When I was in college, someone taught me an important life principle.  I was told that I can learn something from everyone.  I have tried to take that lesson to heart.  As a pastor, I’ve been exposed to all types of people.  Consequently, I have had the opportunity to learn a variety of things that I would have never learned otherwise.  There are men I can think of who have taught me little lessons about marriage, parenting, people skills, yard work, home repair, auto maintenance, spiritual disciplines, and other subjects.  I don’t claim to be completely proficient in any of these areas, but I am grateful for the people from whom I have been able to glean life lessons.    Did you know that God wants to use Jesus in a similar way in our lives?    Can you imagine being one of His first disciples and having the opportunity to see how He lived?  Fortunately, much about our Lord’s character and conduct is recorded in the gospel accounts.  We have been encouraged to not just believe in His atoning work, we also have been charged to emulate His lifestyle.  He is our Messiah, but He is also our model.  After washing His disciples’ feet, He said, “For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done for you” (John 13:15).  In more ways than we can count, Jesus has provided a pattern of living for us to emulate.  Consider three ways we should copy His character.


It has often been said that humility isn’t the act of thinking less of yourself.  It is the act of thinking of yourself less.  Such a virtue is hard to obtain.  One reason is this — we are naturally selfish.  By default, each of us is mostly concerned with I, me, and mine.  By virtue of His divine nature, Jesus is the only truly humble person who ever lived.  Of Himself, He said, “Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29).  Philippians 2:5-10, a remarkable passage on the nature of Christ, flatly instructs us to emulate Christ’s humility.  It reveals that humility involves a correct view of God, a correct view of self, and a submission to God’s will.  If you want to be like Jesus, embrace humility!


is another hallmark virtue of Jesus which we ought to emulate.  Our Lord loved like none other.  The Bible says, “No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).  Since our Savior is the example (John 13:34), essence (1 John 4:8), and empowering force (Romans 5:5 ) of all true love, we should pursue His greatest commandment — love (Matthew 22:37-40)!  The Bible says, “If God loved us in this way, we also must love one another” (1 John 4:11).


is a virtue which has fallen on hard times, even amongst professing believers.  We often don’t want to be different from the world, we don’t want to deal with our issues, and we don’t like the idea of being judged.  Holiness is important, however, because it is God’s means of making His glory known to a fallen world (Matthew 5:16).  It is also a reflection of Jesus’ character.  The early church called Jesus “The Holy and Righteous One” (Acts 3:14).  It’s no wonder that Jesus instructed us to “be perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

Dr. Patrick Latham

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