Philippians 3:17 – Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.
Paul encourages the Philippians to be followers, or imitators of himself. It is a tribute to his exemplary life that he could even write such words. We often hear the expression in jest, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Not so with the apostle! He could hold up his own life as a model of wholehearted devotion to Christ and to His cause. Having set forth his life ambition to be more Christlike, Paul did not hesitate to tell them to follow his example. He wanted them to imitate him. Surely, he did not mean that they should imitate every single area of his life, for he had just stated earlier that he was not sinlessly perfect. But in the matter of relentlessly pursuing after Christlikeness, he did set himself up as a living illustration. Those who followed him would join with others who were already doing so. Paul wasn’t so proud to think that he was the only one who could be such an example. He told the Philippians to note those who so walk in the way he spoke of, and he noted that they had others as a good pattern to follow.
How wonderful it is to know that you have certain individuals in your life that help guide you through and show you how to live the Christian life. Certainly, the bible itself is filled with godly men and women that show you the difference between right from wrong and what is truth from what is error. However, there are also the living examples in this world of people who have trusted in Jesus and have paved the way for living a godly lifestyle. Your challenge for the week is to thank God for those whom He has placed in your life that help you walk according to His word and to remain within His perfect will. Do you have godly parents that brought you up in a Christian home and who taught you to love others as Christ instructed? Do you have a Grandmother that tirelessly prayed for you to receive Jesus as your Savior or an Uncle who helped you when you had questions about the bible? I am thankful for the men God placed into my life that taught me the meaning of what it meant to be “a man after God’s own heart.” If you look closely enough around you, I am sure you will find certain people that have assisted you in your walk with God and who have been there for you in the toughest of times. Thank God for them everyday. Finally, consider who you are being an example to as well. People are watching you. Are you leading them well? God bless you.