Set A Holy Example

February 9, 2013

Friends,
Acts 6:5 tells us that Stephen was “full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.”  This should be a description of all of us.  But is it?  And if not, are we doing something about it?  We should be –immediately.

1 Tim. 4:12 commands all Truth-teachers to “set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”  Actually, this is a command for all Christians, for we all have people watching us, listening to us, and being influenced by us, even daily.

So, what about it?  Are we living our lives in a manner befitting those who claim to be “Little Christs”?  Because 1 John 2:6 commands that we live (behave, think, and speak) just as Jesus did.

Let’s examine ourselves often as 2 Cor. 13:5 cautions us to do.  If someone we witnessed to yesterday saw us today, would we still be a Christ-like model to them?  Would we be in obedience to that command to be an example to other believers –and to nonbelievers as well?  (Matt. 5:13-16 // Col. 4:5,6)

How is our speech?  Do we speak calmly, graciously, and truthfully, and so edify, exhort, and rebuke only by the Spirit of God and only with His words?  (1 Peter 4:11)

What about our conduct?  Do we behave in a manner worthy of the Gospel?  (Phil. 1:27)  Or does our conduct insult the Spirit of grace (Heb. 10:29) and bring degradation to the name of Christ?  (6:6)

What about our love?  Do we “love each other deeply” (1 Peter 4:8) so that we love and forgive and sacrifice just as God has for us?  (Eph. 5:1,2)

And how is our faith?  Is it growing and producing fruit?  Is it evident by our gentleness, strength, resolve, patience, peace, kindness, and zeal?  Are we filled with thanksgiving unto God?  Do we serve Him whole-heartedly, even as we assuredly wait (even for years) on a promise?  Are we encouraging others by what we’re learning through our trials?

And what about purity?  Are we holy?  Is everything about us pure and righteous?  Or do we, in secret, think perverse thoughts or harbor malice in our hearts?  What kind of words come out of our mouths when we’re nervous or upset or angry, or when we’re just plain tired?  Do we immediately praise God, or do we wallow for a time in a depraved condition?  Do we remember that “without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14) and realize that when we bowed to Christ as Lord and received His washing, we were in fact making a pledge to retain a pure conscience?  (Heb. 10:22 // 1 Peter 3:21)  Are we keeping our vow?  Or have we gone the way of the OSAS group and been careless with our vow?  Have we rejected false doctrine and so understood that purity is indeed required (1 Thes. 4:7) and that otherwise we are rejecting God?  (same verse)

Let’s examine ourselves, for only by holding to what God expects of us will we continue through life “full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.”  (Acts 6:5)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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