Christianity 201

February 7, 2023

People Worth Imitating

I’ve mentioned many times that I have only two devotionals which I personally subscribe to, and one which I read online. One of the daily emails is titled “Breakfast of Champions” by Andy and Gina Elmes. To get these sent to you by email, go to Great Big Life and click on Breakfast of Champions. This one is from Gina.

Be imitators of faith

Hebrews 13:7, ESV
Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.

The Word of God is filled with examples of people whose lives are inspirational, and I believe that their accounts are included in the Bible so that we can observe the way they chose to live and emulate and imitate their good character traits and the way they related to God. Often, the Apostle Paul in his letters to the Churches, and Christ Himself, referred to imitating the examples of people of faith. Here are just a few references to this

  • Be imitators of me (1 Corinthians 4:16 – Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other. NIV);
  • Follow my example and observe the pattern of behaviour you see in us (Philippians 3:17 – 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. NIV);
  • Be imitators of those of faith (Hebrews 6:12 – Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance. NLT);
  • Jesus said to ‘do the deeds of Abraham’ (John 8:39 – “Our father is Abraham,” they replied. “If you were Abraham’s children,” Jesus told them, “you would do what Abraham did. CSB).

Here are a few of my personal favourite Bible people who lived lives worth imitating. In particular, note how their obedience to God was a defining factor in how God thought about them and how He chose to use them for His great plans:

In the Battle of Jericho God gave Joshua some truly unusual instructions that didn’t make sense to the natural mind of a warrior. Here, I learn that sometimes God asks things of us that we may not understand fully, but maybe God sees something we don’t and we need to trust Him.

God actually spoke directly to Moses and said this of Caleb, “[Caleb] was of a different spirit because he follows me wholeheartedly” (Numbers 14:24). He turned the head of God through his obedience.

God chose David to replace Saul as King because of his exceptional obedience to Him. God said this to the prophet Samuel about David, “He is a man after my own heart, he’ll do all that I say” (Acts 13:22). We know David wasn’t a perfect man, but the overall inclination of his heart was to obey God.

Her life and plans were interrupted by the plans of God and because of her love and obedience toward Him, when His plan was presented to her about becoming pregnant with the Son of God, her reply was “May your word to me be fulfilled.”

Even though the Father’s plan for the salvation of humanity would cost Jesus everything, Jesus prayed this prayer and in doing so, revealed that He is our greatest example to imitate, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass me by. Nevertheless, let it be as You, not I, would have it.”

Today, let us use the God-given examples of people who lived lives that give us keys to living lives that are strong in God.

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