"For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps..." ~1 Peter 2:21
Following in Jesus' steps, being crucified with Him and becoming new is the foundation of character formation. For men and women following after Jesus, He is our character study. We must be careful whose footsteps we walk in, and what messages we listen to and believe in today's contemporary Christianity. The messages of self and self fulfillment will be preached, but we must look to the One who died so that we may live for the true, life giving message. Many books and studies have been written to help others seeking life find what they are looking for but the answers are only found in Jesus' death on the cross. Many search a lifetime to find their calling. Jesus by His grace makes it easily known. To follow in His footsteps and be taught by Him is our calling, He will guide our steps and not let us stumble. With Him and abiding with Him we will find our life.
There is no true maturity without following in Jesus' steps. He teaches us how to lay down selfishness, put to death false ideas and god's to follow after Him, offering ourselves to Him as His students. To grow into the self Jesus wants us to be requires that we seek after Him with the same zeal that we have sought after other things in our life. Have we shoved Jesus aside for tv, games, entertainment and pursuit of wealth and vanity? Now these things must be set aside, to pursue Jesus with our whole heart.
The true path to life, fullness, joy and character in ourselves is walking the path with Jesus. His death on the cross was not for vanity. It was for salvation, it was an example of how life is to be lived. Live for others, lay yourself at my cross, be crucified with me and you will find life.
"And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked." 1 John 2:3-6
Prayer: "Lord, give me eyes to see and ears to hear your voice telling me the way I should go. Open my eyes and heart to walk your path and give me a new heart. Crucify my old selfish ways with you and show me your new and life giving ways that lead to maturity Lord. Give me discernment to know how to follow only you and your path, and wisdom to know when your truth is being distorted. Show me how to walk the same way you walked and walk beside me. Amen."
"My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galations 2:20