Set The Example
By Steve Troxel
God's Daily Word Ministries
When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, the gospel accounts of Jesus had not yet been written. Most believers didn't know many details of Jesus' life, so it was difficult to encourage by saying to live as Jesus would live. Instead, Paul led others to Jesus through the example he demonstrated in his own life.
1 Corinthians 11:1
"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ."
In setting the example, Paul certainly didn't claim to be perfect. He would be the first to stand up and say; "What a wretched man I am!" (Romans 7:24). Though Paul wrote and preached on how to live the Christian life, he still admitted his imperfections; "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of me" (Philippians 3:12).
And yet, Paul also knew he was a child of God and was willing to place his life in open view for others to examine and imitate; "Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice" (Philippians 4:9).
When we claim to follow Jesus, the world takes notice - whether we like it or not. We may not feel we are witnessing, but for many people we're the only view of Jesus they will ever see and the only words of Jesus they will ever hear. We may not realize it, but the way we live cries out: "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ."
Do we want others to put into practice what they see in us? Would our example cause others to be drawn closer to God or to drift further away? Do we follow Jesus' command to love one another so that, "By this all men will know you are My disciples" (John 13:35)? This is a huge responsibility and one we must not assume is only for the "Super-Christian."
A good friend of mine had an "I Love Jesus" sticker on his car. One day, as he sped in and out of traffic, he realized his driving was not setting a good Christian example. He solved this "problem" by removing the sticker. Rather than modify an area of his life, my friend removed his public identification with Jesus; this is very sad!
We cannot remove the "I Love Jesus" stickers from our life. The world is watching and we must be bold enough to stand and accept the accountability. We need men and women of strength and character - Brothers and Sisters who love one another and love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength! I urge you to fall more in love with Jesus Christ and be among those who commit to live a life that brings glory and honor to God in ALL you do. Others are ready to follow. Let's be bold and direct them to Christ as we set the example.