Learning to Imitate Jesus

How Many New Years Do You Have Left? is a YouTube video coming from a small ministry making a big impact—The Normal Christian Life. It’s based out of Brisbane’s Glory City church.

This ministry was born from the idea that we should all imitate Jesus—and its YouTube videos are taking that message worldwide.

The guy behind the videos, Nathaniel, was talking to Alex here at Vision180. He said that when you walk as Jesus walked, you feel empowered to let go of your fear of man and share your faith boldly, knowing it can change lives.

Sometimes young people can feel that spreading the Gospel isn’t their responsibility, that it’s a job for pastors and leaders—those more experienced and qualified. The Normal Christian Life sets out to remind us that we’re all called equally.

‘I’m seeing a whole movement of young people in Australia, starting to wake up to the reality that Christianity is not like an app that you click every now and then. It’s a brand new phone! It’s an overhaul of our whole lives.’

There are people all around us who might be having suicidal thoughts or desperately seeking help. We can’t see the number above their head, but God knows how much time they have left. It’s no accident that He puts us in their path.

‘How often have we been on a train with someone like that, or at a workspace? And we don’t share because we’re so crippled by fear or we’re thinking about what we’re going to do on the weekend and we forget about the sobering reality of eternity.’

But let’s be real: walking up to a stranger and telling them about Jesus seems overwhelming.

When Nathaniel let go of his fear of man, it changed everything. He didn’t worry any more about people’s disapproval, and that helped him to care more about their souls. ‘I had this realisation that God approves of me, that He loves me and takes pleasure and delight in me.’

Stop disqualifying yourself. When Jesus said preach the Gospel to all creation, it was for all believers.

The next step is actually starting that conversation. How do you get talking to someone you know nothing about? How do you get them interested? Well firstly, don’t overcomplicate it.
‘Just start somewhere. Ask someone how they’re doing. Ask people what they need prayer for, or just simply tell them how much God loves them.’

Nathaniel knows all too well how powerful a few words can be. Thirty years ago, his father was struggling with suicidal thoughts. ‘He wasn’t a Christian, and someone stopped for him, and it changed his life forever.’

‘We don’t realise the impact that one moment could have and we’re so worried about how it’s going to turn out. But when we realise how much God loves us, His perfect love casts out all fear. Suddenly, we’re overwhelmed with an eternal perspective for every person around us.’

Maybe you’ve been saved for just a couple of months, or maybe you think you’re too young. Stop disqualifying yourself. The Great Commission wasn’t the great suggestion. When Jesus said preach the Gospel to all creation, it was for all believers.’

Romans 8:19 NIV tells us: ‘The creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.’ Nathaniel says this is an invitation to us, to be bold witnesses of the Gospel, and to pursue a relationship with God.

How should we pursue that relationship? Matthew 6:6 says: ‘But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.’ That reward, Nathaniel says, is the Holy Spirit within you, which helps us to shine a light into the darkness.

We can see the truth of those verses in the simplest things around us.

When sons and daughters of the living God go into the darkest places, knowing whose they are and who they are, they’ll be amazed by what starts to happen.

About the author

Jonathan Craig

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