Happy Thursday! Have you ever played the game Follow the Leader? As a kid, in an era before high-tech video games my friends and I had to use our imagination when we played outside. Follow the Leader seemed like an easy game – just do exactly what the leader would do. But it wasn’t, someone would always lose because they did not follow the leader’s example. Today, we will continue our reading in Philippians chapter three (3) with a call to follow an example. Join me.
Bible verse – Philippians 3:17-21 NLT
“17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.”
Apostle Paul continued to encourage the church at Philippi to follow his example – his example of living his life for Christ. He encouraged them not to be distracted by those who say they are Christians but are against the things of Christ.
Sisters and brothers, even today our world is plagued by those who profess Christianity but it is a perverted reconstruction of their own truth or personal allegiance to false doctrine. Just as Apostle Paul warned the church at Philippi, it is a warning for us too. Apostle Paulpointed out two different tracks for living:
Those who patterned their lives for themselves
- headed for destruction
- their god is their appetite
- they brag about shameful things
- they think only about this life hereon earth
Those who follow Christ
- are citizens of heaven
- are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior
Questions to ponder:
- Who are you following? ________
- Which track are you on? ________
Sisters and brothers, we have been called to follow Christ Jesus. While Apostle Paul is an excellent example to follow in terms of living out our lives for Christ our infinite goal is always to follow Christ and live in alignment to His will. We may not always get it right. We miss a step or two, but when we keep our eyes focused on Christ and surrender our will to His we won’t lose. While we wait for Christ’s return there is still work to do here on earth (e.g., there are people who still need to hear the Good News, who need to know and receive Christ as their Lord and Savior, to see Christ at work – working through us, etc.). The Lord gives us an opportunity to follow His example every day and in any situation – His mercies are new every morning. Keep living for Christ and follow His lead.
Lord Jesus, thank you for giving your life for us. Thank you for never leaving us. Thank you for loving us unconditionally. Lord, forgive us for the times when we did not follow you. Forgive us for the errors in our ways when we wanted to be our own gods. Lord, forgive us of our sins (known and unknown) and help us to turn away from the things that distract us from You. Lord, as we seek to live a life that points others to you, but Lord we need you. Continue to unveil our eyes and lead us into a closer relationship with you. Mature our faith daily and allow our lives to speak of Your goodness and grace. Lord, help us to discern Your truth when listening to others. Help us not to fall victim to the many schemes and plots of those who use Christianity to promote falsehoods or personal agendas. Lord, awaken us to see the difference. Lord, equip us and strengthen us to follow Your example of Christian living – seeking to serve others, to point anyone to God, showing compassion, love & mercy, and standing for justice. Lord, we want to serve and follow you. Begin a new work within us, ignite the flame – Your Holy Spirit inside of us, and build up our endurance to finish the race well. Lord, help us to be examples of You today – in our speech, in our conversations with others, and in all of our actions and reactions. In Jesus name, amen.
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