Monday, August 13, 2012
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Arnold Schwarzenegger - now, that's not exactly a stage name. But, boy, he became a star! And in case you haven't been around for a while, you know Arnold Schwarzenegger became one of Hollywood's hottest properties and then the Governor of California; the body builder who became a movie star. In fact, I'm often mistaken for him on the street. Uh-huh. He's made the cover of magazines, and apparently when he's in a movie it has guaranteed a big draw at the gate.
Of course, he built his reputation first as a body builder; he was Mr. Universe, or Mr. Milky Way or something. But he is impressively strong. He began lifting weight to train for the local soccer team back in his home country of Austria. And he got up early to lift in the morning, and then he'd race to the gym after school. His hero, he says, was a Mr. Universe who had starred in several Hercules movies. He said, "He was everything I wanted to be; a champion, a muscle film star, a great businessman. My parents," Arnold said, "thought it was strange. Most guys had posters of girls all over their walls; I had a guy flexing." Well, you know, that's an interesting insight into how we become a certain kind of person.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Picture You Keep Looking At."
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 1 Peter 2, and I'll begin reading at verse 21. "Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in His steps. He committed no sin, no deceit was found in His mouth. When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate. When He suffered, He made no threats." This says here that we have an example, and it's the way that Christ lived His life. In fact, this word example, if you go back to the original Greek language of the New Testament, is the word "copy head." It literally was the copy head that they put at the top of a school child's slate. So when he's trying to learn the alphabet, he kept looking at how the letters should be formed until he made it just like it was on the copy head.
Now, Peter says Christ is our copy head. He's saying, "Keep looking at Jesus, and you'll start to respond as He did." Arnold Schwarzenegger said he became strong because he kept looking at a picture of a strong man; someone who was "everything he wanted to be." Well, I'll tell you this, "Jesus is everything I want to be." How about you? Everything he said was trusted, because there was no deceit in His mouth. There were no marks on His holiness. He acted in situations; He did not react. He suffered with grace that embarrassed those who caused the suffering.
How do you get to be like that? By daily looking at Him. Read the Gospels frequently in your personal quiet time, and compare your responses to your Lord's. Review your major life situations with Jesus daily and ask Him to help you see what He sees. Make your magnificent obsession this question, "What would Jesus do?" It often won't be what you feel like doing, or what our culture says to do, or what seems to be your right to do, but risk everything on doing what your Master, your model would do. It means you have to dedicate yourself to becoming an expert on Jesus. See, there's no lazy way to do this.
If you will daily, consciously, and stubbornly model yourself after Him, you'll start to make the kind of difference He made. Be sure Jesus is the picture that you keep looking at.