Focus: Following the example of Jesus
Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV) And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
A few years ago, I was looking into the possibility of applying for a grant for a video project I was considering. As I searched the various foundations that offered grants for media production, I had to study the specific guidelines that each foundation expected, in order for an applicant to first be considered—and then to qualify.
During the time I was researching, I attended a seminar on grant writing, where I learned that each foundation offering a grant takes the time to ponder what kind of goodwill efforts they would be willing to fund. With many worthy causes in the world, they have to determine their own objectives and create a rigid set of ‘rules’ for applicants to follow when making application, so they can then consider the proposals that best match their criteria.
Some people write grants for a living and are very successful at it. These people have studied the craft of grant writing and have become familiar with the process of putting together a detailed and often complex proposal that will get the respect of the funders and meet a deadline.
An experienced grant writer is good at matching potential recipients with the right donors. They also must make sure that someone seeking a grant is ‘ready to receive’, since this is one of the important qualifications for being awarded a grant. In the end, the ones who win the grants are those who have shown the best effort to apply—and those who will hopefully put the funds to the best use. You don’t just ask for money and get it—you compete against other individuals and organizations who have also applied—and in the end—it’s a contest, of sorts. Those who qualify, receive the reward.
Life is not a game or a contest—but you could think of it in those terms, for the purpose of grasping the importance of becoming what God wants. It’s clear that God has a detailed plan for every person’s life. He designed us each with unique qualities and characteristics that would fulfill His specific purpose. Everyone who accepts Christ as their Savior is expected to follow the guidelines spelled out in the Word of God. By doing so, we will receive various rewards when we stand before Him some day.
To learn what God expects, we must study the life of Jesus. We must learn His ways and model our lives by His example. Jesus went about doing good and was always about His Father’s business. His great love caused Him to be intensely interested in the needs of others. He truly understood human nature and He knew that ministering to people’s needs was the best way to get their attention, so He could point them toward the kingdom of God.
Jesus came to earth to compete in a contest for your soul. He came to fulfill a specific purpose so that you wouldn’t have to spend eternity in hell. His efforts were superior. He went the distance and WON! Because of what He accomplished, you can be a winner, too. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9 KJV).
God never meant for us to live our lives in a haphazard manner. Over and over in scripture the example of servitude and reward is portrayed. Are you becoming what God wants you to be? Beyond being ‘saved by grace’, are you ‘growing in grace’?
Living for God and becoming what He wants involves doing what Jesus did and sharing the Good News of salvation. It involves being merciful and filled with love, joy, and peace. It means that we are willing to persevere through the trials of life with patience. We should also be gentle, good, and filled with faith. We must exhibit the qualities of quiet strength and self-control. The Bible says we will one day stand before God and be judged for all of our actions. If we live a life that is no different from any unbeliever—we will be ashamed at the judgment.
Many years ago, Charles M. Sheldon wrote a book called, “In His Steps”. The story involves a homeless man who challenges the Reverend Henry Maxwell to seriously consider the model of Christ. The homeless man questions the actions of common Christians who ignore the needs of those who are lost and underprivileged. The presentation of this man’s point of view leads many of the novel’s characters to ask, “What would Jesus do?”
Declaration: I will find new strength by examining my ways and attempting to imitate the life of Christ. In every situation, I will ask myself, “What would Jesus do?”
Read ‘In His Steps’ free, through the Open Library:http://openlibrary.org/books/OL14014799M/In_His_steps
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