Win Today with Christopher Cook

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How to Live a Life Worth Following

"Follow me." Two simple words that took on eternal significance when uttered by the greatest leader in history: Jesus Christ. Today, that phrase is as engaging, empowering, and life-altering as ever before.

“Follow me.” Two simple words that took on eternal significance when uttered by the greatest leader in history: Jesus Christ. Today, that phrase is as engaging, empowering, and life-altering as ever before. As the Kingdom continues to extend across the earth, the invitation to live life authentically as a spiritual role model is one that all believers have the privilege of pursuing, not for a title or because of a platform, but for the commission to make disciples of all nations, serve people well, and truly re-present Jesus to a world so desperately in need of hope that only His life-transforming presence provides.

First Things First

The most effective spiritual role models lead others from a natural extension of their everyday lives where the priority of their heart is shaped by His heart. Specifically, great spiritual role models keep first things first. Whatever they do, they do it as unto the Lord, knowing that everything they have comes from Him (see 1 Corinthians 4:7). They allow their work life, personal life, dreams and passions to overflow from a place of simple, childlike faith and trust in Him and love for Him.

Jesus echoed this truth as recorded in Matthew’s gospel (6:30-33, MSG) when He implored His people to not live distracted by the priorities of the world, but focused on the reality of the Kingdom: “What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way He works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how He works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”

Your life of discipleship unto the Lord carries more weight than any message you’ll ever preach. If you are eager to increase your effectiveness as a spiritual role model, I believe there are three key areas of positioning your life to best love and serve those around you.

1.) Spiritual Role Models know that Sons are Great Servants

Unlike the political and religious systems of His day (and our day), Jesus didn’t create a hierarchical structure where pecking order, jealousy, and comparison could thrive, even in the midst of His disciples’ argument about who was the greatest (see Mark 10:35-45). Instead, He modeled a life in which His disciples were freely empowered to lead with a servant’s heart and serve with the conviction that the Kingdom from which they were sent is one of unlimited resources and no impossibilities. And that reality is available to each of us today as we grow in Christian maturity.

2.) Spiritual Role Models Pick-up the Towel

Effective spiritual role models are the best servants because they are confident in who they are and Whose they are. Because of the freedom and empowerment their identity carries, there is nothing to prove. It is from that place of identity and favor that we can freely serve those around us. Exemplified in John 13:3-5, “Jesus knew that the Father had given Him authority over everything and that He had come from God and would return to God. So He got up from the table, took off His robe, wrapped a towel around His waist, and poured water into a basin. Then He began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel He had around Him.”

The point is that when you know who you are, you’ll serve with a towel over your arm, leading alongside people, not over them, reminding them of who they are and what they were born to do for the advancement of the Kingdom in Jesus’ name.

3.) Spiritual Role Models Live a Life Worth Imitating

In 1 Corinthians 4:15-16, the apostle Paul urges the church, “For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. So I urge you to imitate me.” Was Paul making a statement of sufficiency about his own righteousness? Certainly not. His transformed life was found complete in Christ. But the pattern he was establishing was one of importance, and that is spiritual fathers are to raise sons who become fathers who raise more sons. The point is that our lives and sanctification unto the Lord should clearly demonstrate Christ in such a transparent, powerful, and effective manner that those we lead, inspire, and teach will be equally captured by the greatness of Jesus and turn their lives to wholly follow Him.

Amidst a world that is in a state of turmoil where everything that can be shaken is being shaken, the unshakable Kingdom of God is rising with strength, hope, and victory. And that Kingdom, whose Cornerstone is Jesus, is comprised of powerful, free, fearless men and women like you and me⎯the “sons” of God in the earth⎯who will turn from our selfish ways, take up our cross, and follow Him wholeheartedly as disciples of Jesus Christ.