Friday 05 November 2010

Bible Book:

"Therefore my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved." (v.1)

Philippians 3:17 - 4:1 Friday 5 November 2010


'Role model' is a term we hear a lot in today's society. Rightlyor wrongly, many people today look up to people in the public eyeas examples to emulate, regardless of whether or not they setthemselves up as such. Here, we see Paul practically offeringhimself as a role model to the Philippians. "Brothers and sisters,join in imitating me," he says in verse 17. It must take a lot ofself-confidence to open yourself up to public scrutiny likethat!

Character, rather than fame or notoriety, is what makes a person atrue role model - hence Paul's instruction to the Philippians to"observe those who live according to the example you have in us"(which can also be found in verse 17). These are people who may notbe household names, but whose steadfastness to God speaks volumes.And theirs is the sort of model behaviour to which we should all beaspiring.

Ultimately, however, our focus must move beyond those human rolemodels. Even as Paul urged those in his care to imitate him, it waswith the caveat "as I am of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1) (ie as Iimitate Christ). His aim was never to create an army of clones ofhimself, but rather to see people grow in faith and character, andbecome more Christlike.

To Ponder

Paul encourages the Philippians to imitate him(verse 17). How important is it for Christians to have role models?And how do you go about choosing who to imitate?

According to verse 20, our citizenship is inheaven. What effect should knowing that have on our earthlycitizenship, wherever we happen to live?

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