Supplies: Bible; paper; pencils
Hand out a piece of paper and a pencil to each person in your family. Have everyone draw a picture of what they want to be when they grow up. If you are already “grown-up,” draw a picture of what you wanted to be when you were your child’s age. When you’re done, fold your paper in half. Now have one person collect them, mix them up, then take turns trying to guess who drew each picture and what career they’ve chosen.
How’d you do?
When you’re young, it’s fun to think about all the different cool jobs you could do as an adult. We get pretty enamored by the surface appeal of different careers, but most of the time we don’t know what that job really looks like. I remember wanting to be an archaeologist when I was in grade school. Indiana Jones had just hit the theaters, and he made it look…well…awesome! Thankfully, as I grew, my passion for digging was replaced with a love of writing. “Children’s author” became my new career goal. I pictured myself submitting my manuscripts and what it would be like to go on book tours, to see kids reading my amazing stories. As part of a class assignment, I got to interview a local children’s author and find out what this job looked like.
Boy, did she burst my bubble! I’d never thought about the full picture of what being an author meant. I hadn’t considered how much alone time would be involved. I’d never thought about what I’d do if I got writer’s block—no ideas = no money. I had no idea that once I had a manuscript, I’d have to hawk my beloved story to dozens of publishers, most of whom probably wouldn’t like it. My full picture of “children’s author” changed drastically. I realized I needed a fall back career choice. Having grown up as a teacher’s kid, I chose education. (Turns out I was pretty good at that, too.) I knew what being a teacher looked like. I had a full understanding of the job and was able to step into that career and embrace it.
Grab your Bible and read Romans 12:9-21.
When we decide to follow Jesus and enter into the family of God, we get the incredible gift of a new life. Now we are “disciples,” “children of God,” “ambassadors of Christ,” and “lights of the world.” That sounds so great, but…man, what does that look like? I mean, most of us haven’t gotten to see genuine Christ-like love lived out as a lifestyle. In fact, when you consider the world we’re used to, it’s hard to even imagine what that even might kind of look like.
Thank Heaven for Paul! He gives such a wonderful picture of what it means to live like Jesus. Each sentence is a new and practical way I can apply the love of Christ in my day-to-day life. I just want to take this passage, write it out as bullet points, and tape it to my fridge.
- Don’t fake it. Make sure my love comes from a real place in my heart.
- Stay focused on the good that’s around me. Reject the evil.
- Treat other people better than me. Make them the priority, whether they deserve it or not.
- Keep my fire for God white hot and serve Him with all I have.
- Because of Jesus, I always have hope that things will get better. Focus on that, and I’ll be joyful!
- When there are tough times, I need to be patient and let God move at the right time.
- I need to keep praying through every circumstance.
- Be kind to the people who go out of their way to make me miserable. Do NOT sink to their level.
- No matter what’s going on in my life, I need to be present in the lives of others, celebrating their high points and grieving their losses right along with them.
- Work at keeping positive working relationships with the people around me.
- Remember that I’m no better than anyone else, so I can hang with everyone from superstars to slum dogs.
- I will encounter evil and unfairness a lot. It is NOT my job to balance things out. It is NOT my job to make sure everyone gets what they deserve. It is NOT my job—it’s God’s job.
- My job is to care for the people God put around me: friends, enemies, and frenemies.
- If I’m committed to live like Jesus, if I stay true to goodness, I will have the power to beat the devil with an ugly stick!
This is something I can use—today! This really helps me see how I can be a mini-Jesus in the 21st century. I can apply these at work, at school, with my family, with my friends. How awesome is that!
Read through the verses again or take another look at the list above. If this is what it looks like to live like Jesus, which point(s) are you already living? Which one(s) describe your life, too? Which of them not so much? Prayerfully consider the areas you struggle with the most and challenge yourself to focus on applying one during the next 24 hours. Maybe instead of focusing on your own demands and to-do’s, you’ll prioritize others and put their needs first. Perhaps you’ve been stuck in the middle of a difficult season. For the next day, when you start to feel down, turn your thoughts to the hope you have in Jesus and pray through. Share your challenge with your family, then make a date to meet again tomorrow and see how it went. End your time together praying for these steps.
Loving Jesus, we are so blessed that You stepped down from the glories of Heaven so that we could have a living, breathing picture of love in action. Help us as we strive to be like You. Holy Spirit, transform our hearts! In Your Name we pray, Jesus. Amen
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