Whose example are you following?

Cathy Hurtado

"Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."  Philippians 3:17-21

When we come to Christ, we don't just wake up one day and know how to live for God.  It is a process designed by God to be passed on from one believer to another.  I learned how to walk with God by hanging around people who walked with God, watching what they did, going where they went, learning to do what they did.  My roommate got up early in the morning to spend time with God, so I did, too.  She went to church on Sunday, so did I.  She had fun with other believers, and I did too.  As I followed her example, I learned how to meet God through the Bible, how to draw on His power to take steps of faith and the importance of obedience.  Who we hang out with makes all the difference both in how we live today and what our future holds.

In this passage, Paul gives us a very wise piece of advice.  He encourages us to follow his example and to look for other people who live like the apostles lived.  Why?  Because most people don't live for God.  They live for themselves, for their appetites, for earthly things.  They are actually enemies of the cross of Christ and their end is destruction.  If we are short-sighted, we can be tempted to follow their example, forgetting the end result.

I encourage you to look for people who live for God and follow their example.  Look for those who have made knowing Christ the most important thing in their life.  Look for those who live for God and love God.  Look for those who do the godly thing even when it costs money, friends, fame, and power.  Learn how to live for Jesus by watching what they do and following their example.  Instead of destruction, we can look forward to our future, the transformation of our earthly bodies, and an inheritance in heaven with Jesus. 

In addition, recognize that if you call yourself a Christian, others will be looking at your life to learn how to walk with God.  No matter where you are in your spiritual journey, you can show them how to love God and grow by following the example of more mature Christians.

 

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