Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- August 7, 2011
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1
Good examples can be found, but it is important that you pray and go to school on them. Pray to God for good examples to cross your path; then you will have the privilege of watching them “up close and personal” or from a distance. Regardless of their proximity, it is wise to learn from their lives.
You can learn a ton just by looking. Look for how they invest their time and money. Look for the way they love God and respect their spouse. Look for their intentionality in loving non-Christians. Be a character watcher. Watch their patience and forgiveness in the middle of a firestorm of criticism and adversity. Watch for the confession of their sin and shortcomings with a heart toward repentance. Watch them fear God and serve people. As you watch, there is a good chance you will become like them. You are tremendously influenced by what you watch. Watch good examples.
Moreover, read their writings. Understand their thinking and question their habits. Find out what they do and why they do it. Once you discover their “best practices” for living, begin to incorporate them into your life. Of course, integrate these disciplines only as you are ready and it is appropriate. Be yourself, while you learn from someone else. You are still sold out to Christ first, so only follow the good example of one who follows Him. You are not in a fan club for man. Instead, you have a lifetime membership in Christ’s Kingdom.
Jesus is your best example. However, relating to Jesus is sometimes hard, because He was without sin. Yet, He is the standard. If you are in doubt about a behavior or attitude, emulate Jesus. Jesus will never let you down or lead you astray. The saintly characters of the Bible are good examples to follow as well. Abraham’s faith is compelling. The boldness of Moses gives courage. Joseph’s integrity is inviting. His forgiveness is refreshing. David’s brokenness is pure and holds eternal consequences.
Esther’s loyalty is inspiring. Solomon’s wisdom is life changing. Hannah’s trust is without compromise. Jonah’s zeal is challenging. Elijah’s dependence on God is a faith builder. Job’s perseverance is rewarding. Jeremiah’s compassion is humbling. Isaiah’s eloquence is heavenly. The Minor Prophets reveal a major need to fear God. The Psalms of David comfort. Jesus is Jesus. Paul perseveres. Peter preaches. Luke writes. John loves. Zacchaeus reaches out to sinners. Mark didn’t give up. These are all good examples.
Indeed, there are other modern-day good examples. There is Billy Graham’s integrity, Mother Teresa’s service to the poorest of the poor and John Paul’s leadership. Be inspired by good examples. Be encouraged by good examples. Be taught by good examples. Be motivated by good examples. Be set free by good examples. Be a good example. But, make Jesus your best example!
Taken from Dose 62 in the 90-day devotional book, Infusion.
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