Let’s Imitate Jesus
Jesus called twelve disciples to follow him and imitate what they saw Jesus say and do. The apostle Paul calls every follower to imitate Jesus; Paul called Timothy to imitate him to the degree that Timothy saw Jesus in Paul. God’s Word commands all of us who placed our faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior to imitate the “radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature…” (Hebrews 1:3) May He give us the grace we need to reveal Christ through our heart motivations, words and deeds. I am extremely thankful for the people who God has placed in my life, like a Paul, who reveal Christ to me. I love imitating my friends as they walk with Jesus.
This week, I was thinking about Jesus moving from a private life with Mary, Joseph and his brothers to a life of public ministry. We believe Jesus was about 30 years old, and he called twelve to be his disciples. A common understanding is that those twelve ranged in ages between 13-30 years young. It is interesting to read how these young disciples challenged Jesus for spending time with little children, yet what is more interesting is hearing Jesus’ heart for every generation.
“People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” (Mark 10:13-16)
We join the disciples in learning from our Lord that he would declare the glory of God to every generation. The psalmists declared, “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” (Psalm 145:4), and again “We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.” (Psalm 78:4)
This weekend, we continue our series entitled Un | Prodigal. This is our focus on God calling us to have faith that He loves our children and is working in their lives even when it appears that they have given up on Him. Over the next three weeks, we will be looking at three specific events in the prodigal Jacob’s life. This weekend, we will be studying Genesis, Chapter 28. If you had the opportunity to join us last weekend, you heard Alan Hlavka and his daughter Heather Huson share. Their story was especially powerful, as we heard about Heather’s prodigal days as a young adult. What a beautiful example of the faith of hurting parents, and how wonderful to hear how our church loved the Prodigal back into the fold.
We are in the midst of our budgeting season, and we have been pouring through how we will continue building ministries for every generation. Our Elder team recently put together a letter outlining some of their plans for reaching every person for the Kingdom. You can read it here.
It has been exciting to see the development of the Classic service. We are only two months into the building of that service, just waiting to see it blossom over the next few months. Yet, we believe God is calling us to even more to evangelize and disciple not only our senior saints but also to more seniors throughout the surrounding communities who have not yet made Good Shepherd their church home.
We are also excited to share more and more with you about our vision to evangelize and disciple young adults and young families. Over these past two weeks, we have celebrated young adults with a special dinner feast. We are so thankful to see more young adults experiencing community and God’s Word. This past week, we launched The Gathering. This is an intentional space on Sundays at 11:30 in the North to offer time for busy young marrieds and parents of young kids to meet people walking through similar life experiences. We are hearing great feedback that this is exactly what was needed.
Let’s continue imitating Jesus as He demonstrated a life of loving every generation and declaring the glory of God to all people. As we see this in the Scriptures, let us also see this heart show up in our prayers for every generation. This weekend, we take our quarterly offering for the kids’ wing where we disciple children from birth through 8th grade. Pray to see how the Lord would lead you to celebrate this generation.