Following the Perfect Example

It is not always wise or right to follow the leader. We live in a day when peer pressure urges our youth to follow those of their age, and tempts them to avoid ridicule and taunting by going along in sinful ways.

We must of course follow Christ. He Himself said to us, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me" ( Matthew 16:24 ). Paul also wrote in Philippians 3: 17 , "Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example." Paul is not boasting here. He is not praising those who follow his example. If that were so, we should not follow him but be warned to turn from him. No, he already in verse 13 humbly declared that he did not count himself to have won Christ. But as a servant of Christ he not only spoke with his mouth but also by God's grace spoke in his works what our calling is. He, who had been wondrously and tremendously changed from being an enemy of Christ and of His church, exhorts us to press toward the mark for which he in God's grace is pressing.

We do then have here a very serious exhortation, but also a very important warning. So often and so quickly and even enthusiastically we follow the world round about us as it develops in sin. We seek the things here below with them and have more interest in earthly things than in the things of the kingdom of heaven. We like to look and dress like the world. We like to behave and act like them and be entertained by them in their dramas that thrill us because sin is set forth. Sin entertains our flesh. The world likes to show us sin and sinners, not Christ and a holy walk before Him.

The question is whether we appear before the world as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation ( I Peter 2:9 ), or like the world round about us. How long do the unbelievers have to look at us and watch us to see that we are followers of Christ?

Are you afraid of the peer pressure of the ungodly; or are you following Paul as he follows Christ?

Read: I Peter 2 .

Through the Bible in One Year
Read today:

Jeremiah 44:24-30 ; Jeremiah 45 ; Jeremiah 46 ; Jeremiah 47:1-7 
2 Timothy 2:22-26 ; 2 Timothy 3:1-17 
Psalm 94:1-23 
Proverbs 26:6-8 
****
Quote for Reflection:

            It is the effectual, fervent prayer of the righteous man that prevails. But what renders prayer “effectual”? Not its length, nor its vehemence, nor its eloquence, nor its passion, but simply the living sympathy which is established between the soul pleading in the closet, and the Savior interceding in the heavens.

            This is secured through the intervention of the Divine Spirit. He takes the desires which are in the heart of Jesus Christ, and works them into our hearts so that they become our desires.  He takes the plea which is upon the lips of the great Advocate above, and seals it upon our lips as our prayer in Christ’s blessed name. It is this sweet, but secret, correspondence between our head and ourselves that makes true prayer at all.  Aside from this, all is mere posture and the mutter of incantations. 

 (B. Palmer) 

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