Achieving Spiritual Discipline – Be an Imitator

Our Bible Journaling Scripture today is Luke 6:40, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” (CSB) Jesus is speaking here, and He gives an important insight, we are to be imitators.  Notice, He says that the fully trained disciple will be like his teacher.  The only way we can be like the teacher is if we imitate what the teacher is doing, and we become fully trained. 

Above all, we are to be imitators of Christ.  Ephesians 5:1 says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” (ESV) When we read God’s Word, we see that Jesus exhibited the Spiritual Disciplines which we have been studying.  He showed love and compassion to others (the Disciplines of service and generosity), He took time to be alone with God (the Disciplines of worship and prayer), He read the Torah in the synagogue, (the Discipline of reading the Bible), He met together with His Disciples and taught them about having a relationship with God (the Disciplines of meeting together and witnessing), and although He was without sin, He taught about repentance and confession of sins (another Discipline.) He also exhibited the Discipline of rest, as we see in several places in the Gospels where Jesus would withdraw by Himself to rest, away from the crowds and the demands of ministry.

Sometimes, because we are human, we need another person to come alongside us and be a teacher or mentor to help us develop these Disciplines.  Jesus says that the disciple will not be above his teacher but will imitate his teacher when he or she is fully trained.  That means we must pay close attention not only to what our teacher or mentor is telling us but also, we are to watch their actions and character.  However, we must choose someone who is emulating Jesus in everything they do and say.  Choose someone who shines the light of Jesus in their very being.  Be discerning!

The Apostle Paul instructed his churches in several places to be imitators of him because he was imitating Jesus.  1 Corinthians 11:1 says, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” (NKJV) Paul encouraged the church in Philippi, “Do what you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9 CSB) Paul felt confident enough to encourage the churches to look at him and his life and follow him as he followed Jesus.  He knew that he was following Christ as closely as he possibly could and that the New Testament Christians would be able to imitate him because he was following Jesus so closely.

In choosing a suitable mentor, we need to ask a few questions.  The most important is, are they a Born-Again Believer?  Do they exhibit the character of Jesus?  Are they well learned in Scripture and mature in their thinking and teaching?  Do they exhibit wisdom?  Do they utilize the Spiritual Disciplines as shown in the Bible?

When we find such a person, we need to learn as much from them as we possibly can.  Imitate their Christ-like behavior and so also be imitators of Jesus.    

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