Skip to main content

Following the Right Example

The way we live our lives is very much determined by the examples we have had in life. This is why parents are so influential parts of our lives. They give us an example, which is so much more influential than their teaching, to live by. If they are good examples then we have a positive model to follow, but if they are bad examples then we are faced with overcoming the negative model they have provided for us.

Just as parents provide us with an example on how we are to live life, so does God provide us with an example for how He expects us to live. The apostle Paul wrote:
Follow God’s example in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like a sweet perfume to him. (Ephesians 5:1-2, NLT)

The Apostle tells us that we are to follow God’s example, and that example is personified in Jesus Christ. Jesus represents God perfectly and He shows us how God would live if He was confined to a body. This is the example that we are to follow.

But how do we follow the example of Jesus? There is only a small group of people that were able to witness the way Jesus lived His daily life, but we are not part of that group. It is one thing to follow the example of our parents who raised us, but it is another thing to follow the example of a man who walked this earth 2,000 years ago. How do we do it?

There are two important actions that we must be part of our lives if we are going to follow Jesus. In the absence of Jesus physically walking with us we have to be away of the tools He has left behind so we can follow where He leads.

The first action that we must do is that we must be students of the Bible. The apostle John wrote: I write this to you who believe in the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life (1 John 5:13; NLT). Reading through 1 John you realize that John emphasis is to explain how Jesus lived. John is writing so that we might know how we live this new life, this eternal life, that we have received from Jesus because of His death and resurrection.

The entire Bible is useful for helping us understand how Jesus lived and how we can follow His example. The Old Testament is full of stories of people of faith and how they lived their lives. It also contains God’s Law that He wanted His people to live by. The Gospels are the record of how Jesus lived, the book of Acts is a record of how His first followers lived, and the rest of the New Testament explains how we can make Jesus’ example the model for our lives.

The second action is observing the lives of mature Christians. That is why the apostle Paul wrote; And you should follow my example, just as I follow Christ’s (1 Corinthians 11:1; NLT). Paul had experience in following the example of Jesus, and thus he became a live example of what it means to follow Jesus. While his readers may not be able to see Jesus, they could see Paul and how he lived.

From reading biographies of men and women of faith to spending time with mature Christ Followers we are able to see how Jesus would respond to the challenges that we face everyday. These people help flesh out the words of Jesus and we can begin to understand how we should live our lives.

How we live our lives is influenced greatly by the examples of living that we have had. God wants us to follow His example as seen in His Son Jesus. It is when we start to follow Jesus that we begin to see how life is really meant to be lived.


Popular posts from this blog

Prayer: Married Bedtime Prayer

My wife Jenny and I have been using the Bedtime Prayer that John Eldredge wrote for Walking with God as part of our bedtime routine.  As much as I have enjoyed the prayer I thought it was time for a prayer that was better suited to pray together.  Hopefully this will encourage you to implement prayer into your bedtime routine.

Our Father in Heaven, we pause at the end of this day to say thank You.  We give You thanks for the blessing of life, for the blessing of each other, for the blessing of family, and for the blessing of a home. You have richly blessed our lives. Restore us Father to Your Son Jesus.  He is the vine and we are the branches and He has become our source of life.  Open our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit's guidance, healing, and transformation.  May our lives and our marriage bear the fruit of the Spirit.  We surrender our lives and our marriage to You.  You have our bodies, possessions, and spirits; we give You our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.  We belon…

God Uses Unlikely People

One of the things that strike me about God is that the value society has given to people makes no difference to Him. In fact it seems that God would rather use the common, even the despised, people of the world to make a difference in this world. Consider Moses. God doesn’t use Moses when he is a prince of Egypt, but when he is a nomadic shepherd. Certainly God has used the rich and the powerful, but more often than not God has used the poor, sinful, and abused. God uses the unlikeliest people.

This reality comes our loud and clear at Christmas time. Think about the major characters of the Christmas story: Joseph who is a poor and scandalize carpenter, Mary who is a young and scandalized girl, Shepherds who are a bunch of untrustworthy characters. Only the Magi have credibility in society, but this diminishes in Jewish culture since these men were Gentiles. The most important event in the history of the world and God chooses people who are rejected and wouldn’t be believed by so…

Worship is a Lifestyle

"It's a lot easier to sing a song than it is to stop and touch the broken. It's a lot less taxing to go to church than to take 'church' to the world. But sharing with others is a sacrifice of worship that makes God smile." ~ Louie Giglio; The Air I Breathe

Worship isn't just about music. Worship isn't just an activity that is planned and programmed. Worship is about glorifying God with our lives. When we seek to honor God, we worship Him.

Worship happens anytime and anyplace. It happens Sunday mornings at church. It happens Wednesday night at Bible Study. It happens when we chat with our neighbor. It happens when we serve those in need. It happens when we show love to the lonely. Worship is what being a Christian is all about.

Worship is a life lived in response to God's gracious blessings. God has given us so much. We owe Him every breath we breathe. He is responsible for our talents we use. God has given us blessing after blessing. Only a life o…