20 Essential Ways We Can Be Like Jesus (and Set an Example for Our Kids)

 In Christian Mum

A few months ago, I attended a sermon in my local church that was titled: ‘Like Jesus or LIKE Jesus’. And it made me think… Christians know that we should all aim to be like Jesus. Especially as a mum (and dad) we should set an example to our kids.

But what exactly does it mean to be like Jesus? How can we become more like Him?

What Was Jesus Like?

In order for us to be like Jesus and to follow His example, we need to know who Jesus was. Who He really was.

When we look at Jesus, we see God the Father. The Scriptures state that no man knows the Father, but His Son and they to whom Jesus reveals Him {Matthew 11:27}.

The following quote summarises Jesus Christ, and therefore God’s character, beautifully:

‘Jesus did not suppress one word of truth, but He uttered it always in love. He exercised the greatest tact and thoughtful, kind attention in His relationships with the people. He was never rude, never needlessly spoke a severe word, never gave needless pain to a sensitive soul. He did not censure human weakness. He spoke the truth, but always in love. He denounced hypocrisy, unbelief, and iniquity; but tears were in His voice as He uttered His scathing rebukes. He wept over Jerusalem, the city He loved, which refused to receive Him, the way, the truth, and the life. They had rejected Him, the Saviour, but He regarded them with pitying tenderness. His life was one of self-denial and thoughtful care for others. Every soul was precious in His eyes. While He ever bore Himself with divine dignity, He bowed with the tenderest regard to every member of the family of God. In all men He saw fallen souls whom it was His mission to save.’ {SC 12.1} 

1. Be Like Jesus by Putting God’s Will First

When you want to be like Jesus, you need to start with putting God’s will above your own. And in all honesty, sometimes this is easier said than done.

We all know God has a plan for us {Jeremiah 29:11}, and we also know that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than our own {Isaiah 55:9}. Yet at the same time, most of us, like to stay in control and have it our own way. It just can feel that tiny bit safer because it may give you the advantage of ‘knowing what’s coming’.

But let’s face it, this ‘safety feeling’ is not real. Just like that, in a blink of an eye, your plan could vanish in smoke and change dramatically. And although you may not always know where God is taking you, you may trust and know that He has full control. Above all, He loves us and knows what we need even before we ask {Matthew 6:8}.

Jesus made it very clear. He too did what the Father wanted Him to do. Every action, every word was according to the will of His Father in Heaven. He said: ‘For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me{John 6:38 KJV}.

Right before He was arrested, He prayed to God with the words: ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt{Matthew 26:39 KJV}.

2. Be Like Jesus by Obeying God’s Commandments

Obeying God’s commandments is a task that goes hand in hand with the previous one. If you want to do God’s will, you’ll obey His commandments. Therefore, by keeping His ten commandments, you’ll automatically be more like Jesus.

Because even our Saviour said: ‘If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love’ {John 15:10 KJV}.

Just in case anyone doubts that Jesus kept all the commandments, let’s have a look at what the Bible teaches us. Paul said that Jesus ‘…was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin{Hebrews 4:15 KJV}.

Now, what is sin? John defined sin as the transgression of the law {1 John 3:4}. So if Jesus was without sin, it means that He never broke the law – aka the ten commandments.

This means that, if you want to be like Jesus, you need to make sure to keep the ten commandments.

3. Be Like Jesus by Speaking in Parables

Okay, this one might seem a little strange, but hear me out.

Jesus spoke in parables, as we all know. What exactly are parables? Parables are simple stories to teach a moral or spiritual lesson used by Jesus.

You might be wondering now: ‘how can we use parables in our lives?’ Well, I saw a few sermons of an American pastor who does a great job at using them!

See, the parables Jesus referred to all related to situations that were very well-known in that time. People could relate to the people in the stories and therefore parables could teach them valuable lessons.

We could use the same technique by looking at our own experiences and linking them to the Bible.

