How Can We Imitate Christ and Please God with Our Actions?

How Can We Imitate Christ and Please God with Our Actions?

Thank you for joining me in this four-part series where I’m sharing from my study on how we can open all parts of our hearts—our thoughts, words, and actions—to the Light of Christ. Here are links to Open Our Hearts PART 1,  Open Our Hearts, PART 2 about our thoughts, and Open Our Hearts, PART 3 about our words.

Here’s PART 4 about our actions.

At age six, my younger brother Carson wanted to be just like Daddy, the man he admired. He patterned his actions after Daddy’s and even matched his clothes as closely as he could.

When my dad came home from work and traded his suit and tie for work pants and a plaid button-up shirt, Carson scurried to his room, selected similar clothing, and followed Daddy to the garden. If Daddy used a rake to smooth the soil, Carson retrieved his child-sized version and raked while looking up every few minutes to observe his role model’s actions.

Carson wanted to be like Daddy, and we want to be like our Father. Let’s look at Scripture and ask the Lord to show us how we can emulate Him in our hearts and actions.

All who surrender to Christ become God’s children (John 1:12) and inherit the privilege of looking to Him for direction about our actions. We can read about the life of Jesus when He walked on the earth, and we can apply biblical values like prayer, Bible study, good deeds, and forgiveness to the way we choose to spend our days.

Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

1 John 2:6 ESV *

Jesus didn’t isolate Himself and limit His care to His family and friends. He noticed needs and brushed shoulders with people who lived or traveled nearby. He sat down with His disciples and taught them. He fed hungry multitudes. He conversed with a Samaritan woman many avoided. He visited Zacchaeus, a despised tax collector. With the words He spoke on the cross, He testified to a thief and forgave him when the thief believed.  

Jesus interacted with people and met physical and spiritual needs. God gives gifts, talents, time, and possessions to us so that we can discern, demonstrate His love, and give to people in need—in need of food, clothing, friendship, encouragement, or the gospel message. He said,

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

John 13:34
God gives gifts, talents, time, and possessions to us so that we can discern and give to people in need—in need of food, clothing, friendship, encouragement, or the gospel message. Click To Tweet

The following passage mirrors the heart of Jesus as He loved and ministered to those around Him. These words Paul penned can guide our actions.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Philippians 2:3-4

Recently, I’ve observed examples of unselfish believers who “looked to the interests of others” by using the time, gifts, and opportunities God has given them. Their actions reflect the heart of Christ.

  • Kimberly donated a percentage of her yard sale proceeds to a homeless shelter for veterans.  
  • Jimmie befriended a stroke victim by taking him on rides in the car, pushing his wheelchair around a track, and later helping him learn to walk again.
  • After Will opened a car door for Anna, she smiled and said no one had done that for her in decades.
  • John and Phil built a ramp for Sandy who had broken her ankle.
  • Joann coordinated food delivery for a church member who had surgery.
  • Laurie shared the gospel message with an employee in a medical facility.
  • Beth transported a friend for medical appointments and shopping needs.  

Paul prayed Christians would “Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10).

We can look to Jesus as our example, pray and ask God to open our eyes to needs around us, and study the Bible so that our actions represent Him and minister to others.

Your Turn

My brother Carson followed in our dad’s footsteps and patterned his actions after Daddy’s. How can we pattern our actions after the life of Jesus? How have you seen other Christians “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord … bearing fruit in every good work”?

*All verses are taken from the ESV.

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31 thoughts on “How Can We Imitate Christ and Please God with Our Actions?

  1. Thanks for sharing these beautiful examples of Christ’s character. We can always learn from each other ways to share God’s love.

  2. Jeannie, this series has been, is, and surely will continue to be a blessing, some might even say in disguise. Your examples of people helping people are a reminder of the many ways I can use my local ministry efforts (I live in a retirement community). It is so easy to get in a rut and fail to see outside the box of our daily activities. Thanks!

  3. I love the examples of people helping others. This I fear is something I don’t do enough, but your post spurs me to take note of others in need.

