Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)
Perhaps you are familiar with the letters WWJD, typically seen on bracelets, as well as a variety of other Christian apparel items. They stand for “What Would Jesus Do?” It’s a great concept, which originated in a book written by Charles Sheldon in 1896, titled In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do? The book ranks as one of the best-selling books of all time, having sold more than 50,000,000 copies.
But as important as the letters WWJD are, I believe there are four other letters that must come before them: LLJL. Do you know what they stand for? “Live Like Jesus Lived!” There really is no sense asking “What Would Jesus Do?” if we are not willing to Live Like Jesus Lived.
We must be willing to live out the truth declared in Scripture:
Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. (1 John 2:6)
We all need a pattern to follow if we are going to live a life that is both pleasing and glorifying to God, and we have been given that pattern in our Lord Jesus Christ. We must look to Him alone as we find Him in the pages of the Gospels in order to understand how we are to live. In looking more closely at Jesus, who is the visible image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15), we will see what we lost because of that first terrible sin in the Garden of Eden, and what we have been promised in our salvation.
Inasmuch as the Christian life is all of grace, we are responsible to pursue LLJL — a life that is lived like Jesus lived. He lived through diligent effort and dependent discipline upon the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. Press into God’s presence each day. Spend time in the Word of God. Pray without ceasing. Look to the One who is the Author and Perfecter of your faith. LLJL must come before WWJD.
One final point: When you mess it up — and you inevitably will on this side of glory — remember that Jesus loves you unconditionally and forgives you completely.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!