Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1 (ESV)
Do you want to be an example that others can follow? That is an unusual question. Why is that? How could my life ever be a worthy example for others to follow? Why do you ask that? I am a sinner. I haven’t just sinned in the past. I am a sinner in the present. I will be a sinner in the future. I haven’t partially sinned against you. I have sinned against you in my thoughts, words and deeds. I have sinned by what I have done. I have sinned by what I have left undone. So, you are telling me that you are a sinner? So, you are telling me that you need my forgiveness? So, you are telling me that you need my cleansing of all your unrighteousness? Yes, I am. Is that not a worthy example for others to follow? Yes, it is.
Let’s explore this topic further. I’m game. You have turned away from your old life of sin. You have asked me to be the Savior and Lord of your life. You are no longer allowing your life to be conformed to the values, patterns and practices of the world. You have stopped relying on your own understanding. You are no longer relying on your own strength. You want to accomplish my purposes. You want to fulfill my plans. You want to live a life that is pleasing to me. You want to bear fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name. You are no longer chasing after all that the world offers. You want to store on treasure in heaven with me. You are going where I guide you. You are doing what I ask of you. One day you want to hear me say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Is everything that I have said true? Do you desire to live the life that I have described? Yes, I want to life my life in all the ways that you have described. Are these desires not worthy of imitating? Yes, these desires are worth imitating. I suppose that you want to point out that you are doing none of these things perfectly. Well, that’s the truth. Your admission is also worth imitating.
Let’s take this one step further. Alright. You have set apart a special time and place to meet daily with me in my word. You are drawing near to me, as I draw near to you. You are allowing my word to change your heart, transform your mind and guide your life. You are meeting with me in prayer and worship. You have allowed yourself to be rooted in a body of believers. You are allowing yourself to be spurred on in your faith as you spur others on in their faith. You are allowing me to work in and through your life. You are engaged in doing the ministry that I have given you to do. Is there anything here that is not worthy of imitating? No, everything you have said is worthy of imitating.
Let’s talk about a few more things. OK. The desire of your heart is to know me. You want to know my thoughts and do my will. You want to live and walk in an intimate relationship with me. You want to have a constant and ongoing dialogue of prayer with me, just as I had with my Father. Are any desires worthier of imitating than these? No, I’m sure there are no desires worthier of imitating than these. You are right. Thank you for giving and granting me all these desires of my heart. Your life is an example worthy of following as you keep on imitating me. That is what I will do. That will be very good.
Lord, you have set before me an example to follow. I want to think what you thought. I want to say what you said. I want to do what you did. In every way, I want to imitate you. Not only that, I want to be a worthy example others can follow as I imitate you. Amen
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