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About-Him.Com Devotional 02-26-2011

Be an Example of the Believer

In the epistles of Paul to Timothy the apostle Paul encourages his spiritual son Timothy to make full proof of his ministry (2Tim. 4:5) and to be an example of the believer is all aspects of life.  

1Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.  

He is to be an example by the words that came from his mouth. That’s the easy part, isn’t it? Some of us can recite scripture to cover all occasions and that’s as it should be (Col. 3:13). It’s also easy to be like the Pharisees who thought that they would be heard because of their much speaking (Mt. 6:7). Much better to follow the example of Jesus who prophetically said in Isaiah 50:4 that the Lord God had given Him the tongue of the learned that He might speak a “word in season” to him that was weary.  

Isaiah 50:4 ¶ The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to [him that is] weary:  

Proverbs 25:11 ¶ A word fitly spoken [is like] apples of gold in pictures of silver.

Next we are  to be an example by our “conversation” which in the  KJV means not only our spoken word but our conduct and whole manner of living. In the idiom of today, “If we’re going to talk the talk, we had better walk the walk.” The world is very quick to point out our inconsistencies.  

Next we are to set an example by our charity or love, not only for one another, but for our whole community. In these hard times we see many churches stepping up and increasing their outreach to the suffering, without analyzing the recipient’s denominational standing. That's good! Here again we can follow the example of Jesus. He had compassion on the multitude because they were hungry. He didn’t attach any other conditions (Mt. 15:32).    

We are to be an example of the believer by the “spirit” that we demonstrate.  I believe that this is speaking of the attitude that we exhibit in our contact with others. Nothing shows what we are about any more than our attitude, eh? We can go through the actions of good works but the attitude that shows on our face can either attract people or turn them away.  

We set an example of what we really are by our “faith.“  We can have a theological faith and have all of our doctrinal statements in perfect order, and few will notice, or care for that matter.  Or, we can live our faith by the faith of the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself for us (Gal. 2:20). Which one will the world take note of? You’re right, we want Jesus living His life through us.  

Lastly, we are to be an example of the believer by our “purity.” How sad it is to see someone’s testimony compromised by impure actions. A whole lifetime of good can be wiped out in the minds of unbelievers by a few rash actions. Also, souls of those with whom we have daily contact hang in the balance.  

Throughout Paul’s epistles we see that he is well qualified to urge others to be an example of the believer. In Acts 20:33 we hear him say, “I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.” In 2Corinthians 7:2 he states, “Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man."  

Paul stated in 2Corinthians  4:2 the he had  “renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” Paul was always eager to preach the gospel especially where it had never been preached before (Ro. 1;15, 15:20; 2Cor. 10:16).  

Paul approved himself as a minister of God in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left (2Cor. 6:4-7).  

Paul was well qualified to  say, “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample“ (Php. 3:17 ). We are to mark those who follow godly lifestyles and to follow their examples as well as to be consistent  examples of the believer to others.  

Most of all, Jesus is our prime example.  

Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:  

Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.  

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:  

1John 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.  

1John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.

God bless to each and everyone. We’ve barely scratched the surface on this subject. Please feel free to share your thoughts, both pro and con.  
Somebody Has Said
"There are two days in my calendar: This day and that Day." — Martin Luther

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Don and Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries

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