Margaret Ochsner

As I get older and look into the mirror, I realise I am beginning to look more and more like my mother and sometimes I believe I sound like her. But the only image we need to really be concerned about is growing into the image of Christ.

Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:1 encourages the Corinthians to

“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”

Romans 8:29

“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.”

The only image we should be concentrating on is to grow into the image of Christ!

A Jewish disciple who studied under a Rabbi had to –

·  Memorise his teacher’s words.

·  Learn his teacher’s traditions.

·  Imitate his teacher’s actions and

·  Then raise up more disciples.         

Luke 6:40

 “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.”

A person’s last words are always important. Just before Jesus went back to heaven he met with His disciples and said –

Matthew 28:18-20

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe ALL THINGS that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Jesus is the greatest Rabbi/teacher who has ever lived and true Christians are His modern-day disciples.

Surely this is where the Christian church and we as individual Christians have fallen down.

We haven’t –

·  Memorised His words.

·  Learnt His traditions.

·  Imitated His actions or

·  Raised up more disciples.

(At least most of us haven’t or to the extent that we should have!) And yet this is what He commanded.  

We will never be able to fully understand the cost Jesus paid for our salvation, our freedom, our healing and that we might have abundant life and eternal life.

He was beaten 39 times with a whip, had nails hammered into His hands and feet and then had to support His weight on a cross for 6 hours in that condition. He was spat upon, mocked, a man of sorrows acquainted with grief for us, rejected more than any man for us, humiliated, abused, abandoned, traumatised, pierced with a sword, slaughtered, murdered for us.

He the holy, sinless Son of God became sin for us.

2 Corinthians 5:21

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Jesus disciples counted the cost of following Him even though it meant being beaten, imprisoned and most of them facing horrific deaths.

Paul counted the cost

Philippians 3:7-8

But what things were gain for me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.

Thousands have counted the cost and even been martyred for Christ, both in the past, and even are being today in Syria, Iraq and Nigeria and other countries.

Matthew 10:33

But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven.

1 John 2:5-6

But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in Him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

Are we prepared to count the cost of being a true follower of Christ, which is what a true Christian should be – Learning to look like Him, act like Him, say what He would say to grow into His image? Even if it meant losing our life.

Romans 12:1-2

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Let us present our bodies to Him which is only reasonable after all He has done for us. And in His love, strength and power do everything we can to represent Him and bless Him and make Him feel what He did for us was worthwhile!

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