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Who has the most influence on your life? Your parents? A teacher? A political party? A spouse? A mentor? Maybe a philosophy or religion? All of these will ultimately shape the way we act and think.

For the Christian it is Christ who ought to have the greatest influence on our lives. Paul in Gal. 3:27 tells us, "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." His point is that upon our rebirth in Christ we begin to live a life that should change how we act, how we think, how we behave and what truly guides us through life.

There are really three things that all disciples must embrace to become more like Christ. First we must die to sin. Paul makes this clear to us in Rom. 6:1-4. It is against the will of Christ for us to continue to live in sin. Secondly, we must employ the teaching of the Lord Jesus in our daily lives. Jesus stated that the wise man would "hear His teachings and do them." Mt. 7:24-27. And thirdly we must "follow Him". In Mt. 16:24 He tells all who would be disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me." One must truly be committed to a life of serving the Lord. The very definition of the word "disciple" is "one who follows."

Now if this seems difficult, that's because it is. It is a process, not a sudden supernatural act. It takes years, maybe a lifetime. And be aware that you still will not be perfect on this side of eternity. The Apostle Paul, great follower of Christ understood that even his best efforts were still indicative of a need for improvement. In a verse that should serve as both encouragement and comfort for all of us, he said in Phil. 3:12, "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me." Here Paul confesses that he was still striving, because he was lacking. So to we must "press on". But we must also realize that Christ "has laid hold" of us as well and we can rest assured that He will help us daily as we strive to do His will. Think about it...David

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