Pastor Bill Meadows
October 2, 2013
Now many of us are able to say, as the Apostle Paul said by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” ( 1 Corinthians 11:1). Most of us, if we are really honest, would have to say, “Do as I say and not as I do.”
Still, we must acknowledge the fact that God requires us to be examples; because, like it or not, someone is going to seek to copy what they see in us. Young people copy what they see in us. We live in a world seeking for conformity. Young people copy what they see in their elders; students copy what they hear from their teachers; people in authority listen to what their authority says. We make heroes and then we let our heroes make us.
Our heroes and models are heroes because of some physical attribute and the ability to charm the world with a value the wrong qualities in ourselves. If our heroes are ranked with the culturally elite of this world, then we will have miss what life is all about.
When the Apostle Paul said, “Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me…” he explained in no uncertain terms what that kind of example would entail: “We are fools for Christ’s sake…” we are despised, we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the off scouring of all things unto this day.” (1 Corinthians 4:10-13).
Well, surely we are tempted to say, “if Paul was treated that way, he must have been a really difficult fellow to get along with. And so some are outrageous in their behavior, arguing that the natural responses to their crudeness and thoughtlessness are part of what they are required to bear because they are suffering for Jesus.”
Such a view is certainly not consistent with what Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 10:31-33: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.”
We cannot get away from the fact that God requires all of us to set an example, to be a model of righteousness no matter what our age, our station in life, or our sex. James 3:13-14 says: “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not and lie not against the truth.”
To the mature (aged) women God commands: “The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:3-5).
To the young people, God says: “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). Also in Titus 2:7-8 we see these words, “In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you” (Titus 2:7-8).
To the church leaders God gives the standard that they of good report. “ Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:7).
All of us have someone who is watching and that someone will be affected by what we do or say. What kind of models are we presenting to the world?
Still remember my mother in your prayers, we lost her two times, but the good Lord let her stay here on this earth, “Thank You Lord!”