Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Follow Their Example

Originally posted on Tuesday February 15, 2005

{ Hebrews 6:ll-12; NLT}
Our great desire is that you will keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God's promises because of their faith and patience.

It is important, no it is essential, to have people in our lives who model Christian living for us. We need people to follow and who can teach us how to navigate this life in a right and holy manner. If we simply travel this journey by ourselves, seeking to make it on our own, then we will wind up in big trouble. Role models are essential if we are going to discover the way God wants us to live.

These role models can come in various forms. They can be people with whom we have an actual relationship. People whom we can watch, observe, question, interact with, and respond to our questions. These people are the best suited to teach us how to live our faith each and every day. Kevin Perdew, a youth minister I met when I was an 8th grader at church camp was a wonderful example of this for me. He took and interest in me and helped me understand a little bit better how to be like Jesus.

Our role models can be authors and teachers,but people with whom we have very little contact. Through their writings and teachings we can be inspired to improve our relationship with God and to change our lives. Erwin McManus has been this for me. Ever since I heard him at the National Youth Leaders Convention in 2003 I have been inspired by what he has written and what he teaches.

Role models are also found in people long gone. The Bible provides us with many people who were examples of great faith. People we can read about and discover how they handled the difficulties of life. One of my heroes is Jonathan. Not only did he have the courage in 1 Samuel 14 to take on the Philistine army, but he had a love for David and the faith in God to step away from kingship and allow David to become king. Jonathan is an overlooked man of faith in the Bible.

Role models provide us with an example to follow. We need these examples in our lives if we are to reach our potential as followers of Christ. The writer of Hebrews writes that if we don't follow the examples of the men and women of faith who have gone before us we will be in danger of becoming spiritual dull and indifferent, and therefore, we will miss out on what God has for our lives.

It is never enough to remain where we are at when it comes to our relationship with God. We must constantly be moving where He leads us to go. If we are going to make a difference in this world it is going to happen because we are following those faithful few who have gone before us. Through their example and inspiration we can avoid become spiritually dull and make a big impact in the world. It is time to follow the leader.


Stan said...

Wow! I made it to your list of "favorite bloggers". What an honor!

It is absolutely true that we need "heroes", models that we can emulate. On the other side, one of the most frightening passages of Scripture to me is when Paul says "imitate me." I understand that to mean that I, too, am supposed to be a model, someone that others should emulate. Now that's a heavy responsibility, one that I'm not entirely sure I'm up to yet. Maybe when I grow up ...

Paul said...

Of course, it is one of the ways I continue my education in Reformed Theology.

I am with you on Philippians 3:17, that reality should provide all of us a reason to examine our life and consider what it is saying to others.

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