Following Jesus means imitating Jesus

Tonight we studied with a wonderful couple of new converts. Our conversation dealt with what it means to follow Jesus. A big part of that is imitating Jesus.

We mentioned that Jesus himself instructed us to imitate him, in John 13. There are so many areas in which this principle is applied. We read specifically about one, using the text of 1 Corinthians 10.23-11.1. (This chapter division is one of the worst, ever.)

People here have a tendency to put distance between ourselves and the Lord. After all, he was the only perfect human being, without sin. One brother even announced before the congregation that no one should follow his example.

But when it comes to limiting one’s personal liberty in order to please others, that they might be saved, Paul tells us to follow his example, because he follows Christ’s.

Everyone should be able to say that.

#discipleship #imitation-of-Christ #example

Hugh’s News & Views (Great Lessons . . .)

GREAT LESSONS FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT

While the Old Testament no longer governs the people of God (we are governed by the new covenant which Christ sealed with His blood, Matthew 26:28), the Old Testament remains a part of the divinely inspired revelation of God to mankind and contains within it many great lessons for people living in the Christian age. Paul wrote: “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). Following are some important lessons from the Old Testament. Continue reading

#example, #hughfulford, #old-testament

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8-10-2015 The Sodomites’ Example

In Sodom, Lot had visitors, and “the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally’” (Genesis 19:4-5 NKJV). God later turned “the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly” (2 Peter 2:6 NKJV). Homosexuals in the streets, demanding their “rights” brought Sodom to ashes. With the White House bathed in rainbow colors after the U. S. Supreme Court’s recognition of homosexual “rights,” the ungodly haven’t learned from the “example” of what God thinks!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#example, #homosexuals, #rainbow-colors, #rights, #sodom, #ungodly, #white-house

A lot of church members believe that when…

A lot of church members believe that when they’ve gone to church on Sunday, they have done their job as far as being a Christian is concerned. But the truth is that is a very small part of following Jesus. Everywhere we go and all-of-the-time we are either lifting up the name of Jesus to those we meet or we are treading it underfoot. At the work place as well as the church house, we are watched. At a restaurant, at a ball-game, waiting in line at a grocery store, wherever we are, we leave an impression for good or ill. The way we answer the phone, the way we speak to a waitress, the patience we show in heavy traffic, the kindness shown to a child, the sensitivity we give to a patient; all of this speaks louder than an hour we spend at worship. I’m not saying Sunday is unimportant. I am saying that Monday through Saturday count, too. You may be the only Bible many folks will ever read. What will others learn when they read your life? This is Just-A-Minute.

#example, #influence, #just-a-minute

An illustrative preacher

Jesus was not only a preacher of illustrations, he was an illustrative preacher.

Jesus didn’t fall into the “do as I say and not as I do” category. Besides the personal claims that he made about himself, this “follow what I’m doing and what I’m teaching” mentality was the main distinction between his ministry and the ministry of the majority of his contemporary Jewish leaders. Jesus’ adversaries couldn’t convict this rabbi of sin in word or in deed. He even challenged them to do so, and then made a preaching point out of it! (John 8:46)

This element of Jesus is not only what separated him from the preachers of yesterday, it’s an element that still does so. After all, it’s easier to give illustrations in a sermon than it is to be an illustrative sermon isn’t it? Telling stories are one thing, but giving someone something to talk about in a good way is a different thing all-together. And yet a living illustration is what we’re called to be (Matthew 5:14-16).

Remembering that Jesus was an illustrative preacher is why I follow him; it’s why I try to not get too stuck on me. I try to be a good example but I know who the example is.

Jesus’ illustrations still teach basic principles to his listeners to this day (think the good Samaritan, the blind following the blind, the prodigal son, and many more than what this space allows), but these illustrations have the effect that they do because he didn’t only teach with illustration – he taught by illustration.