For example, Pr Lee Venden talked about the love of Jesus and the rejection of His love. He started by talking about his own experience with ‘crushes’ and girls who broke his heart (check out Pr Lee Venden’s sermon from minute 47).

We can all relate to these feelings. All of us have had some form of rejection from someone we loved. He made people laugh in recognition and eventually brought tears to their eyes when he started linking it to Jesus. When he mentioned that Jesus feels rejected too… by us.

These kind of sermons are powerful because we can relate. They touch our heart and our soul. That’s what we need to try to achieve, especially with our children.

If we teach our little ones about Jesus in a way that doesn’t touch them to the core, the lesson will very rarely accomplish anything.

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4. Be Like Jesus by Preaching Repentance

Many Christians these days forget to preach about repentance. In fact, repentance is a topic that tends to be avoided at some churches. It seems like some ‘bad’ thing to talk about because it automatically reveals sin.

But if there was no sin, there would be no need to repent. Unfortunately, there is sin. We’re all sinners and therefore we need to repent.

Jesus told us: ‘…for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance’ {Matthew 9:13 KJV}.

He also warns us that if we don’t repent, we will perish {Luke 13:3}.

In Acts 3:19 we read: ‘Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord’. That your sins may be blotted out… Don’t we want to stand without fault before God’s throne one day? Sure we do!

Knowing this, isn’t it important to talk about repentance from sin? Yes! Yes, it is!

Now, remember though that talking about repentance isn’t enough for us. We also need to repent ourselves, because we’re all sinners. Talking about repentance while we don’t practice it, isn’t the way it works.

5. Be Like Jesus by Warning for the End Times

I think the most famous chapter of the gospel wherein Jesus talks about the End Times can be found in Matthew 24. This information can also be found in Mark 13 and Luke 21.

Besides the end time signs He here portraits, you can find many more verses where Jesus warns us about these terrible times to come. Not only does He warn us, He tells us to watch for them.

Jesus will come as a thief {Rev 16:15}, but those who watch out for the signs – and therefor His second coming – will be blessed as they will be prepared.

Therefore, it’s important to warn others about the End Times’ signs, so that they may be able to get ready too.

Now, as a mum, do you teach your children about the end times?

Some mums find it challenging to talk about prophecies such as mentioned in Revelation, but I believe it should be taught in some way, shape, or form. Without the details at start, but still…

Have a look at a few examples in my post ‘Exciting Kids Crafts About Jesus of Revelation 1‘ to get started.

6. Be Like Jesus by Loving One Another

If you’ve known Christ for a while in your life, you’re probably familiar with the following verses:

‘A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another’ {John 13:34-35 KJV}.

He even commands us to love our enemies {Matthew 5:44}!

Just take a look at His final moments of life. He hung on the cross and, while suffering tremendously, He asked His Heavenly Father to forgive them {Luke 23:34}! Writing this brings me tears to my eyes. What a love He has for all of us!

How many of us truely love their enemies like Jesus? Not many, I’m sure.

Let’s all pray for Jesus’ help to love one another like He loves us. And not only those who love us, but also does who hate and despise us!

7. Be Like Jesus by Being Merciful

If we want to be more like Jesus, we need to be merciful people.

Jesus commands us: ‘Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful{Luke 6:36 KJV}. Those who are merciful, Jesus calls blessed! These people will receive mercy. Don’t we all long to receive the mercy of God?

‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy’ {Matthew 5:7 KJV}.

8. Be Like Jesus by Receiving the Little Children

The most well-known verse about Jesus receiving the little children is probably found in Matthew 19:14. Here Jesus rebuked the disciples when they told the women Jesus had no time to see the children.

Jesus adds: ‘Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein’ {Mark 10:15 KJV}.

Some people seem to believe that children can’t teach us anything. The opposite is so true! I can’t count how many times I’ve learned from my preschooler. The wisdom she has at times is just astonishing.

Sometimes we’re not just an example to our kids, they can also be great examples to us!

9. Be Like Jesus by Having Faith

Oh, these words…. ‘ye of little faith’. Do they keep ringing in your ears as well when you read them? Whenever I read Jesus rebuking His disciples with these words, I can’t help but wonder how many times He wants to say them to me.

