Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2)
When I was a little girl I wanted long, flowing blonde hair. I had very fine, dark-brown hair and was horribly tender-headed. So, when I would play dress-up, I would take a little yellow slip and wear it on my head with the waistband circling it like a scarf, and then poof! Long, blonde hair achieved! I’m laughing as I write this, thinking how ridiculous I must have looked. But, those are the adventures of a determined four year-old.
When I was a child, I wanted to look like someone else. I’m all grown up now, and comfortable in my own skin; but the truth is I still want to look like someone else. Only now, I want to look like Jesus. When I put away childish things (1 Corinthians 13:11) and became a Christ follower, I began to pray to look just like Jesus, to imitate everything He did, and to incorporate all of His traits. I hope that when someone looks at me, they see Him.
This is exactly why Southland has invested so much effort to encouraging, assisting, and even unapologetically urging you to be part of a Life Group. It’s to help you look more like Jesus by connecting you to others in meaningful and significant relationships. These spiritual friendships will challenge and inspire you every day. Together you’ll find powerful ways to serve others and extend hope.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t just want dinner companions. I’ve got scores of those. I don’t just want stuff to do—something to check off my list of “things that make me feel better about myself.” I want to surround myself with people who recognize that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6), and who won’t rest until we all look more and more like Him. When I do that, I have hope to offer a lost and dying generation. Through others, I can receive hope in my time of need. Together we can make an eternal difference in our circles of influence. None of this happens by looking like me, but by looking like Him.
I pray for each of you—that you will know Jesus so deeply, listen to His voice by His Word so much, and be in His presence so often that you have to veil yourself because His glory shines on your face like the sun (Exodus 34:33-35).
By all means, join a Life Group. But, by any means, look like Jesus.