I have people tell me I look like my Dad. To be honest with you, I'm not sure I think this is a compliment, but I am proud to be his daughter. He has always been a hardworking, wise, sensible person who always took care of our family. He was extremely creative, as I am, and built all the buildings on our farm, including our home. He was innovative and enjoyed challenges. He seemed to be ahead of his time in many things. He also came from a family where the Zittel name in Western New York is well respected. And my brother carries on this legacy. Yes, I am proud to be born a Zittel! My Dad is now up in age and not in the best of health, but we know he has accomplished alot in his lifetime.
Besides being born a Zittel, I am also a born-again Christian. Years ago, I asked Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior, and to take control of my mind, my body and my soul. Now, I have to ask myself if I am living up to Jesus Christ's reputation. Allow me to explain.
The Bible is filled with descriptions of who Jesus was. He was the Son of God. The Alpha and Omega. The Messiah, our Shepherd, and our Redeemer. He healed the sick, taught the people, and performed miracles. He spoke of love... and is Love. He spoke of the way to heaven, and is the Way. He spoke the truth... and is the Truth. He spoke of life, and is Life.
I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
- John 14:6
He loved the children and appreciated their simple faith. He despised the proud, and like His Father, hated sin. He came to save us from the penalties of our sin by becoming the perfect Lamb of God. And He was victorious over death by His resurrection and ascension. His return for His saints is imminent...just on the horizon. Yes, the Bible is packed with who Jesus was, what He did, and why He came. But, how does this define who I am as a Christian? I'm not God. How can I act like Him?
So true! Jesus knew that, and when He left this earth to return to His Father in heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, in all those who believe in Him. Without His Helper, we are unable to even come close to living a righteous life that symbolizes who Christ is. He calls us to follow Him. To imitate Him. What a tall order! But by the help of the Holy Spirit, and our acceptance of Christ as our Shepherd who leads us through our crazy lives, through the good times and the bad, He enables us to take on the fruits of the Spirit.
The fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control.
- Galatians 5:22
Scripture also tells us to live like Jesus did -
Be imitators of God...as dearly loved children
and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us
and gave Himself up for us as a
fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
- Ephesians 5:1-2
Let me ask you: If you say you are a Christian, are you living up to Christ's legacy? When people see you living your life, can they actually say "Oh, I know he's a Christian! He is the spittin' image of Jesus!"? Or are you a child of this world? Even yet, you may be a person who has both of your feet planted in both Christ and this world. Easy to do. But we can't have both, as sooner or later, we will have to make a decision of whether to fully follow Christ, or reject Him. Your decision determines your destiny. How you live your life is a strong indicator of where your heart is. A recent statistic says that though 85% of American adults claim they are Christians, only 20% regularly attend church. How do you act when you are around others? Do people see a different you during the week, than on Sundays? Hmmm...something to think about!
Yes, I am proud to be a Zittel, and try to live a life that exemplifies who the Zittels are. And, most importantly, I am proud to be a follower of Jesus Christ. With His help, I will be able to live my life in such a way that imitates Him! And pleases Him...my Abba Daddy!!