Most of us are familiar with what Jesus did while He lived here on earth, but sometimes we forget to let our actions reflect that. Here are five actions we can do to become more like Him.
Jesus' entire life was dedicated to serving others. From the time He began His ministry to the time He died on the cross, every moment of His life was used in service to others. He healed the sick, raised the dead, fed the multitudes and quieted the storms both on the sea and in people's souls. His life was a shining example of serving others with His whole heart.
We may not be able to dedicate our entire lives to service as Jesus did, but we can still do so much to bless the lives of others. We can set aside a certain time each week to volunteer at a charity or homeless shelter. We can make it a point every day to find one person to serve. We can decide that when we see a need, we will do our best to fill it. We can start by serving daily within the walls of our own homes.
Lift your spouse, hug your children, put down your phone and be present. The ability to serve first comes in our ability to put others before ourselves.
When Jesus was on the earth, His love was apparent. He thought of others more than He thought of Himself because He loved all of God's children with all of His heart.
He saved the sinner, healed the sick and protected the innocent. He mourned with those who mourned, comforted those who needed comfort and loved with a pure love. The King of Kings never judged others because of their sins or weaknesses, but, instead, He showed the greatest love by suffering for the sins of all. Jesus was willing to suffer so much pain simply because He loved us.
We will never be able to do what Jesus did for humanity, but we can learn to love as He loved. Our love may not require us to lay down our lives for others, but we need to love deeply enough that we would lay down our lives if it was needed.
Jesus had both the reason and the authority to judge others, especially those who crucified Him, yet He did not. How much greater need have we to withhold our judgments and to instead show love! Love was Jesus' first and most important commandment.
If you can do nothing else, love. Love will change who you are and make you better.
Jesus was the perfect example of forgiveness. Not only did He forgive sinners, but He also forgave the very people who crucified Him. And He didn't just forgive them; He prayed for them and plead with the Father on their behalf, asking God to forgive them.
He looked beyond actions and saw the divine in all humanity. He saw the best in others and gave them the best of Himself.
We may not have the understanding of the One Who Saves, but we can ask for His help to forgive. We can give others the benefit of any doubt and choose to not take offense when someone's actions are not what we expected. We can choose to let things go and not allow them to stay with us. We can choose to see the good in others and in ourselves.
Forgiveness is always a choice. And forgiving all people includes forgiving ourselves.
Jesus' famous intercessory prayer is a perfect example of how He loved. He prayed for all of us so we may be granted the same blessings He had been given because of His sacrifice.
This great prayer was not His only prayer. He prayed for his apostles, His enemies and all those who believed in Him. In the end, He prayed for Himself, asking God to remove the cup He was asked to drink. But, even then, God's will was more important than His own. It was prayer that helped Him through the pain and the sorrow of His sacrifice.
We can learn so much from the prayers Jesus offered, and we can use prayer as He did. We can pray for our enemies and ask God to forgive them, to soften their hearts and to bless them with an increase of love. We can pray for our friends and ask God to grant them those things that would make their burdens lighter to carry. We can pray for ourselves and ask God to give us the strength to drink the bitter cups in our own lives.
Jesus had to be obedient because a perfect life was required to suffer for the sins of the world. Even in the depths of His sorrow in Gethsemane, when for a single moment He asked for the cup to be removed, He still drank the bitter cup because it was the will of the Father. He was exactly obedient.
We may struggle to be exactly obedient, but with Jesus' help, we too can drink of the bitter cup and overcome. We can choose to be obedient to God's commandments and live life like Jesus did. We can learn to put God first and to choose God's will, for that's exactly what Jesus did.