Jesus simply asks that we exemplify Him in all things, especially service. Exemplify Christ is our theme for this year. It is only fitting that Christ would guide us to this theme in January in the simple course of our study of the scriptures together. But many ask, how do we know that we are growing in Christ? How do we know we are changing for His glory? The answer is very simple, ask yourself is you are changing for His glory, becoming more like Him. On page 189 of my book I explain how one can have confidence in being Christlike.
Staying in fellowship with the believing church, remaining under the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, desiring and seeking fellowship with believers rather than unbelievers–these are proofs that you belong, and that He is abiding in you, that you are abiding in Him. This steadfast remaining faith testifies of your salvation. When we continue to seek others out who know Christ and we more covet relationships and time with them than we do with unbelievers, this is an assurance of our salvation. When we desire and gravitate toward and implement the things in our lives of other believers, these are further evidences of our salvation. As we see Christlikeness displayed and we look to implement that in our lives because we remain and are steadfast in our testimony, this is evidence of and assurance in our salvation. When our heart yearns to be as Christlike as Jesus himself and we hunger and thirst for the righteousness that is in the scriptures, we have further assurance of our salvation. All of these are marks of abiding, remaining and the stick-to-it-iv-ness that labels the Christian as a Christian and pushes out the world. As we see the world’s treasures and lures fade away and our desires are replaced with a yearning for godliness and the things of God, His Son and the Holy Spirit we are assured of our salvation. (Knowing you are saved, Xulon Press, 2016, pg 189.)
Understand that exemplifying Christ is a joy. As Jesus before us, we are persecuted, but we are to be joyful. (Matt 5:10) As Jesus before us, we are vilified, but we are to be blessed. (Matt 5:11) As Jesus before us, we are abused, but we are to be content.
When our contentment in life grows, no matter the adversity, we are more exemplifying Christ. When our contentment for persecution grows, we are more exemplifying Christ. When we are more content being in church, living and remaining in God’s house, being around His people, we are more exemplifying Christ. When we exhibit greater levels of forgiveness, love, mercy and faith, we more exemplify Christ. As we grow in grace, grow in His forgiving light and grow in His loving and generous attitude toward others we better exemplify Christ. That, Christian, is our challenge.