Monday, August 17, 2015

be a standard bearer


however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.

The standard bearer is the person who carries the flag or the banner in to battle.  He announces the presence of the army or platoon.  His carrying the banner shows those he leads that they are strong and ready for battle. 

This person only carries the flag or banner.  There is not gun or weapon.  He is confident and ready for what is ahead of Him.  Yet the most important thing that the standard bearer does is leading others.

If the standard bearer isn’t confident, there is trouble ahead.  That is why as Christians we must be wise to choose the standards that God set and not the ones set by any person.  In fact our world is in desperate need of standards and standard bearers.  We need fathers who will stand tall and with integrity and spiritual mature for their children and their wives.  We need business owners, politicians, servants and leaders to choose well what standards they will lift up.  We need mothers and ladies who will live with power from our God.

The standard is something we choose for ourselves.  This is often in a place or situation that it is chosen for you, but in our world where people are easily offended, the standards seem to be clouded and not set.  We must set the standard.  What do we want to become?  What do we want our children to achieve?

Here is the point: there are many people that we idolize, yet many of those are horrible, twisted people who are living selfish lives.  Our role models of the past have given way to sports figures who make outrageous amounts of money and are overlooked when they choose to do immoral things.  Or maybe it is the singer or actor that we have chosen to follow.  They can do almost anything and get away with it.

We need standards.  God set them for us.  We need success.  God has given us roles to perform and lives to live with confidence and passion.  We have missed them.  Our country, our world and our community needs some people who have set some standards and hold to them.

Our home, community and church needs the same.  Be careful.  Are we being the example God called us to be for others?

Did you know that everybody leads somebody?  You might say or hear someone say I just want to fit it or I just want to get lost in the crowd.  I have heard it, but I don’t believe that is possible.  God has placed us here to make a difference.  Not all of us are called to preach, but we are called to use our influence. 

We influence our kids, our neighbors, our spouses, our co-workers, our classmates and all kinds of people by the choices we make and the life we live.  What are we doing with our influence?  Be an example.

All of us are looking for someone to follow.  Be careful for the pitfalls, the roadblocks, the speed bumps, the traps and other things that make us go the wrong direction.  A little bit of wrong can have a long-term impact on our lives.  This is serious stuff.  Who will we choose to follow?

Philippians 3:17 (NASB)
Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.

That is a bold statement, but if we choose well who we will follow and how we lead, we will help others find God.  We need and others need the goodness and grace of our God.

By choosing to be a standard bearer others will see our God and come to know Him.  It is our responsibility and possibility to lead others by the standards we choose.

1 Thessalonians 1:7  NIV
And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.

Be an example, a mentor or a model for others to see God.  Be a standard bearer!

I am grateful for Erwin McManus as he shared a message about being a standard bearer.  This was a great place to get me thinking and ready to share this message with our church yesterday.  Thank you Erwin and Mosaic Church in Los Angeles.

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