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November 19, 2018

Loving Like Jesus: Part 2

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.”  Matt. 20:28 (NLT)

If I am to love like Jesus, I must see like Jesus. Seeing others as Jesus sees them is the first step to learning to love like Jesus. Do I see like Jesus?  Yesterday, I challenged you to pray a simple prayer that will change your life: “Lord, please help me to see others like Jesus.”  When you do, you’ll be on the first step toward loving like Jesus!

The second step to loving like Jesus is to self-give like Jesus.  As Matthew kept company with Jesus for those three years of public ministry, he described Jesus’ love like this:

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.”  Matthew 20:28 (NLT)

Matthew highlighted two aspects of Jesus’ love:  to serve and to give His life….  The more time I keep company with Jesus, the easier it is to self-give like Jesus.  I become less self-conscious and more Christ-conscious.  My focus is on Him, to stay rightly related to Him.  Oswald Chambers describes that kind of lifestyle like this:

“Most of us live on the borders of consciousness – consciously serving, consciously devoted to God.  All this is immature, it is not the real life yet.  The mature stage is the life of a child which is never conscious; we become so abandoned to God that the consciousness of being used never enters in. When we are consciously being used as broken bread and poured-out wine, there is another stage to be reached, where all consciousness of ourselves and of what God is doing through us is eliminated.  A saint is never consciously a saint; a saint is consciously dependent on God.”

This is the mark of spiritual maturity.  Spiritual maturity is not based on how much I know about Jesus or the Bible, but how much I love like Jesus.  To love like Jesus, I must spend time with Jesus, keep company with Him, see others like Jesus sees them and self-give like Jesus.  Jesus modeled that in our story of Zacchaeus.  When Jesus threw caution to the wind risking His own reputation with the crowds and singled out Zacchaeus to spend time with this lost soul, it changed Zacchaeus’ life!  Luke said, 

“When Jesus reached the spot, He looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down immediately.  I must stay at your house today.’ So he came down at once and welcomed Him gladly.” Luke 19:5-6 (NIV)

Have you reached the spot in your life where you see others like Jesus? Where you self-give like Jesus no matter what the cost?  Jesus gave His life as a ransom for many!  For you. For me.  When we experience that kind of love it is life-changing!  Look what happened to Zacchaeus:

“But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’”  Luke 19:8 9 (NIV)

Zacchaeus saw a sermon that day in Jesus.  It motivated him to live out that sermon in his own life and to love with no strings attached.  Have you experienced that love?