Bible Reading: John 15:5-8

Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5

A MAJOR SPORTS-drink company once ran an ad campaign encouraging people to “be like Mike,” as in NBA basketball legend Michael Jordan. The phrase, “I want to be like Mike” was everywhere. Kids said it. Adults sang it.

Why do ad campaigns work? Every button-push of the TV remote or flip of a magazine page bombards you with pressure to be like Mike or Garth or Cindy or Gwyneth or another big star. Splash on this cologne, dial that long-distance number, slip into these boxers, and-shazzamf-you will be a celebrity. And since everybody dreams of being gorgeous or rich or famous or talented, you might take the bait and buy the product. And if you do, you probably don’t stop to wonder if the celebrity actually uses the product he or she endorses.

Unless you know someone personally, you will never know what he or she is really like-and, as a result, you will never really be like that person. If you want to be like Mike, you have to get to know the real Mike, not the Mike you spy in TV ads.

You have to spend time with him and get thrashed in a game of one-an-one against him. You have to know Mike to be like Mike.

Just like that, you have to know Jesus Christ personally to have any hope of be­coming like him. If you want to be like Christ in character, you have to get to know the real Jesus Christ to the point that his character impacts your life. He said it best:

“Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Philippians 2:5 tells us, “Your atti­tude should be the same that Christ Jesus had.” Unless you are growing in an inti­mate relationship with the living Christ, you can’t identify his attitude. You can’t adopt his attitude. And you can’t bear the fruit of Christlike character.

So how can you get to know Jesus Christ up dose and personal? You can always listen to what other people say about him, but is that enough? Not really, because you are only hearing about how they know him. Just listening to your pastor or youth leaders tell you about Christ is not enough. You have to go farther. You have to go one-an-one with Jesus.

Other people can’t get dose to God for you. They can’t read, study, memorize, and meditate on the Word of God for you. They can’t invest time for you in daily, personal, private interaction with Christ. They can’t pray and pour out your heart for you or listen as Jesus pours out his heart to you.

It’s your choice-and challenge-to get to know him. And when you do, you will become like him.

REFLECT: What are you going to do in the upcoming year to keep getting to know God personally?

PRAY: Thank Jesus for his invitation to know him and bear fruit.