Imitating an Apostle
Daily Bible Reading – Philippians 1-4
Today’s Key Passage – Philippians 3:1-21
In the early days of Christianity, just as it is today, the goal of a Christ follower was to live a Christ-like life. Today, though, we have a huge advantage over the early Christians. Today, if someone wants to learn about Jesus, all he has to do is pick up a Bible and start reading the New Testament. In the Gospels, a person can read all about the life of Jesus Christ. He can read about how Christ lived and what He taught. If we want to find a person to imitate, we have to look no further than the Source. For the early Christians, however, no such text existed. There was no such thing as the New Testament in the early days of Christianity. The story of Jesus life had not yet been written down in a form that was readily available to all seekers. Paul knew this. Paul knew that the people he encountered did not have a means to easily experience Christ directly. He knew it would be difficult for others to follow Christ’s example if they were unable to see his example the way we can today. In the absence of being able to imitate Christ, Paul told the Philippians to imitate him. Paul was not claiming to be perfect. In fact, at the beginning of today’s key passage he clearly states that he has not arrived at his goal of being Christ-like. Despite his imperfections, the fact that Paul was able to tell others to imitate him is a testament to the way he lived his life. He lived as a readily available example of Christ.
How many of us could say the same thing? Imagine a person who had no way of knowing about Jesus Christ. Imagine that this person had never read the Bible and did not have access to one. Imagine that this person may have heard a few things about Christ, some true and some not, but had no way to tell the difference. Imagine that the only way this person could try to become Christ-like would be to imitate you. How would that go? If this person tried to copy you in everything that you said and did, would they become more Christ-like? While this may sound like a scary thought to a certain degree, it is not altogether far from reality. Most of the people we know who do not know Christ are almost exactly like the imaginary person I described. While most of the people we encounter do have access to a Bible, the simple truth is that they will not spend the time, at least initially, to read about Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Instead, they will watch you and perhaps even imitate you. Think about this today as you encounter people. Are you acting as a good example for Jesus Christ? If someone is watching you, are you leading him closer to Christ or driving him away from Him? As we all attempt to reach the goal of a Christ-like life, let us all try to be good examples today for others to imitate.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.
Posted on December 6, 2013, in 11 - Philippians and tagged Bible, Christian, Daily Bible, Daily Devotional, Evangelism, God, Godly Living, Jesus, Religion, Service. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.