Living an exemplary life
Living an exemplary life
Jesus led an exemplary life. People looked to Him because He was worthy He was worthy of honor, He was praiseworthy, He was worthy of imitation.
Today message is about just that, a call to be worthy, commendable. A call to lead an exemplary life, before we go on I want you to know what the word exemplary means.
American Heritage Dictionary:
|exemplary||(adj.)||Worthy of imitation; commendable: exemplary behavior.|
Serving as a model. Serving as an illustration;
|Synonyms of 'exemplary' 22 synonyms - Roget's II: Thesaurus||•||Deserving honor, respect, or admiration: admirable, commendable, creditable, deserving, estimable, honorable, laudable, meritorious, praiseworthy, reputable, respectable, worthy.|
Now that we know what it means, I want you to look at your life and ask your self, Are you worthy of imitation, are you serving as a model? This nation needs role models, and as Christians, not only should we be role models, Christ calls us to be.
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
These verses give Paul’s explanation of what it means to be one who has “been called according to His purpose” and why God keeps on working all their experiences together to their benefit Believers are those God foreknew. This does not mean simply that God foreknows what believers will do, but that God foreknows them. Nor does divine foreknowledge merely mean an awareness of or acquaintance with an individual. Instead it means a meaningful relationship with a person based on God’s choice in eternity before Creation. “He chose us in Him before the Creation of the world
This eternal choice and foreknowledge involves more than establishing a relationship between God and believers. It also involves the goal or end of that relationship: Those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son (1 John 3:2)
1 John 3:2
2Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
The entire group that is brought into relationship with God in His eternal plan by divine foreknowledge and choice is predestined. God determined beforehand the believers’ destiny, namely, conformity to the image of Jesus Christ. By all saints being made like Christ (ultimate and complete sanctification), Christ will be exalted as the Firstborn among many brothers. The resurrected and glorified Lord Jesus Christ will become the Head of a new race of humanity purified from all contact with sin and prepared to live eternally in His presence.
Jesus led a mentoring life. He had 12 disciples but only truly mentored 3, He was an example to all but took only 3 under his wing. And that what I want to talk with you about today is leading a mentoring life. Turn in your bibles with me to:
2 Timothy 3:10
10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
We must follow those who are True!!!!!
Paul turned from the false leaders to remind Timothy that he (Paul) had been a faithful servant of God. It is important in these difficult days that we follow the right spiritual leaders.
But how do we know a spiritual leader or a Godly mentor? What are their characteristics?
Here are six that I have found from scripture.
· Their lives are open for all to see (v. 10a). Paul had nothing to hide. Like his Master, he could say, “In secret have I said nothing” (John 18:20). “My manner of life from my youth... knows all the Jews,” Paul had told Agrippa (Acts 26:4). Timothy had lived and labored with Paul and knew the man well. Paul had not hidden behind extravagant claims or religious propaganda. (Timothy looked up to Paul as a mentor)
· They teach true doctrine (v. 10b). “My doctrine” in Paul’s case meant the true faith, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No matter how appealing a preacher may be, if he does not preach the truth of God’s Word, he does not deserve our support. On radio and TV today, we have a great deal of “pseudo-Christianity” which is a mixture of psychology, success motivation, and personality cults, with a little bit of Bible thrown in to make it look religious. Beware! ( We need to teach the scriptures to others so they will not be deceived by false teachers)
· They practice what they preach (v. 10c). Paul’s “manner of life” backed up his messages. He did not preach sacrifice and live in luxury. He gave to others far more than he received from them. He stood up for the truth even when it meant losing friends and, in the end, losing his life. Paul was a servant, not a celebrity. (Timothy saw a life worth imitating)
· Their purpose is to glorify God (v. 10d). There was never a question about Paul’s “purpose” in ministry: He wanted to do God’s will and finish the work God gave him to do (Acts 20:24; Phil. 1:21). The Apostle Paul was a man of “faith” who trusted God to meet his needs. He was a man of “long-suffering” who bore up under people’s attacks. He was a man of love (“charity”) who willingly gave himself to serve others.
