Oswald Chambers is one of my favorite authors. I can always find a gem in his works to meditate on. The following quote encourages us to be more like Jesus.
“It is the most natural thing to be like the person you live with most, therefore live most with Jesus Christ; be absorbingly taken up with Him.” ~ Oswald Chambers
A personal goal of mine is to live with Jesus 24/7. This means, when I wake up He is beside me and when I lay down for the night He is beside me. He is present as I drink my morning coffee, drive to work, interact with my employer and peers, enjoy some free time, and even while I wait in line at the grocery store.
“The steady discipline of intimate friendship with Jesus results in men becoming like Him.” ~ Henry Fosdick
“A rule I have had for years is: to treat the Lord Jesus Christ as a personal friend. His is not a creed, a mere doctrine, but it is He Himself we have.” ~ D.L. Moody
D.L. Moody’s words are so right on! Jesus is not only our Lord and Savior. He is also our personal friend. Although we can’t see Him, we can often feel His presence. We can see Him in action on our behalf. This constant companion has a multitude of attributes. It is worth a Bible search to identify and study the characteristics of Jesus Christ. Characteristics that we can strive to gain and practice ourselves.
Jesus was and always will be honest and direct. He did not hesitate to speak honest words. There were no sugar coated truths, sins were called out, but at the same time, He always demonstrated love. There is an amazing story of love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness found in John 8:1-11. Scribes and Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery to Jesus. He did not deny her sin. Instead, He stooped down and wrote on the ground. What he wrote was not recorded in Scripture but the words He spoke are accessible.
“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, ‘Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’” John 8:9-11 (NKJV)
Jesus was compassionate and merciful. We too should demonstrate these traits. He made others think by asking them to reflect upon their own lives. We can do this by asking open-ended questions.
“Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” Luke 6:36 (NKJV)
“The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made.” Psalm 145:9 (NIV)
Just as Jesus forgives sinners we too are called to forgive.
“But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:15 (NIV)
Jesus had half-brothers and half-sisters who did not acknowledge Him as their Savior. In fact, it was not until Jesus died and rose again that two of His siblings, James and Jude, accepted Him as the Son of God. At His crucifixion, Jesus placed the care of His mother into the hands of His disciple John. This was a loving, compassionate, and purposeful decision. He broke with tradition and challenged family ties because He was determined to have another believer shelter and provide for His widowed mother.
Jesus was clearly more concerned about His mother’s spiritual welfare than her physical and economic welfare. John had been unemployed in the worldly sense for the past three years, living off of donations along with Jesus and the other twelve (Luke 8:3).
Although some (or all?) of His siblings would eventually become believers, at the time of His death they were not professing Him as Lord. Jesus intended that His mother continue on in an environment of faith. Her eternal life and spiritual growth were more important to Him than her physical and financial security.
He is your friend who pushes you nearer to God.” Abraham Kuyper
“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 (NIV)
When we live through difficult and painful circumstances, we can find comfort and direction by searching through Scripture. John and the Virgin Mary obediently accepted Jesus’ unusual directive to be bonded together. It is highly probable they both endured ridicule and strife from Mary’s other children. Assuredly, their faith carried them through this trial and they received many blessings for their obedience.
There is so much to learn by studying Christ’s character. We can see these character traits by noting His actions, prayer life, and the relationships He held with His followers. Are you living with Jesus 24/7 or are you hanging Him on the coat rack when you step out the door? I hope not! Let Jesus become your constant companion so that you naturally take on the qualities of our Holy Redeemer.
“The good man has his enemies. He would not be like his Lord if he had not. If we were without enemies we might fear that we were not the friends of God, for the friendship of the world is enmity to God.” ~ Charles Spurgeon