It’s a new year, we’ve turned a corner! The mornings are slowly getting brighter, you’ve stuffed the Christmas decorations back in the cupboard, and you’ve probably heard (if not said) the phrase ‘New year, new you’. It’s the season of making resolutions, trying to get back into the good habits we forgot over the holidays and turning over a new leaf. A new year holds hope and promises a fresh start.
But as much as we want to better ourselves by the strains of sheer will-power, we must listen to what the Bible says about how God is changing us:
‘For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.’ Romans 8:29
If you’re following Jesus, then the Bible says that God knows all about you, and has chosen you to become more like his Son everyday. Life isn’t about trying to make ourselves more acceptable to the world; it’s about what God has already done and what he is continuing to do.
That’s what we thought about at Christmas time. God sent his Son into the world, who lived as a human being and took our punishment on the cross. Through faith in Jesus we can have a relationship with the Father. We want to be more like Jesus, pleasing the Father in the way that he did.
Maybe that’s not you yet. Maybe you’re still on the fence about living for Jesus. If you’re still thinking about it, why not take a peek it’s as simple as A, B, C.
ASK older Christians
If you want to grow more like Jesus, look around! The church is the best place to find people living for Jesus Christ. There are people in our church who have been Christians for as many as 40, 50, even 60 years! They can tell you about good times, when it’s been easy to follow Jesus, and they can tell you about when living for him has been hard. Because they have this experience they’ll be able to support you. You may be surprised to learn that the things you are struggling with, are the very same things they have struggled with (and maybe still do)!
Everyone has a story to tell. If you’re the youngest person in church, then you have lots of people to ask about growing as a Christian! If you’re the oldest person in church, then you have lots of younger people you can share your experience with. Somewhere in the middle? Then you get to both ask and answer the questions! Ask questions and you might just be surprised by the answer, you’ll get to know someone better and learn from each other. Look around and ask an older Christian (or two!) something like:
- How did you become a Christian?
- What has God been teaching you this week?
- What helps you keep going as a Christian?
Being useful to the church will make us more like Jesus. He came as a servant and to follow in his footsteps we need to be servants too, being servant hearted in the way we carry out tasks. How can you get involved in church life?
- Are you good with children? Help with creche.
- Are you good with technology? Ask to be on the sound and visual team.
- Are you good at cooking? Ask if anyone in the church is sick and would like a meal made for them.
- Are you good at being friendly? Ask to be on the door and welcome people when they arrive. Talk to the person beside you after a service.
- Are you a driver? – Check if anyone needs a lift to or from church
The list is endless! Don’t miss out on being useful because you think you have nothing to offer. If you are a willing servant for God just wait to see how God uses you! And if you’re doing these things already then do them willingly and without grumbling because when you’re putting other people first, you are becoming more like Jesus.
COME to God
One of the best ways to become more like Jesus is to read about him in the Bible and ask for God’s help to change you. As babies we learnt to do things by watching and copying. The Bible shows us God’s word in action and Jesus as our example. Reading God’s word changes us, it gives us knowledge and understanding about him. It shows us compassion and patience, challenging us to do the same and shows up our sin, nudging us to repent. The Bible also teaches us how to pray and what to pray for. Jesus was always praying:
- By himself (Mark 1:35)
- With big crowds (Mark 6:41)
- For his disciples (John 17:6-19)
- When he was distressed (Mark 14:35)
It’s never too late in the year to start reading God’s word each day and praying. Mark is a great place to start reading. And the more we pray, the more the Bible will influence what we pray for and the easier it becomes to depend on God as Jesus did.
And that’s just A to C, just think what we could learn from D-Z!