One Simple Way to Be More Like Jesus

We all want to be more like Jesus. But the prospect of carrying a cross, of turning the other cheek, of loving our enemies is overwhelming.

Ryk Neethling (CC)

What if I told you there’s a simple way to start down that path of becoming more Christ-like? Here it is:

Read the scriptures.

Obvious, right? Give me a Pulitzer. And a Grammy. (I'm not sure why I deserve a Grammy, but as long as you’re passing out awards I’ll take one.)

But if it’s so obvious, then why don’t more people do it?

Maybe it’s because they don’t realize what a gift they have.

Congrats: You Just Won the Lottery

If I told you I had a surefire investment that would double your money in one year’s time, what would you do?

I guess that depends on how well you know me. You’d either think I was Bernie Madoff’s long lost nephew, or you might actually listen to what I have to say. But let’s pretend for a minute that you somehow knew my proposal was true.

Then what would you do?

You’d scrape up every bit of cash you could find, and invest it.

Or maybe I told you that I knew the winning Powerball numbers, and that at some point within twelve months those numbers would come up. After you ran a background check on me, you would probably play those numbers just before every Powerball drawing.

Here’s the scoop: you have already won the lottery.You have already reaped the yields of untold investment gains.

Whether you realize it or not, you are living in a unique time in history. And you just hit the jackpot.

Here's One Thing You Shouldn't Take for Granted

We tend to take that which is in excess for granted:

Clean water, clean socks, warm homes in January.

The Bible.

Go into the average Christian's home, and I bet you find at least four Bibles. Even the unbeliever probably has one Holy Bible lying around somewhere.

And don’t forget the internet.,, and YouVersion are all great resources available to anyone with access to the interwebs.

Although it’s natural to devalue things in large supply, a sense of perspective might help you to understand what a gift we have.

4 Reasons We Are Some of the Luckiest Humans Ever to Walk the Earth

1. God has already given us His revelation

From the beginning of time up to Moses, mankind had no written revelation of God. But Israel didn’t seriously rely on God’s Word until after returning from the exile in Babylon. How do I know? One piece of evidence is in 2 Kings:

Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.”
2 Kings 22:8a

He couldn’t have “found” the law unless it was lost. How do you lose the Word of God?

But Israel only had half of the story anyway; they could only anticipate the Messiah. Now that He has come we have record of Him, and Paul and other writers helped us interpret history.

John wrote the book of Revelation near the end of the 1st Century, so the full canon of scripture has only been available for approximately two millennia. If time began 10,000 years ago, then the Bible has only been available for 20% of history.

2. Access to a Bible

Even with those odds the story gets better. Before moveable type, Gutenberg, and all that jazz, scribes had to painstakingly copy the scriptures by hand.

As technology has improved, so has the proliferation of God’s Word.

3. Ability to Read

We often take literacy for granted too. At this point in history the majority of people (in the 1st world) can read.

Such hasn't always been the case.

4. Legal to Read

Many countries throughout the world have outlawed the Holy Bible. Living in the West grants us the freedom to study God’s Word without fear of repercussions like imprisonment or death.

One Thing We Can All Do

What I’m trying to say is this:

We have the gift of a lifetime: the access, freedom, and ability to study God’s Word, His very revelation to us.

Here’s another hypothetical: what if one year from today it would be illegal to read the Bible? What would you do?

You would downright memorize as much as you could.

Maybe we should anyway. Jesus did.

For all of Jesus’ amazingness: the miracles, the sinlessness, the sacrifice, He did something that most any of us can do: He learned God’s Word. He frequently quoted the Pentateuch, the prophets, the Psalms. He did it in response to temptation, to questioning, and when teaching.

We might never do miracles, and we definitely cannot live sinless lives, but this is one thing we can do:

Study the Word.

Remember what the Psalmist (likely David) wrote: "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you" (Psa. 119:11). And, "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path" (Psa. 119:105).

A Word of Caution

You have already won the lottery. That’s the good news. But it’s also the bad news too. Read what Jesus said:

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded.
Luke 12:48

God has given us untold riches in the form of His Word. The question is, what are you going to do with it?

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