Example

<<pattern, illustration>>

Jesus is our example – He lived a sinless life although He was tempted in all areas, and went about doing good by ministering God’s power in humility and service to mankind, besides not retaliating even when they crucified Him. “I have set you an example, that you should do as I have done for you” (Jn 13:1-15; Act 10:38; Heb 2:18, 4:15; 1 Pet 2:21-23).

Jesus modeled the Christian life for us. From His connection with God supernatural things happened that impacted numerous lives. As ‘blood redeemed’ sons and daughters of God this is our privilege and responsibility to live out that lifestyle, doing what He says and teaching by word and action everything He commands (Mt 28:19,20; Mk 16:15-18;  Jn 14:12; Jas 1:22).

We may be the only example of Christ that our unsaved neighbours or friends meet.  By the manner we live, will they be drawn to Christ or will they reject Him by what they see

Someone is always watching us 

in us?  It is our responsibility to live a consistent Godly life because we don’t know who is watching and there is immense power in influence. We subtly adopt the values of those we associate with, so be ‘on your guard’ when around people who are poor role models.

Don’t follow the crowd through peer pressure, rather be an example or role model to others of what God requires (Gen 6:8,9). Observe other people and imitate their good habits – Paul said, “Be followers of me as I am of Jesus Christ” do what I've been doing (1 Cor 10:6-11, 11:1; Phil 3:17, 4:9; 1 Thes 1:6,7; Heb 13:7).  Often children display the same life-style values as their parents (Ex 20:5,6).  Actions speak louder than words.  Are there traits in your life you don’t want to pass on to your children?  If so, deal with them as Jesus gave a very solemn warning about offending or causing another to stumble in the Christian walk by our bad example in word or action (Mk 9:42).

Instructing and guiding in the ways of God, through mentoring or discipling is a vitally needed ministry to establish new believers in the Christian faith (2 Tim 2:2; Tit 2:1-8). We have a responsibility to set a Godly pattern in speech, action, lifestyle, love, faith and purity (1 Tim 4:12). It is not about an outer performance-based façade, of ‘talking the talk’, rather a genuine ‘walking the walk’ radiating from a deep inner quality of life, that is transparent before others while being open to accountability and is maintained through all the seasons of life. As the Lord works in me, I can pass on to others my ‘first hand’ experience (Ps 51:10-13). This testimony must be upheld by practicing what I preach, or else I become a hypocrite. Paul said we have lived exemplary lives doing what is right in the Lord’s eyes, but also in the eyes of others (2 Cor 7:2, 8:21). Aim to outwork Biblical principles in every sphere of your life, rising to greater levels of spirituality and competence in everyday affairs, striving to be the best example you can to those who view you as their role model (2 Thes 3:6-10).

We should be well acquainted with the Bible and the lessons we can learn from the good choices people made and also their mistakes – lack of discipline, ignorance of God’s ways, disobedience, involvement with idols, immorality and grumbling. Observe how He rescued and protected the upright, obedient people in contrast with those who lived evil, disobedient lives (1 Cor 10:1-11; 2 Pet 2:4-11; Jud 1:7). All of life is, or should be a learning experience. Ensure you are developing qualities that will enrich your life. Above all, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus – the only perfect human being to have lived (Heb 12:1-3).

The ministry of Jesus combats evil and meets all man’s needs. Five areas were the focus of His life and ministry. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor [evangelism]. He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted [counseling], to preach deliverance to the captives [deliverance], and recovering of sight to the blind [healing], to set at liberty them that are bruised [social ministry], to proclaim God is ready to give blessings to all who come to Him” (Isa 61:1,2; Lk 4:18,19).  Here is the ultimate example of how all life should be lived.

See also: disciple/discipleship, hypocrite, imitate, influence, life-style, pattern.


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