bible Study to learn more about Jesus and that she finds sisters here that pray for her, come alongside of her and offer help when she isn’t able to help herself. I reminded them of this and how beautiful it is that we can come alongside one another, study God’s Word with one another, pray for one another, grow in grace with one another, cry with one another, serve one another, laugh with one another, and keep each other accountable.

I posed another question to them…In our list do we find jealousy, envy, greed, gossip, revenge, fear judgement, anger, fear, bitterness, pity, selfishness….in Jesus? A resounding NO! NONE OF THESE!!! But do we find them in us? Oh Yes, Amen!!! We know we don’t want to admit it, but we all do. There are rooms in our heart that at we want to close off and not admit the struggle with.We all have them and unfortunately as the body of Christ we are harder on each other and on ourselves. We are good at pointing out the plank our neighbors eye before noticing we have our own log in ours. We just stink at just sitting down and being transparent with one another and saying, “hey, I notice your struggling a bit with gossip or jealousy. Can we talk about it together instead of talking about it all over town. Maybe together you decide to conquer this with Christ help.” We reminded them that they are more than conquerors with Christ Jesus!!

Lastly I asked them…How do we develop Christ character? How do we say I want to be a woman who walk in Christ-likeness and mean it? It means getting real with ourselves and others. It means doing a heart check as well as a thought check. It means getting serious about our prayers and ask for help in the problem areas that we know we struggle with. Which means if we are praying about it don’t be surprised if He places you in circumstances and experiences to teach us. In other words whenever we choose to respond to a situation in God’s way instead of in our flesh nature we develop His character. For this reason he allows conflict, disappointment, difficulty, temptations, times in the desert and delays.

We left them with this challenge…In what difficult circumstance in your life might God be trying to build your character? How does your attitude or perspective change in hearing this today? Who are you being a living Bible for?

I leave the same challenge for us all?

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