My faith has grown quite a lot in the last 2-3 years, I believe. Yet I can’t help sometimes to find myself doubting. Even if it’s just for a split second… but doubt or worry popped up.

We must learn to have more faith, pray for more faith, and then we can teach our kids to have faith too.

‘… Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief’ {Mark 9:24 KJV}.

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10. Be Like Jesus by Rebuking Sin With Love

Oh, this is a tough one! Especially in this day and age where people say you have freedom of speech, when it seems the opposite is true. It’s actually becoming more challenging to express your own beliefs, especially if they go against the grain.

Yet Jesus rebuked sin. Think about how He rebuked Peter {Mark 8:33}, and how He disapproved of the activities in the temple {Matthew 21:12}. It’s this rebuking, sharing of the truth, and calling out for repentance that placed Him on the cross!

Jesus would never look at somebody who’s sinning (we all do, by the way) and not say anything about it. Not warn about the result of sin. It’s not possible to just shrug it off and pretend we’re all happily living in peace when there’s a spiritual war going on {Ephesians 6:12}.

The difference is in the way we rebuke people. Jesus still did it from love, not from pride, or a feeling of ‘I’m better than you and am here to judge you’.

In Luke 17:3 {KJV} we hear Jesus command: ‘Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him’.

From Paul we know that we have to rebuke them that sin before all, that others may also fear {1 Timothy 5:20}. He repeats this with similar words in 2 Timothy 4:2 {KJV}: ‘reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine‘.

If we want to be like Jesus we need to rebuke with love. That also goes for the way we raise our children. A gentle rebuke from love will go a long way.

11. Be Like Jesus by Being Humble

The greatest example of Jesus humbling Himself can be found right before the last supper.

His disciples called Him Master. He’s the Son of God, our King. Yet that night, He girded Himself and started washing the feet of His disciples {John 13:5-14}. Something that’s normally done by servants.

Being like Jesus means that we have to humble ourselves. That means we cannot feel proud whenever we accomplished something good. Especially if this was done in service of the Lord.

12. Be Like Jesus Through Self-Denial and Serving Others

Jesus’ entire life was one of self-denial and services to others. Not once did He do something that was for Himself.

This unselfish ministry has its origin in God who doesn’t live for Himself. By creating us all, and upholding all things, He’s constantly ministering to others.

God ‘maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust’ {Matthew 5:45 KJV}.

When you want to be like Christ, you need to deny self and serve others first. The following quote summarises it beautifully:

The minister who is a co-worker with Christ will have a deep sense of the sacredness of his work and of the toil and sacrifice required to perform it successfully. He does not study his own ease or convenience. He is forgetful of self. In his search for the lost sheep he does not realize that he himself is weary, cold, and hungry. He has but one object in view—the saving of the lost – {AA 362.1} 

13. Be Like Jesus by Preaching About the Kingdom of Heaven

Did you know the words ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ is found 34 times in the New Testament? And these only in 2 books: Matthew (32 times) and Revelation (2 times). Then I’m not even considering synonyms such as the Kingdom of God.

Ultimately, it’s our goal to strive for a ‘ticket’ to the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s either that, or eternal death. I know what I’d prefer!

Jesus shared several parables to teach about the Kingdom of Heaven. I think about the parables of:

  • the sower {Matthew 13:18-23}
  • the tares and the wheat {Matthew 13:24-30}
  • the grain of a mustard seed {Matthew 13:31-32}
  • the leaven {Matthew 13:33}
  • the hidden treasure {Matthew 13:44}
  • the merchant looking for pearls {Matthew 13:45-46}
  • the net cast into the sea {Matthew 13:47-50}
  • the unforgiving servant {Matthew 18:23-35}

If Jesus believed it was necessary to tell at least that many parables about the Kingdom of Heaven, then aren’t we supposed to do the same? Let’s share as much as possible about this glorious Kingdom and the way we can enter into, so that all might be saved!

