“Being Examples” 09/10/17
The first sermon preached each Sunday is not by the minister, but by you! You preach a message of good cheer when you say “good morning” to those you meet as you are parking, or in the hallway and classrooms. You preach a message of “welcome!” when you slide over in the pew instead of forcing others to squeeze in front of you. You preach a message of hope and joy when you sing enthusiastically during the service. You preach a message of respect when you listen attentively while the special music is presented. You preach a message about faith when you give your tithes and offerings. The example we give sets the tone not only for the worship service for our lives.
1 Peter 5:1–3 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
Addressed to the leaders, but applicable to all members
Identifies himself as a witness of Christ’s sufferings – not just that he saw them but that he testifies to them. He lives his life in a way that witnesses to Christ’s death and resurrection.
In how we’ve handled suffering – The Christians Peter is writing to are experiencing persecution, and he also has.
In our faith in the future – will share in His glory
This doesn’t mean that we have to be perfect, or put up a front that seems perfect. Remember that Peter is the one who denied knowing Jesus, and later had to confronted by Paul for being hypocritical in withdrawing from fellowship with Gentiles. Peter’s example included showing how God’s grace brings forgiveness and restoration.
He uses the image of a shepherd. Remembering Jesus’ commission to him to feed the sheep. The job of a shepherd is to care for, to feed, to guide. It is also their job to seek for the lost or wandering and bring them back. Our example includes both our experience of finding forgiveness and restoration, and our willingness to show that to others.
Not out of duty but out of desire, eager to serve
Parents – Remember, we only have a short time each week to teach our youth. Most of what they learn about being a Christian they will learn from you.
In the musical “Into the Woods”, a young father is wondering how to raise his son. His wife sings to him, “Careful the things you say, children will listen. Careful the things you do, children will see and learn.
Children may not obey, but children will listen. Children will look to you for which way to turn, to learn what to be. Careful before you say, “Listen to me”. Children will listen.”
One of the important factors in my becoming a Christian was the example I saw in the lives of the students who were part of the Intervarsity Fellowship group I had started attending. Their faith was alive. It wasn’t just for Sunday, and wasn’t just knowing about Jesus. It was a daily walk with the living Lord who they looked to for guidance, help, and strength.
Philippians 3:17 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.
How do we be examples – Ultimately, it is Jesus Himself who is our prime example,
Take time for our own spiritual welfare – Jesus always spent time in prayer and worship
Let your light shine
Let your attitude be like Jesus’
We are called to be more and more like Him as we mature in the faith.
The Holy Spirit
May we be mindful each day that what we say, what we do, how we live are to reflect who we are as followers of Jesus Christ.