Memory/Meditation Verse: Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes...Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. ~ Eph 4:23; 5:1-2 (NLT)
Remember when you were little on the play ground at recess and you heard a squeaky voice shouting "Copy-cat! Copy cat!"? It wasn't necessarily a good thing. Yet, as we have grown older, we still find ourselves wanting to copy others, usually for positive reasons.
Maybe you want to copy the recipe of a new dish you just tried at a church pot luck dinner. It was popular at this event, maybe it will be just as popular for your next family holiday gathering. Or maybe you'll sing a new song that has been recently recorded and released. She sang it so sweetly but maybe your voice can reflect an even more tender version. Or maybe you are into success, climbing the career ladder and you want to achieve an outcome that was successful for your peer. It work for them so it should work for you, right?
You and I know it doesn't always happen that way. The recipe flops in the oven, your voice cracks during the chorus, and then the position you have worked so hard for is now being eliminated. Not all copy-cat living works out. It doesn't always reflect the original.
Living Out Loud does have a component of "Copy-Cat Living". God put people in our life so we can learn and grow from them. Have you ever known someone who seems to live life to its fullest? What is it about that person that draws you in and makes you want to copy them? Maybe it the joy they live out loud? The humility? The sweet, gentle, quiet spirit?
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ~ John 10:10 (NIV)
There is one person above all others that we should want to copy-cat our living by...Jesus. Did God not love us enough to give us His Son to be a living breathing example we can copy living by? It wasn't just the Christians that were draw to Jesus, the sinners were drawn to Him also.
"One reason people loved being around Jesus was that he gave the people around him breath, life, energy, peace, and joy. He came to restore our relationship with God and to put fresh air back in our lives." ~ Chris Hodges, Fresh Air (pp.70)
I love how Chris Hodges describe Christ above...breath...life...energy...peace...joy. I yearn to be like that...like Him. Someone who loves others like He did. Not the introvert that I tend to be but a compassionate, caring, humble person who doesn't center on her own needs before the needs of others.
"...my life message is to encourage people to draw closer to Jesus. That's because I know what it's like to move from a life-draining, exhausting, self-propelled faith to one that's life-giving, invigorating, and Spirit-propelled." ~ Chris Hodges, Fresh Air (pp.75)
I have lived a life-draining, exhausting, self propelled faith. It got me no where spiritually. It was definitely lacking in joy. It was a faith built on duty, grounded on rules. Paul spoke on this all throughout his letters to the churches (Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians). Circumcised verses uncircumcised. Legalistic works verses obedience. Living faith out of a sense of duty vs living faith out of your relationship with God.
I choose a relationship. I chose to be a copy-cat of Jesus. Living to be life-giving, invigorating, Spirit-propelled. Living Out Loud Jesus. More than anything, I want to live like that. I want to reflect the original.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. ~ Ps. 19:14 (NLT)