The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9
What example are you leaving for others? I like this scripture where the apostle Paul says, “Follow my example and do what I do.” He was training others so he could duplicate himself. He wanted those who followed and learned from him to be as effective as he was in ministering to others. Whether it was preaching the gospel, laying hands on the sick or operating in the other gifts of the Holy Spirit, his interest was not in making converts, rather making disciples. A disciple is a student or follower of a teacher that is eager to learn how to minister to others.
Today many in the church have become converts. Meaning they receive Jesus as their Savior, but not their LORD. The difference is when Jesus is your Savior, He has rescued you from an eternity in separation from your Heavenly Father and the torments of eternal judgement. It is a good thing for sure and we should rejoice in our salvation daily. However, when Jesus becomes LORD of your life, He is the one “calling the shots”. When you have completely surrendered your life and submitted all your desires to Him, He comes in and guides you through life to the things and people God planned for your life since the beginning. Somewhere along the line, Christian people got the idea that when you receive Jesus as Savior, automatically you are now following His plan and His path for your life. This just isn’t the case. It is not until you fully surrender your will to His that He can lead you to the ministries He has planned for you. When I say ministry, I don’t necessarily mean becoming a Pastor or on the church staff. Ministry is done where ever you are, but only by submitting fully to the leading of the Holy Spirit will you walk in the fullness of that calling on your life.
We can see many examples of this in scripture. Jesus Himself had to surrender His will to God the Father. In the garden the night before he was crucified, He prayed the words “Not my will but Yours be done.” If Jesus needed to surrender to the plan of God, then how much more do we. There are also examples in the New Testament of Christians not surrendering to the Holy Spirit and the destruction that followed that. Ananias and Sapphira were one couple that were believers, but they tried to trick others into believing the sincerity of their heart. Paul talks about Demas, who was part of his ministry team, but left because he was no longer interested in completing the mission. Clearly, we can see by these cases that it is not an automatic thing to be an example worthy of following.
How about you, what kind of example are you to those around you? What things are you doing for the Kingdom of God that you believe other should follow. What activities do you pray those who look at your life will duplicate to expand God’s reach?
Today I want to encourage you to take a good look at your life. First of all, ask yourself, “Whose example am I following?” Is it your Pastor, is it the apostle Paul, is it Jesus or is it your favorite actor, boss or politician? Then ask yourself “What example am I setting for those around me? What do others see that inspire them to follow whole heartedly after the things God has planned for them?” Is it serving in your church or community? Is it praying for the sick? What about blessing those who are down? Or is yours an example of how much time you spend on social media, watching tv or playing games on your devices? Now decide that you are going to be someone whose example others will want to follow because of the way you impact others and your world. You can follow Paul’s example or go right to the source by seeking help from the Holy Spirit inside you. However, the first place to start is to surrender your life fully to the LORD Jesus and make Him the LORD of your life… not your Savior only.
Today’s scripture reading: Philippians 4:1-9