"My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead."
As a child, many of us had one athlete we always loved to watch. Whether it was football, basketball, soccer, baseball or something else, there was one person we would watch closely in order to go out later and try to copy their moves or plays. For me, personally, it was and still is Steve Nash. This under-sized point guard always seems to make the pass that somehow gets through the three defenders in front of him. As I walked out onto the court the other day, I tried to imitate his shot and put myself in the mindset of someone who was a professional.
No matter whom we try to emulate on the court or field, there is still One we should imitate above all others: Jesus the Christ. He is the One who went before us, who is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). In Philippians 3:10-11, Paul confesses the desire to become like Him in His death and to attain the resurrection.
To become like Christ means two things to me:
1. Obedience. Earlier in Philippians 2, Paul records that Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient to death on a cross. In this, He was being obedient to His Father. God brought His Son to earth for a reason, and that was to save the lost. Jesus was fully obedient in this matter and did what He came to do.
2. Sacrifice. Not only was Jesus sacrificed for our sins, but also He personally sacrificed His human desire to not go through with it. As He was in the garden He prayed for His Father to take the cup from Him, but in the end He said, "not my will, but yours be done." He was willing to put away His desires for the sake of bringing glory to His Father.
When it all comes down to it, there is One whom we should become like over all others. Yes, we will have athletic role models, but no one should come before Christ. And through this we must become obedient to the Father, sacrificing our lives in order to worship Him fully and joyfully.
1. Do you remember practicing a specific move that you saw your favorite athlete perform?
2. How is God calling you to be obedient (reading the Word, serving others, controlling yourself)?
3. What are some areas of your life in which you need to let go and let God take control? How is He calling you to sacrifice?
4. Are you imitating Christ in your life?