Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus . . . (Philippians 2:5)
“What if, for one day, Jesus were to become you?”
With that question Max Lucado opens the first chapter of his book Just Like Jesus. He lingers with the question, letting the implications of it touch every area of our lives. That basic question gives rise to a series of other questions. Lucado continues by asking
What if for twenty-four hours Jesus lives in your house, assumes your schedule? Your boss becomes his boss, your mother becomes his mother, your pains become his pains . . . what if for one day and one night Jesus lives your life with his heart. Your heart gets the day off, and your life is led by the heart of Christ. His priorities govern your actions. His passions drive your decisions. His love directs your behavior.
What would you be like? Would people notice a change? Your family – would they see something new? Your co-workers – would they sense a difference? And you? How would you feel? What alterations would this transplant have on your stress level? Your mood swings? Your temper? Would you sleep better? Would you see sunsets differently? Death differently? Taxes differently? With Jesus taking over your heart would anything change?
Keep working on this for a moment. Keep adjusting the lens of your imagination until you have a clear picture of Jesus leading your life, then snap the shutter and frame the image. What you see is what God wants. He wants you to “think and act like Christ Jesus.” (Max Lucado, Just Like Jesus, 1-2).
I recently listened to a podcast in which John Ortberg observed how the entire nation had watched in awe as Michael Phelps broke multiple world records and won eight Olympic gold medals.
Many of us admire what he did. Nearly all of us respect what he achieved. But for some kid somewhere, what he felt went beyond respect and admiration. He watched Michael Phelps and said to himself, “I can do that too.” This kid and his parents now plan his week around time in the pool. He’s dreaming and visualizing what it’s like to win races in the water. He may have gotten a coach. He is actually shaping his life to be like Mike.
Plenty of people respect Jesus, admire him for his moral teachings, stand in awe of the miracles recorded in scripture. But Jesus calls us to do more than admire. He asks us to follow. He wants us to live like he lived. A transformation of life in which we increasingly become like Jesus – that’s what God wants to do in your life.
This week we’ll linger with a story from Luke 8 and watch how Jesus changed a badly damaged and broken man, made his soul whole and well. And we’ll reflect on how Jesus wants to do the same thing in our lives.
I want to do more than admire you from afar, Lord Jesus. Help me to become more like you and let that change begin today. Help me to live this day with your heart. Amen.