Day 17 – January 22
Philippians 3:17-21(NLT) 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.
Philippians 4:1(NLT) Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.
Who are the people you pattern your life after? Who are the people you emulate? These are crucial questions that need to be answered. But an even more important question to ask is this: “If people pattern their lives after mine, what would it look like?” Before you protest and say the words of that famous theologian (Charles Barkley), “I am not a role model.” Think again… Can you tell people to emulate your faith? If someone were to follow you up close and personal for a couple of months, would they be able to see from your lifestyle what a Christ follower should be?
If people pray like you pray, study God’s Word like you do, relate to others like you do, serve like you serve, care for others like you care for others, connect with fellow believers like you do, do their jobs like you do yours, talk about others like you talk about others, give like you give and share their faith like you do, would it express a vibrant faith that is worthy to follow or a faith that at best is anemic and void of power? What does your conduct show? You might think; wait a minute, this is a bit harsh! Not at all. Someone must love you enough to tell you the truth. To follow Christ, means to be all in. Jesus is worthy of all our devotion, not worthy of some of our devotion.
The longer you vacillate between being a passionate or passive follower of Jesus, the harder it becomes to express your faith. Remember your conduct shows what and who you truly love. But we must be careful that we do not rely on our conduct to bring about God’s righteousness. Our conduct is because of what Jesus has done for us and that causes us to want to do what is right! Religion is based just on doing or not doing certain things, I don’t eat this or do that, yet it is passive and heartless. But a relationship with Jesus is founded in His love, based on His love and lived out through His love.
That passionate love will be seen in our conduct. We are not controlled by our appetites, we recognize the difference between good and bad and we don’t just think of temporary things. So, when others observe our lives, it is a true reflection of Jesus. Our lives are patterned after the resurrected Christ and our focus is on pleasing Him. We eagerly look forward to His return but that does not immobilize us to do nothing. Just the contrary, we love, we serve, we give, we relate, we connect, we influence, all of this to build His kingdom! We stay true to Jesus…
Will you consider your conduct and reflect on what needs to change? We all influence people. Whether that influence is positive or negative depends on us. Do you love Jesus enough to give Him your all? Then let it be seen in your daily walk and habits.
- Pray that your conduct will be pleasing to the Lord.
- Ask the Lord to help you to reflect honestly, without justifying or lying to yourself. Ask for forgiveness where necessary.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit will flood your heart with God’s love and that you will be rooted and grounded in His love.
- Prayer: Father thank You for godly examples that we can follow. I pray for my fellow believers that we would live lives that others can emulate. I pray that we would be examples of faith, faithfulness, service and above all love. Keep us faithfully serving You and help us to demonstrate by our conduct that You are our Lord of all arenas of our lives. We want to live a life of passionate faith, because You are worthy of our complete devotion. In Jesus Name! Amen