Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Example, Part 3

Chuckle: A 6-year-old was asked where his grandma lived. "Oh," he said, "she lives at the airport, and when we want her, we just go get her. Then, when we're done, we take her back to the airport."
Quote: “A good example is the best sermon.” --Benjamin Franklin
"In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us" (Titus 2:7-8 NIV). "You became imitators of us and of the Lord; . . . and so you became a model to all believers . ." (I Thessalonians 1:6-7 NIV).
On a cold December day, a little barefoot boy was standing shivering on the sidewalk staring into the window of a shoe store. A lady walked up and asked him what he was doing. He said: "I was wishing God would give me a pair of shoes." The lady took him into the store and told the clerk to get six pairs of socks for the boy and also asked for a pan of warm water and a towel. She took the boy to the back of the store and washed and dried his little feet and put a pair of new socks on them. Then she bought him a pair of shoes and said: "There, you will feel better now." As she turned to leave, the little boy asked: "are you God's wife?"
What a great example of love and concern not only for the little boy, but for others in the store. As professing Christians, people are watching our every move. They're looking for something to criticize or for something genuinely good and real in which they can place their hope and trust. Remember, an example is a model or pattern to be followed or imitated. I hope you have the desire to model Christian character as an example for others. Paul said to Timothy, ". . . set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity" (I Timothy 4:12 NIV).
We all are aware of many prominent Christians who have disgraced their Lord and Christianity by scandalous behavior that destroyed their Christian testimony. Such well publicized occurrences have done much to harm the credibility of our faith. No doubt God would have each of us make it our personal responsibility to help create a positive attitude toward Christians and Christianity.
It would be well if each of us evaluated ourselves by asking: What kind of an example am I on the job -- at school -- in church -- as a pastor -- as a deacon -- as a Sunday School teacher -- as a parent -- as a neighbor?" Do I use the same profane words and tell the same dirty jokes as non-Christians? As a teacher/leader in the church, is my example a good one for members and other aspiring teachers? Am I setting an example of love, ministry, and service? Are my actions an example that I would want my children and grandchildren to follow when they become parents? Is my conduct sufficiently different to mark me as a Christian?
What is it that prevents you from saying: "Follow my example?" What needs to be included in, or excluded from, your life to make you a good example of Christian character? The power of an example cannot be overstated. The most frequent accusations against Christians by non-Christians have to do with our failure to set a Godly example by the way we live -- to practice what we preach .
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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