Do You Practice What You Preach?

Some News You Can Use from Shelby Center

We’ve heard it many ways and many times: Be a good example, don’t be a hypocrite, practice what you preach! Have we not also heard, “I want to be just like him or her”?

We see desirable qualities in another, then study, rehearse, imitate until we perfect (impersonate) their likeness or those features in ourselves.

The apostle Paul meant it when he said “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” And “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do.”

He understood a “Christian” to be an imitator, impersonator, follower of Jesus Christ’s example and determined to be one.

His life was a road less traveled because it was all about Jesus and the gospel and made sure everyone knew. It would be good for us to follow his good example. (From 1 Corinthians 2:1-5):

1. A Public Admission (1-4). Faith is demonstrated by being an example of the crucified life (Eph. 5:1-2).

· The power to move men for the gospel isn’t found in manipulating or electrifying an audience or in eloquence. It’s found in dependence upon God’s Spirit, not our strength, wisdom, or attractiveness.

· By remaining weak, scared to death, despised, small, humble, Paul knew he’d get in trouble for preaching and explaining the cross of Jesus Christ. But he also knew God would get all the glory!

2. A Personal Affirmation (2). Know many things but determine to be known for only One (1 Co. 8:1-3).

· Paul desired true wisdom and power and knew it could only be attained by a passionate pursuit of the Person and preaching of the cross - the wisdom and power of God (Phil 3:10, 14-15).

· This road less traveled leads thru Calvary to a crucified and resurrected life. The path of ministry less traveled leads past emotions and cheap experiences to the mind and heart to effect true life change.

3. A Powerful Admonition (5). Camps, clans, credentials are far less influential than Calvary’s cross!

· Those most influential for the gospel are not impressed with the camps, clans, religious credentials, cult of personality, or signs and wonders by which men identify. They insist on Christ alone, always.

· To know and trust Him who is Infallible is to free us from losing faith because of the fallible. Paul knew he could fail and wanted no one’s faith to depend upon him so he wisely pointed them to Jesus.

Friend, if you want to be a good example, practice what you preach. You’ll not be found a hypocrite on the road less traveled. It leads to Calvary and determines to be known as a fool for Christ who lives and ministers by wisdom and power of Christ alone.

Here’s three things you can do to help you on your way:

1) Read the Bible. Study the Person of Jesus Christ on every page not just the precepts. Perfecting is a process, don’t be in a hurry and when you fail remember God’s not done with you yet.

2) Refuse to Boast. You’ll get humbled as you get honed by God and humiliated by others. To be like Jesus can be lonely. Be content to be the eyes, hands, mouth, and ministers of God’s mercy and grace.

3) Remain Beholden. When captivated by Christ you’ll pursue knowing Him, becoming more like Him, and overcoming every obstacle to making Him known to others. Bring glory to God, not yourself.

Christ is the person we are to impersonate and whose life Christians are to imitate. Paul said it well, “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

You too can make Jesus your life and give Him all the glory. When you do you no doubt be glad you did when He returns.

In the meantime, practice what you preach - it’s the road less traveled and an example worth following.

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