17 Brothers and sisters, join together in following my example. You have us as a model. So pay close attention to those who live as we do. 18 I have told you these things many times before. Now I tell you again with tears in my eyes. Many people live like enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 The only thing they have coming to them is death. Their stomach is their god. They brag about what they should be ashamed of. They think only about earthly things. 20 But we are citizens of heaven. And we can hardly wait for a Savior from there. He is the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He has the power to bring everything under his control. By his power he will change our earthly bodies. They will become like his glorious body. 4 My brothers and sisters, in this way remain strong in the Lord. I love you and long for you. Dear friends, you are my joy and my crown.
The first verse in this passage is the Mount Everest of the Christian Life. It is the pinnacle and goal to which we all should aspire and yet I wonder if few of us ever do. To live such an exemplary life for Jesus that we can say to others
“Pattern your life after mine”
What a goal!
Fortunately, Paul also gives us a clue as to how we can do that in the second halve of the same verse,
“And learn from those who follow our example.”
I don’t have to struggle alone. God has planted me amongst some amazing people who can help me on my journey. I need to be in Church. More than that – I need to be in a Connect Group, in a Ministry Area under the leadership of someone who has the spiritual stature to say “pattern your life after mine”. All my actions should be guided by this principle – to live as an example for others to follow.
Lord, may the end result of my life be “he made followers of Jesus”. Help me have the courage and conviction to live in a way that if people follow the pattern of my life they will be awesome disciples. Amen
Written by Boudy Van Noppen