Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” John 5:19
Jesus followed the example of His heavenly Father. He only did what His Father did. So in the same way, we who love Christ seek to follow His example. In the power of the Holy Spirit we can do what He does. We can do nothing of eternal significance in our own strength, but in His strength we can do His works. Thus, we start with Jesus when we initiate new activities. We ask Him to validate our direction, before we move forward. We want to follow His wise example.
For instance, Jesus put individual needs before the needs of institutions. He did not allow the control of religious leaders to keep Him from doing good for those who suffered under bad circumstances. The Sabbath was holy to God, but it was also an opportunity to glorify God by curing those in physical pain. The mercy and compassion of Christ trumps the unnecessary sacrifice required by some religious leaders’ strict rules. Relationships take priority over rules.
“Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath” (John 7:23)?
Furthermore, follow the examples of those who follow Christ well. A good example is their humility in pointing people back to Jesus. They are quick to say that anything worth emulating in their lives comes from the life of Christ in them. Their goal is for others to fall deeper in love with their heavenly Father and to only do what He leads them to do. Validation of human behavior begins with the life of Christ and His word–the Bible. Good examples lead to the Lord.
Therefore, follow Jesus first, follow those who love Jesus, and be a good example for others to follow. When you hurt a child’s feelings, ask their forgiveness. When you pray, humbly confess your sins before you pray for the needs of others. When you worship God, focus on His glory and goodness. When you give, give discreetly and generously. When you serve, don’t expect to be served. Use your freedom in Christ to do what’s wise, not just what’s permissible. Be a good example who follows the example of Jesus. Many who respect you may model what you do.
“Set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I desire to be a good example that follows Your example and I want to be a good example for others to follow.
Related Readings: Hosea 6:6; John 14:24; Titus 2:7; 1 Peter 2:12
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