A Good Example

“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:14,15). The world in Paul’s time he characterized as crooked and perverse. Is it any different in our time? We are to shine as lights in a world that is otherwise full of darkness. We can do this by keeping the commandments of God and thus showing this crooked world the straight and narrow path that leads to life and salvation.

Jesus told his disciples that they were the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). He went on to say “A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

This is how we are to be toward others in the world. We must not hide our faith away in our hearts only, but must share what is in our hearts, by both doing the will of God and telling others of our hope and the salvation that is available through Jesus Christ. We do this so that others may see us and give glory to our Father in heaven. That is how we are able to set a good example in the world that, if others follow our example, they can become lights as well.

We sing a song sometimes in worship service that reminds us that we are the world’s bible. It encourages us to be the example we should be by saying that “we are the only bible the careless world will read.” This is quite true. Most in the world will only know God’s ways by what they see in us and will never read the bible themselves. Others will see the truth in us and will want to know themselves how to live God’s way.

It is the latter group that we may hope to impress and we can tell them of the hope that is in us and encourage them in the paths of righteousness that they may walk in them also. We can point them to their bible because they see it working in us. This is one way it works to the glory of God, however,  we must be careful that while we are attempting to shine our light before men that we don’t do it just to be seen of men (Matthew 6:1-7).

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God..” (1 Corinthians 10:31). If we are living the truth we find in scripture and are sure that all we do is to the glory of God, then we can set a good example for the careless world to follow. We will not be the perfect example; only Jesus was the perfect example. I don’t think the world expects perfection, though we strive to achieve it, but if they can see the Lord in us, we can do all things to the glory of God and to further His kingdom in the world.

We must be careful, then, that we are not doing things that would reflect badly on God and His church. Running around, drinking and carrying on Saturday night or any other night of the week and then thinking we are fine once we attend church on Sunday morning is not where we should be. We must strive to live every moment of our lives as God tells us in His word we must live, so that our lives can truly glorify our Father who is in heaven. We must do all things in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord (Colossians 3:17) to truly shine as lights to a crooked and perverse generation.

May the Lord bless and keep you until next time.

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