Imitation

Jack Roeda

READ : Philippians 3:17-21

Join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us. (v. 17)

Churches can hardly do better than to expose us to significant examples of Christian living. We should be able to say to our children and neighbors, “Here, in our church, are people who walk the talk. For them knowing Christ is living Christ.” I vividly recall once asking a teenager why he wanted to make profession of faith. He said, “Because of my dad.” I knew his dad, and I understood what he meant.

To the church in Philippi, Paul represents Jesus. He knows Christ. Paul is Christ to the Philippians.

Similarly, Christ must be made visible through us to the people around us. As Christ is our model, so now we are a model to others. People who may never open a Bible are reading us.

Preacher/theologian William Willimon wrote: “If every hundred years or so we cannot point to a Teresa of Calcutta, or a Martin Luther King Jr., or a Desmond Tutu, we Christians have a problem, because the world is quite right in judging our religion by the sort of lives that it produces” (Leadership Journal). Lacking changed lives, we pervert the gospel into an intellectual dilemma, some head trip, rather than a life-style trip.

PRAYER

Lord God, may our lives be a witness. Amen.