Last week Kellie, the kids, and I took a “family vacation” at Gull Lake Ministries. This was the 7th time in 8 years we have gone to Gull Lake, and it has been an incredible experience each and every summer.
Daniel “Ambush” Wallace (executive director) said the following phrase on more than one occasion: “We look most like Jesus when we _______________.”
How do you think Ambush filled in that blank?
Of all the things that Christians do, when do we look MOST like Christ? I think this is a great question to think about, because oftentimes as Christians we do a bunch of things but never reflect on WHY we do what we do… or WHICH things we should prioritize when we only have time to do some or just one of them.
Do you have your answer yet? Is your blank filled in?
Before I give you Ambush’s answer, here is some food for thought: When a person becomes a Christian, it’s kind of like becoming a parent. You aren’t given a handbook on how to be a mommy or daddy. Yet, as new parents you instinctively know your job description: feed your baby, change diapers, put them on their backs when they sleep, soothe them when they cry, keep them warm, and keep them safe. That pretty much sums it up.
But how about when you become a Christian? What does your “job description” look like?
When I crossed the line of faith back in 1998, nobody gave me a handbook on how to follow Jesus. However, by observing others in my church, here is the job description I came up with:
- Go to church every Sunday.
- Read your Bible every day. Preferably a study Bible.
- Pray every day.
- Give sacrificially to your church. Preferably a tithe.
- Join a small group.
That was the job description I created for myself early on in my faith. So if those are our top 5 tasks, which would you put in the blank: We look most like Jesus when we _______________.”
Ambush’s answer: none of the above.
Now don’t hear me wrong. All five of those things are important. And I believe Christians should do every one of them. Yet, I am not MOST like Jesus when I read my Bible… or when I go to church… or when I pray… or when I tithe… or when I get together with my small group.
As important as each of those activities are, I am not MOST like Jesus when I do any of them. Instead, here is how Ambush filled in that blank: We look most like Jesus when we SERVE.”
I think Ambush is right on. After all Jesus said: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” (Mark 10:45) and “I am among you as one who serves.” (Luke 22:26)
Jesus lived His life as a servant. Every action He did on planet Earth was an act of service.
And let me tell you, the college-age camp counselors at Gull Lake looked a lot like Jesus all week long! 🙂 Jazz Hands, Spring Cheese, Read ‘Em and Sleep, Croc and Roll, Turbo Tax and many others (you probably figured out these aren’t their real names but their “camp names”!)… they knew Faith, Evelyn, and Elizabeth by name by Day 2 and poured into them all week long, they filled our glasses at meal times, they emptied garbage cans, they ran the zip line and encouraged each kid (and adult!) who went down it.
They served… and they served… and they served. And they were filled with joy as they did it. And Kellie and I and our girls felt incredibly blessed as a result.
So my question for you is this: how are you going to be MOST like Jesus today? How are you going to serve… whether it’s serving the poor, your parents, your spouse, your neighbor, your friend, or your kids?
May you and I be like Jesus today. May we serve.
***John the Baptist is one of the most famous people in the Bible. And we all know what he did, right? His nickname kind of gives it away! But John said that Jesus was also going to be a baptizer and His baptism wasn’t going to involve water but the Holy Spirit! Even though Jesus is described this way, this isn’t a topic talked about much (if at all) in the American Church. But that is going to change this Sunday! What was this baptism all about? What did it mean for Jesus’ original followers? And what does it mean for us today? And what would Billy Graham have to say about all of the above? My answer will surprise you! Please join us at The Mission this Sunday June 30th at 10:30am at 52767 Shelby Rd. in Shelby Township. My sermon is called “Jesus (Not John) The Baptizer”***