The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,” Acts 1:1

#example, #jesus, #preachers

My daddy was much of a man He…

My daddy was much of a man. He was strong, tough, and hard working. I enjoyed being with Daddy, and especially riding with him in his truck. I liked to watch Daddy wave to everybody he met. You see Daddy didn’t wave like some by sticking up his pointer finger or all fingers. Daddy gave those he met more than that. He saluted them. I can still see his calloused hands, hardened by his years of carpentry work, clasping the steering wheel. Daddy had both hands on the steering wheel with his right hand positioned about the two o’clock hour. When we met a car Daddy took his hand off the wheel, raised it a bit, brought it toward him about four inches, and then thrusting it outward, he saluted those we met along the way. He didn’t have to know them. Everybody that met Daddy received a salute. Daddy was friendly. It showed in his salute and in his manner of life.

It’s a good thing to be friendly. It’s good for our health. A friendly person smiles. wiki How.com had this tip on smiling: “Smiling changes people’s mood. When you’re feeling sad, smile. Your mood will become happier. Smiling tricks the body into changing your mood for the better – even if you’re faking the smile initially. Just smile every time that you are sad, and you will be healthier overall.”

The Bible talks about the importance of being friendly. Proverbs 18:24 says “A man that would have friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Someone else said, “Strangers are simply friends you haven’t met.”

Jack Exum often quoted the following poem by an unknown author while preaching:

You don’t have to tell how you live each day;

You don’t have to say if you work or you play;

A tried, true barometer serves in the place–

However you live, it will show in your face.

The false, the deceit that you bear in your heart,

Will not stay inside where it first got a start;

For sinew and blood are a thin veil of lace–

What you wear in your heart, you wear in your face.

If your life is selfless, if for others you live,

For not what you get, but how much you can give;

If you live close to God in his infinite grace–

You don’t have to tell it, it shows in your face.

Daddy’s salute was his way of being friendly, his way of smiling to those he met. Oh, to see that salute one more time…

#example, #friendliness, #happiness

Granddaddy told me…

Granddaddy Felix T. Bryant died at the age of 91 years. I was 21. Granddaddy was on his death bed in their little low income apartment. I visited them often and made sure mother got to be with them regularly. One night I was visiting my grandparents when Granddaddy said, “Be sure you read Ephesians the fifth chapter before you marry.” “I will Granddaddy,” I replied. Nothing more was said about it on that occasion. I went home, opened my Bible to Ephesians chapter 5, and read it. I made a note in my Bible that Granddaddy had asked me to read that chapter before marrying. He was a sick man. He talked out of his head from time to time. It wasn’t long until I went back to visit him again. There he was, a tall, thin man, lying on his back on his bed. I was seated at the foot of the bed. He knew I was there. He said, “I bet you haven’t read Ephesians chapter 5 yet.” I was so glad to reply, “Yes I have, Grandaddy.” And that was it.

A small comment, yet a powerful one, from the lips of a dying man. A comment that brings back the memory each time the book of Ephesians is mentioned or seen.

What did I get from this encouragement from someone I loved dearly?He knew what Ephesians 5 was all about. There was a message he wanted me to hear straight from the word of God. He could have told me, I’m certain, but he wanted me to read it straight from the inspired Word.

There’s an example in all of us, no matter what time it is, no matter what age we are, no matter where we are. We are setting and leaving our example in the minds of those we meet along life’s pathway. The Bible says “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,” and we know it to be true. Whatever is on our mind, in our hearts, it is that of which we will speak. Granddaddy knew his Bible. Many are the memories I have of him sitting on the low platform yellow rocker that was much too small for his tall, thin, frame. His legs were crossed and both basically reached the floor. Across his lap lay his open Bible. He knew the Book, but more than that He knew the Author. His heart was filled with the word of God, and therefore out of it flowed the words of life. He left me a wonderful example, and one that I have, and forever more, will carry with me, sharing it all along the way with those who will hear.

#example, #love, #marriage