April 19, 2024

April 7, 2024
Suches, Georgia

Dear friends, the Lord granted me the opportunity to preach the Word in Suches, Georgia at “Harmony” Church.

“You shouldn’t look at me. I’m only human. Look to Christ!” Have you ever said or heard something like this? At this point, I always want to ask: “Where is He? How can I see Him? He’s invisible.”

Very often we try to get away from the responsibility of not only being called but of actually being children of God. John writes about this: “Consider how much love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” (1 John 3:1). Do you see how important it is not only to be called but to actually be a child of God? The Apostle Paul understood this very well, which is why he said: ”For you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light”
‭‭(Ephesians 5:8).

Moreover, it may sound harsh to us, but he boldly declares: ”Therefore I urge you, imitate me.“ (1 Corinthians 4:16). Note that he does not use phrases such as “Please” or “I advise, I recommend”, “it would be nice”, or “I wish it were like this.” No, he uses a word with strong motivation – “I urge you” or “I beg you”.

Paul, why do you have such boldness to say these words? He realized and knew what responsibility we have to draw sinners to Christ, first of all, through the testimony of our lifestyle, and not push them away from Him. Who knows how many souls went to hell just because we were an obstacle to their conversion! The blood of such souls will be sought from us.

Sometimes it appalls me how cunning and deceptive so-called children of God can be towards others in business, in relationships with people without any fear of God, and then stand in church with a godly appearance and talk about loving God and neighbor. Ironically, those who love to talk about love the most are often the ones who show it the least. John says on this score: ”If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For whoever does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?“ (1 John 4:20). Unfortunately, the god of such people is mammon (money). They love finances more than Christ.

When Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians, this was not the only time he uttered such words. Elsewhere in 1 Corinthians he repeats much the same thing: ”Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.“ (1 Corinthians 11:1). Pay attention to what kind of church he is addressing – the one that considered itself especially spiritual. Are you familiar with this situation? However, Paul says to them, ”And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.“ (1 Corinthians 3:1). No matter what people say about their “special spirituality,” their fruits speak louder than words.

Usually, such “Christian” circles don’t like to hear about it. But let’s look at how Paul encouraged us to imitate him. He explains this in the Epistle to the Philippians: ”Do those things which you have both learned and received, and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9).

Dear brother or sister, what do people around you hear from you and see in you, especially the loved ones? Can you say with the same boldness as Paul – imitate me, as I also imitate Christ?

Let us become more and more like Him whom we must love with all our hearts. People can only see Christ in you and me.

God bless you!

Max Volkov in Christ