Saturday, April 4, 2009

April 4- The Pattern of Jesus

(Wall Statue at International Museum to Reformation- Featuring Farel, Calvin, Knox, Beza)
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

4/4- The Pattern of Jesus for Us.
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” I Corinthians 11:1
“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps. I Peter 2:21

Calvin: Christ, through whom we return into favor with God, has been set before us as an example, whose pattern we ought to express in our life. What more effective thing can you require than this one thing? Nay, what can you require beyond this one thing? For we have been adopted as sons by the Lord with this one condition: that our life express Christ, the bond of our adoption. Accordingly, unless we give and devote ourselves to righteousness, we not only revolt from our Creator with wicked perfidy but we also abjure our Savior himself. (III.6.3)

God came down to earth to sympathize with us, but also to show us what is possible. It is possible to live our lives with integrity, character, and to resist sin and temptation. Christ is a teacher not only in what he said, but how he lived. He lived a simple life, not a greedy- power-hungry life. He rejected at least three times opportunities to become king. He did not have a palace or a mansion. He did not soak his followers for all they were worth. Instead, he gave of himself until he could give no more or greater gift.
Christ is a pattern of love for God and love for neighbor. He not only told us to turn the other cheek, he showed us how to do it.
I do not doubt that Calvin had read “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas a Kempis that was printed in 1486 in Latin. Much of Calvin’s teachings compliment a Kempis. But Calvin is much more concerned with the practical side of imitating Christ than the mystical- inward side. If you get a chance, pick up this short book. It was similar to “In His Steps” by Shedd. The point of Calvin, A Kempis, and Shedd, is we ought to ask, “What Would Jesus do?” Many people mock this question, as it can be abused or misused. Yet millions have found this question helpful.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for coming down to show us how to live. Help me to live my life following your example.

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