    • I want to reach out to others more, too, Sylvia. Let’s pray for God’s guidance together so the ideas are His and not ours.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      I’m glad you found it helpful, Sylvia. I learn from watching others who serve well. They remind me to listen for God’s prompting when needs arise. Sometimes He prompts us to pray and sometimes He guides us to help. I’m sure you’ve found this to be true. Thanks so much.

  4. Peggy, I agree it’s easy to let our own agenda fill our days. Sometimes a short visit, a card, or a plate of cookies can brighten someone’s day and open the door for meaningful conversation. Your comments always encourage me. Thank you!

  5. So much to comment on in this beautiful and practical post but two words especially resonated with me: “Jesus noticed”. Thank you for a meaningful series, Jeannie.

  6. A great reminder. Thank you!

  7. Thank you for reminding me to walk through the world with my eyes open for ways to imitate Christ by serving those around me.

  8. Jeannie, it’s easy to help friends and family. The difficulty comes when trying to discern how to help others. I feel God puts people in our path and we need to be ready to do His will. Thank you, sweet friend.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Deana, you’re right and I appreciate you adding this comment. Sometimes we’re stretched in seeing needs outside of our family, but what a blessing we receive when we follow God’s leadership with discernment He gives.

  9. I enjoyed reading this 4 part series. It gave me alot to think about… how our thoughts, words, and actions can be used to help others in accordance to God’s will.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      I’m thankful you found blessings in God’s Word, Kimberly. Thanks so much for reading and for letting me know. That means a lot.

  10. A good word, Jeannie! You gave a number of different ways that we may minister, to others. Very well done! God bless you! ❤️🙏👣

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Thank you so much for your comments. The more we listen to God, the more we learn about serving others.

  11. Love this article, Jeannie! I feel like there are always so many needs surrounding me in just my small circle of the world! Thank you for the reminders!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      You’re right, Barbara. There are needs all around us. When we read Scripture and pray, He leads us in the right direction. I think sometimes small gestures and deeds of kindness minister to others in ways we can’t imagine.

  12. Great series Jeannie with so much important and practical information. When we imitate Christ, we can change the world.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Yvonne, thank you for including “When we imitate Christ, we can change the world.” What a powerful reminder! We need guidance from God’s Word so that we can enjoy practical opportunities to serve.

  13. Jeannie, thanks for sharing this thought provoking message. I often miss the opportunities God gives me to imitate Christ. But when I’m availiable He will use me to minister to others.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Lisa, I miss opportunities, too. I’m sure you’d agree we can be thankful God forgives us and continues to prompt us to imitate Jesus and serve others. I really appreciate your kind words.

  14. When we witness acts of kindness, it often starts a ripple effect causing us to do something loving for someone else. The act doesn’t have to be for us—that’s how powerful it is. And don’t we feel the same when we read of Jesus’s loving actions during his time on earth.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Candyce, thank you for including “the ripple effect.” What a perfect description. Our churches offer opportunities to serve, but we also learn from observing others. Reading about the actions of Jesus in the Bible warms our hearts toward Him and give us the perfect example to follow.

  15. I’ve learned so much from my fellow Christians who are ahead of me on the journey. Especially in the beginning of my walk with Father (before I knew much of the Bible), their lifestyles have helped me to understand the practical aspects of following God (Philippians 3:17). I hope God is using my actions in the same way for others. Thanks for the final part in this very helpful series, Jeannie!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Annie, thanks for letting me know you found the series helpful. The study of these Scriptures helped me as I prepared. Like you, I’ve learned from watching faithful Christians serve others in multiple ways. How kind of God to involve us in His work of ministering to other people.

  16. Amen Ms. Jeannie. It’s when others can see Christ through our actions that we are living out His charge for our lives. Such an encouraging and inspirational message ma’am. Too often, we (the church) want to hide within the “safe confines” of our church walls. That’s exactly what Satan wants, not what Christ calls us to do. Well said author!

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      I agree wholeheartedly, J. D. I often think many problems would be solved if the church acted like the church. I certainly don’t make all the right choices, but the more we listen for God’s direction, the more we hear Him. Thank you for wise observations.

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