CAN I HAVE AN EXAMPLE, PLEASE?
"Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe." 1 Timothy 4:12
When I was working in the chemical business, I had a customer named Dave who worked at the power plant of a major university. He was a quiet man with a great reputation among the other plant employees. One of the ladies who worked there told me, "Now, Dave ... he is a real Christian." Dave was not a hypocrite. He walked the talk. He was an example to the rest of the people at the power plant of what a true Christian really is. His speech and conduct glorified Christ. Because his walk was genuine and exemplary, his influence was great.
THE KEY TO GREAT INFLUENCE
Many people desire to live a life of great influence. To be sure, that is a good and godly desire. But how is that desire achieved? The answer is simple: through example. Paul told Timothy to show himself as "an example of those who believe."
If you name the name of Christ, people will watch you like a hawk to see if your walk matches your talk. If it doesn't—if you let your tongue loose in evil, if you listen and laugh at the dirty jokes, if you gossip about your boss and coworkers, if you lie, cheat, and backstab to get ahead—you will be quickly dismissed as just another Christian hypocrite. But, if you present yourself as genuine and true (not perfect because no one is), others will take note and will respect you greatly, even if they don't agree with you. You will have influence on your job, in your neighborhood, in your school, and in your church. A godly example is a powerful witness for Jesus Christ.
Gandhi once said, "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." How sad, but how true so much of the time. Gandhi was looking for a godly example, but he found none. A poem I like says this:
I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day.
I'd rather you go with me than merely point the way.
The eye is a more ready pupil than ever was the ear.
Good advice is often confusing, but example is always clear.
I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day.
As you take a long and sober look into your own heart, what do you see? How is your example? If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Do the people you rub shoulders with each day see Jesus in you? Are you letting your light shine? If not, why not?
The Lord has called us to come out from among them and be separate. He has called us to be holy and live godly lives where we deal with sin and walk in the light with Jesus. God's grace and the power of the Holy Spirit are available to each one of us. And only by His grace and power, can we rise above our circumstances to be the shining examples He has called us to be.
The world is watching. Your friends and neighbors and workmates and classmates are watching. May we be able to say with Paul, "Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1).
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Jeff Schreve founded From His Heart Ministries, www.fromhisheart.org, in 2005 with the vision to reach as many people as possible with the good news of God's love. Jeff believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a great plan just for you. He broadcast on radio, TV and in the internet around the world from his pulpit ministry as Pastor of First Baptist in Texarkana, Texas. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.
DESCRIPTION: Even the greatest men in the Bible had to deal with fear. If you are, there is good news. God wants to see you overcome your fear. In this booklet from Pastor Jeff Schreve, you’ll gain practical insights to help you trust God and experience His peace and deliverance. You’ll learn to conquer your fear as you fix your eyes on Jesus and walk by faith and not by sight. And in the encouraging series Face Off, you will see that Paul tells us that “In the last days, difficult times will come.” One of the biggest difficulties Christians will face in the last days is apostasy; a falling away from the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Jude warns his readers that false teachers with their false teachings will try to secretly inject their poison into the church in order to distort the saving message of Christ and derail the work of God. Christians are called to stand up for the truth and fight for the faith