TODAY'S WORD FOR Wednesday, December 19, 2018:
A model or a pattern of something to be imitated or avoided; an instance used as an illustration; an instance serving as a warning to others.
Brothers, all of you should try to follow my example and to copy those who live the way we showed you.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
In his letters to the churches the apostle Paul instructed the early Christians to follow the example of his daily walk with God. To the Corinthian church Paul wrote, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” Paul’s example was trustworthy because he patterned his life after the example of Jesus life.
In II Thessalonians 3:9, Paul counseled the church at Thessalonica against idleness and challenged them to work so they would not be a burden to anyone and be a model example to others just as he had always worked so that he was never a burden to anyone. Each of us should be doing all we can to provide for ourselves.
In John 13:1-17 we read about the time before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus sat down with His disciples and washed their feet. Peter was especially vocal and objected telling Jesus that he would never allow Jesus to wash his feet. But Jesus responded and told Peter that he did not understand the meaning now but he would someday.
Peter refused because he did not understand the example Jesus was giving the disciples. Jesus was washing the disciple’s feet signifying that it is Jesus who has the power to cleanse. Peter would come to understand this after Jesus shed His blood on the cross to cleanse us from all our sins.
When Jesus said to Peter that unless he allowed Jesus to wash his feet he could not continue to be part of Me, His inner circle. Then the light finally dawned on Peter. Peter finally asked the Lord to cleanse his feet, his hands and his head. Peter desired to be completely clean. Jesus alone cleanses us from all our sins. Jesus went on to say in verse 15, “For I have given you this as an example that you should do as I have done.”
Peter tells us in I Peter 2:21 that Christ suffered for us leaving us an example that we should follow His steps. By His example, Jesus wanted His disciples to see that they must have a servant’s heart and a servant’s attitude. He also told them that they needed to be willing to serve one another. Jesus demonstrated this by washing His disciple’s feet. Jesus set the example for all of us that to become a servant of Jesus means we must be willing to do the most menial of tasks at any time He calls us.
When Jesus came to earth, He primarily came to save us, but He also came to show us by example how to live for Him. Jesus knew that as Christians we all would face injustices and could suffer for our faith just as He did while on earth. Throughout the New Testament we read many examples that Jesus has left us that are examples for us to model in our daily walk with the Lord.
Jesus commanded us, as recorded in John 13:34, to love each other and we must love each other as Jesus loved us. And in 1 John 3:16 it reads that this is how we know what real love is: Jesus gave His life for us. There is no greater way to show love than to give of ourselves to serve others.
We are examples daily to those who are near us. When people know that we are believers in Jesus they watch us carefully to see how we act. It is very important for believers to practice what they preach.
As we were growing up our parents constantly reminded us to be consistent in our Christian walk. We were told that as a Christian we were unique and when we failed in some way that it would hurt the cause of Christ. Our actions reflect on what we profess to believe and claim to be.
Children today, as always follow the examples they see at home, at school and at church. Some of these examples that they follow are harmful and will lead them astray. Parents need to communicate daily with their children and in addition they need to watch, listen and talk with their children so that they may be aware of whose example their children are following. First and foremost, Christian parents must follow Christ and be Christ-like examples to their children.
Our memory verse for this week before Christmas is found in Luke 2:13-14.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.
Help me to understand the importance of being an example of Christ this Christmas season with the words and deeds that I do. Give me direction as to how I can not only be an example to my family but to teach them how to honor You and be Christ-like in all that they do.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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