14. Be Like Jesus by Considering It Your Mission to Save Every Soul

Speaking of being saved… Jesus considered it His mission… Well, as a matter of fact, Jesus’ purpose for coming to this earth was to die for our sin. In other words: it was His absolute life mission to try and save every single soul here.

If Jesus was not only willing to die for us, but in fact did die – after a life of being lonely, hated, despised, betrayed, persecuted, and crucified – shouldn’t we consider it our mission to share about Jesus and to strive to be just like Him? To try and save every soul? Definitely!

15. Be Like Jesus by Helping Those Who Are in Need

Jesus came to serve. Everything He did, was for the glory of His Father in heaven. Every action, every word, it was all in service to others – not Himself.

How many times do we do something in service for others without considering our own benefit? In some way, shape or form, there can be a positive outcome for us too. We need to make sure that this outcome isn’t our end goal, but to help those in need.

Be aware that receiving compliments of a ‘job well done,’ and thus feelings of pride and self-appraisal, can be considered as a positive outcome as well. Some Christians aren’t aware of these feelings, but they can become an end goal by itself too.

And it’s true, it can feel good to help those in need. Just make sure that you help others in a way that Jesus did: humbly and for the glory of God.

16. Be Like Jesus by Knowing the Bible

Every time I read Jesus’ words ‘Thus saith the Lord…’ or ‘It is written…’ I become all excited and discouraged at the same time! 😂 Well, discouraged is probably not the correct word, but the Bible is sooooo big!

No matter how many times I go over it, I always end up discovering another treasure hidden in between those Divine Words. Yet, Jesus conquered sin with these exact words!

The devil, through all kinds of (subtle) lies, tempted Him several times, but Jesus always answered back: ‘It is written…’

People, we NEED to know the Bible! We can’t waste our time with little things that seem to matter at first, but really don’t. Jesus is coming soon and we need to be prepared to overcome the devil by knowing the Word.

After all… Jesus is the Word {John 1:1-5, John 1:14}. If we don’t know the Word, we don’t know Jesus.

Better get studying and teach our children to do the same!

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17. Be Like Jesus by Being IN the World, NOT OF the World

Do you remember the intercession prayer of Jesus in John 17? This prayer is just as much for us as it was back then for the 12 followers.

In this chapter, it becomes very clear that Jesus was in this world, but not of it. Although there was evil everywhere, He never participated in it. He may have sat with the sinners, but He never joined them in their sin. Although there’s a fine line, there’s a big difference between them!

‘I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are’ {John 17:9-11 KJV}.

‘I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world {John 17:15-16 KJV}.

If you want to be like Jesus, you need to focus to be in this world, but not of it – and of course, teach your children as such too.

18. Be Like Jesus by Constantly Seeking God in Prayer

Jesus was found praying many times. He often served people all day and still spend all night in prayer with His Father in heaven.

If the Son of God feels the need to pray so often, surely we need to pray at least as much for – without God – it’s impossible to overcome temptations.

‘Pray without ceasing’ {1 Thess 5:17 KJV}

19. Be Like Jesus by Keeping Silent When Needed

With this statement, I specifically think of the moment where Jesus was betrayed and taken. Many times He stood there in silence. Other times He just replied with the exact words that were needed, not one more.

How difficult is it for us though, to let insults and mean words/actions just wash over us, and to still feel love and pity for the other person? It takes a lot of self-control!

Yet if we want to be like Jesus, we need to pray to God for help. He’s more than happy to bless us with self-control if it’s to glorify Him!

20. Be Like Jesus by Giving Thanks

Before He broke the bread, Jesus always said thanks to God for making provisions. We need to express our thanks for everything God gives us, not just before every meal, but for answering every prayer too.

That’s it! These are my 20 essential ways to be like Jesus and set an example for your children. To be more like Jesus should be our daily goal. And we definitely need to teach our children to aim for the same.

Is there an essential way I’ve forgotten about? Feel free to let me know in the comment section below.

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