Identified With Christ

Ever see a witness looking through a lineup of suspects in a TV police drama?  What would happen if you were in a lineup and the people who see you in action day in and day out were asked to identify you?  Wouldn’t it be great if they pointed at you and said, “Yes.  That’s him/That’s her.  That’s Jesus!”

What our colleagues see in us has spiritual—eternal—consequences.  We will either draw them closer to God or push them farther away.

Transitions to a new life

If you’re serving in the military, you undoubtedly remember the many changes you experienced when your life as a civilian ended.  No longer were you free to do what you wanted to do when you wanted to do it.  Others were calling the shots, and your only response was to do exactly what you were told to do.

Our transition to life as Christians brings changes that are just as dramatic.  Paul tells us that followers of Jesus are being transformed into new people.  We put off the old self and put on a new self.  We become citizens of heaven and are called upon to give Christ first place in our lives. (related Scripture)

Paul went through a pretty significant change.  A deeply religious Jew, he took great pride in persecuting followers of Christ.  But when Jesus confronted Paul on the road to Damascus and later commissioned him to share the gospel with men and women throughout the region, the apostle put allegiance to Christ ahead of every other aspect of life. (Acts 9)

Many Christian books these days explain how to find God’s purpose for our lives.  Let me boil down all the philosophy into one simple goal:  As Christians, we’re to be conformed to the image of God’s Son.  We’re to be identified with Christ. (related Scripture)

In our fast-paced lives today, we face pressures to be productive every waking minute.  We frequently have to extend today into the wee hours of tomorrow to accomplish everything on our agendas.  Apostle Paul calls us to distinguish between what is urgent and what is important.  And what is most important is that we become more like Jesus.

Choice of identity

What does it mean to identify with someone?  First, we formulate a mental image of another person, and then we try to think, feel, and act in a way that resembles this image.  Christians, then, need to know Jesus intimately so we can copy His thoughts, feelings, words, and actions in our lives.

Christians have a couple of choices in how to approach our work.  We can pull on our figurative BDU’s each day, camouflaging ourselves so that others have no idea we are followers of Jesus.  We can blend in so well with what everyone else says and does that no one can see Christ in us.

Or, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can identify ourselves with our Savior so there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind that we have devoted our lives to following Christ.  Choose wisely, because the Father’s greatest desire is that we faithfully represent His Son in everything we say and do.

Reflection:  What aspects of the life Christ lived on Earth are worthy of our imitation?  What’s preventing you from becoming more like Jesus?  How can you overcome these obstacles to your spiritual growth?
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Series:  A Christian’s View of Work in the Military: