Contact Me

If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Real Imitator

A number of years ago, I had a conversation with one of my children's friends. The young man stated that he'd placed his trust in the Lord Jesus. He was saved and that was all he needed.
I asked him if he intended to go to church or get involved in some sort of Christian fellowship.
"Nah," he said. "I don't need any of those things. Isn't that why we're saved by grace? So we don't have to do anything else to get salvation?"
I tried to explain to him that when we become Christians the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside. The Spirit develops in us a desire to fellowship with other Christians and to want to know our heavenly Father in a loving and intimate way.
The young man continued to argue with me that none of that was necessary since he had already obtained salvation.
Since our conversation was about to end, all I could say was, "If you have a relationship with someone, wouldn't you want to spend time with him or her?"
The sad thing is, this young man went on to a life of bad choices, bad relationships, troubles with the Law, and drug use.
I can't say whether or not the man had actually turned his life over to the Lord. It seems unlikely, given his life-choices. I could be wrong.
This isn't the first or (unfortunately) last conversation I'll have with a Christian who's chosen to do the Christian life in a non-Christian way.
They seem to think that going to church, or attending a Bible study, or reading the Bible, or spending time in prayer each day is too conventional. They'll do it (the Christian life) their way. . . or no way at all.
I have never seen anyone with this type of attitude bear fruit for Christ. Never.
You simply can't be a disciple of someone and simultaneously reject his teachings.

The ancient people of Antioch were the first to call Believers in Christ, Christians, or little Christs.
That pretty much sums up what we're about on this side of heaven: we aspire to resemble Christ in our actions and words. We have a relationship with Christ and we admire and love Him so much that we want to be just like Him. The indwelling Holy Spirit empowers us to desire and to act according to God's good purposes.  (Phil 2:13) And so, we practice imitating God.
But how can we imitate Somebody we do not know? How can you imitate a Person you've never heard or seen? You can't.
You must spend time with the person you're imitating:
  • You listen to His voice, 
  • you read about Him, 
  • you talk to Him, 
  • you observe His patterns of behavior, 
  • you also spend time with those who know Him,
  • you practice walking, talking, acting just like Him.

After some time, you become an expert on this Person. You come to instantly recognize his voice. Imposters do not fool you, because you've developed a practiced eye and ear to the Person. Everyone identifies you, because of your speech and actions, as the Person's "imitator."

Yes, we Christians are saved by Grace. But after that, the Spirit begins a transforming work, to make us conform more and more to the image of Christ. We need to get in alignment with the Spirit and give him free rein. . . and reign.

"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." (Eph. 5:1 NIV Bible)

1 comment: