Daily Devotion for June 24th, 2020
1 Corinthians 4:16: “So I ask you to follow my example and do as I do.”
The apostle Paul is fascinating. I have always been in awe of his “follow my example” exhortations to the saints. He instructed his readers to follow his example two times in 1 Corinthians (1 Corinthians 4:16, 1 Corinthians 11:1), and again in Philippians 3:17: “Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.” How could he write that? What gave him the boldness and confidence to be able to say that?
Paul was aware of GOD's presence in his life at all times. That is, he was able to make this statement because he walked sooo closely to GOD by...
- spending his free-time in HIS Word ( Colossians 3:16, 2 Timothy 4:13)
- praying constantly over everything (Ephesians 1:16, Philippians 4:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Romans 12:12)
- living at all times in a manner that was worthy of the Good News (Philippians 1:27, Colossians 3:17).
Paul didn't expect believers to imitate everything he did (we don't have to take up “tent-making” to be like Paul!). He just wanted us to copy his habits of reading GOD's Word, praying constantly, and living in a way that everything we do or say is representative of JESUS CHRIST. We CAN do that! We can, in the power of the Mighty HOLY SPIRIT, live lives patterned after Paul. After all,“the Kingdom of GOD is not just fancy talk; it is living by GOD's power” (1 Corinthians 4:20).
Brothers and sisters in CHRIST, how are you doing? Are you copying Paul in these three areas, striving to look more like JESUS every day? Even more challenging...can you, like Paul, tell others to “copy” you? Can others look at your life and “do” what you do so that their lives will “look” like our SAVIOR's? Whether you realize it or not, you are being “watched” and copied—by your “little ones,” by your grandchildren, by your neighbors, by your relatives, by your spouse, by your friends, by the people you work with, by the people you meet, by your enemies...The closer we draw to the SON, the better we are able to reflect HIM.
JESUS, create in us a longing to imitate Paul in his Word time, prayer life, and lifestyle. Let his life of submission to YOU, and his example of clinging to YOU, be our passion, our desire. We have no excuse! We have the same Mighty HOLY SPIRIT that enabled Paul! Do what YOU have to do, JESUS, so we can say to others “follow my example, just as I follow CHRIST's” (1 Corinthians 11:1)! AMEN!!!!