1 Corinthians 11:1 (nlt) --- And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.
That is one of the boldest statements that you might find a Christian say. Some would even say that is arrogant and self centered. Yet, as we heard this Sunday in our last message in the One Prayer series, God's kids ought to be bold and strong.
I've watched this example. By the way, I'm getting a bit personal today. The last 3 days I have had a great time with my brother Steve. He is the father of 6 kids and the husband of a great lady. I'm not just saying this cause he is my brother, but Steve is one of the finest men I know. He walks the walk. He loves Jesus and he loves his family.
From where I sit and how I have experienced life, guys like me (pastors and those in ministry) need people who encourage us. My brother does that for me. Many, many times over the last 15 year and more years Steve has come to my rescue or to my side spiritually. I've watched him with his kids and heard his heart. It has only been in the few years that I have watched him serve his church and be a big part of helping others connect to Christ. Steve does this well. Almost like a model for others to follow.
No, Steve is not perfect. He is human and a Harrison (that means we are flawed and sinful by nature), but this man walks by faith and he lifts others to do the same. He treats people with respect and has something say, not just liking to hear himself talk.
Last night I had a great opportunity that filled my heart in a big way. Steve shared with our small group. I was so ready to hear how God has shaped Steve's life and family and relationship with God. What I heard, not said in words, was the verse above. And by the way, Steve can say "follow me as I follow Christ" because he does just that. I pray that those in our small group caught what I caught from my brother.
There is more to family that just getting by. There is more to work than getting a pay check. There is more to church than just hearing a message. We need to plug in "and then some" (quoting from a Jentezen Franklin sermon). We must be people who don't just talk about faith, but live by faith. We must do more than what is expected of us as followers of God, as parents, as employees, as church people and more.
I'm proud of my brother. I invite you to meet the model. Our dad and our mom walk with Jesus. And I have watched with my eyes my brother walk with God. Lets do the same!