Prepare – Philippians 3:17–21
Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
During my freshman year of college, my parents told me I was about to have a baby brother, my first sibling. God knew my parents could only handle one at a time. My brother has many godly examples to follow: his parents, sister-in-law, teachers, small group leaders, and so on. He also has me, and he reminds me to set an example worth following.
Earlier in his letter, Paul offers two godly examples of people worth following: Timothy (2:19–24), who is always looking after others’ well-being, and Epaphroditus (2:25–30), who almost died caring for Paul. But Paul doesn’t stop there. Paul says, “Join together in following my example” (3:17). Paul knew that he had to be a living example of the gospel himself.
It’s not enough to know examples of godly men and women; we are called to be examples. God made us for relationship, and every relationship influences each person involved. The question is, will our influence make others more like Jesus?
JOY is relationships: Jesus first, Others second, You third. You are an example to others of Jesus. How will you set an example worth following today?
~ Pastor Steven Dunkel