The word patience at the end of 2 Timothy 3:10 means “endurance, the ability to stick with it when the going gets tough.” (Paul was a role model)
· They are willing to suffer (vv. 11–12). Paul did not ask others to suffer for him; he suffered for others. The fact that he was persecuted from city to city was proof that he was living a godly life. Some people today have the idea that godliness means escaping persecution, when just the opposite is true.
I wonder how Paul would match up with today’s concept of a Christian leader. He would probably fail miserably. If he applied for service with a modern mission board, would he be accepted? He had a prison record; he had a physical affliction; he stirred up problems in just about every place he visited. He was poor, and he did not cater to the rich. Yet God used him, and we are being blessed today because Paul was faithful. (Paul was a man of convictions)
· Continue in God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:13–17)
The only way to defeat Satan’s lies is with God’s truth. “Thus saith the Lord!” is the final answer to every question. Evil men and deceivers are going to get worse and worse. They will deceive more and more. Why? Because they are being deceived by Satan! In these last days, there will be more deception and imitation; and the only way a believer will be able to tell the true from the false is by knowing the Word of God.
Timothy had been taught the Word of God from the time he was a child. Some people are prone to say, “Well, I needed the Bible when I was younger; but I can do without it now that I’m older.” How wrong they are! Adults need the guidance of the Word far more than children do because adults face more temptations and make more decisions. Timothy’s grandmother and mother had faithfully taught him the Old Testament Scriptures. (The word whom in 2 Tim. 3:14 is plural, referring to these women; see 2 Tim. 1:5.) Timothy was to continue in what he had been taught. We never outgrow the Word of God.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
But remember that while this proverb, like the others, states a general principle that has universal application, it will not prove true in every case. If your child should abandon God’s ways when mature, don’t blame yourself. Human beings are not computers to be programmed. Each of us has the freedom to make moral choices. At times, those given the best of Christian nurture will turn from God despite it.
15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him.
Children are headstrong and need to learn self–discipline as well as judgment (v. 6). Despite the objections of some moderns, it is not wrong to use the “rod of correction” (corporal punishment, or spanking) in disciplining such children. At the same time, it’s not necessary to use this kind of punishment when a child is responsive and willing to learn.
Church as I start to close, my prayer is that you both fathers and mothers, Grandfathers and grandmothers, parents whose children are raised and gone. You have a lot to teach, a lot to share. There are young men and young women out in this world that will never have a chance to come to know Christ, unless we step up and do what we were created for, to lead a mentoring life, of faith, a life worth imitating. To be a mentor is a life worth living. For some it could mean adopting, for some it could mean volunteering at a boys and girls club for others it could mean to find someone younger than your self and teach and share your life’s experiences, your faith, let them know that God loves them to. Someone to encourage, to lift up, someone to invite to church. Christ impacted lives and if we are to be Christ like then shouldn’t we impact lives too. I was told onetime, “You might be the only scripture this person will ever see. Christ was the perfect role model, the perfect mentor. Our goal needs to be to be like Christ, to let others see Christ in and through us. If each of us would just make a goal to impact just one persons life and they passed it forward to someone, what a difference we could make in this world.
I know there is several people here today who walked in hear with someone on your mind but did nit know what to do about it, well this sermon was for you. We were created to be a witness, to be mentors for the Kingdom. It is not too late for you to start. The young men and women of our community need to learn about life and faith, and Christ. God is calling on us to be His workers and get the fields ready for harvest, Are you ready?
As I open up the altar this morning, if you have someone in mind you come and pray this morning, or come pray with me. If that person is you and you do not know Christ as your Lord and Savior, and want a personal relationship with Him then you come. If God has pressed on your heart to join our family then you come, even if it is just for prayer with a problem in your life, do not be afraid to kneel before the Lord at the alter. For whatever the reason, you come today.