Saturday, June 18, 2016

June 19, 2016

"Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ" I Corinthians 11:1

The Apostle Paul was one of the best Christian leaders ever because he was one of the best Christ followers of all time!

There can be little debate about that!

But the encouraging news implicit in this invitation to follow Paul's example is the realization that you can follow Christ just as Paul did!

Get your mind around that for a moment!

It seems the appropriate to ask, "How should I follow?"

Here are four facts of how Paul followed Christ.

#1 - Paul looked at Jesus so he could love Him!

If you intend to follow someone you will need to focus on where he is and where he is going! You can't follow without focus!

Paul wrote later, "fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1

Jesus said that if a man puts his hand to the plow and looks back he is not worthy of the kingdom of God.

When you love someone you can't take your eyes off of them!

#2 - Paul looked at Jesus so he could learn of Him.

Paul's walk with Jesus began with a supernatural vision of Christ on the road to Damascus. Once he saw Jesus and learned Who Jesus is, Paul never stopped looking and Jesus and never stopped learning.

Paul was the only Apostle who did not look upon Jesus in the flesh (which was one of the criterion for being an apostle). But being a very devout student of the law, he quickly surpassed the others in his knowledge OF Jesus and ABOUT Jesus.

How do we know Paul learned about Jesus, because he wrote most of the New Testament! Most of what you know about Jesus you know because Paul learned of Him and wrote it down!

Paul couldn't learn about Jesus without looking at Jesus. Neither can you!

#3 - Paul learned of Jesus so he could live like Him.

You have heard the old saying, "You life is the only Bible some people may ever read!"

That was literally true of Paul!

As I previously mentioned, there were only a few Old Testament books available in his time and the Gospels hadn't been written yet. So, if you wanted to know what it was to be a Christian you had to study the life of a Christian! Fortunately, there was no better Christian life to look at than the life of Paul because he daily and diligently learned of Jesus!

Now you understand why Paul said, "Follow my example!"

Can you say that?

#4 - Paul lived like Jesus so he could lead like Jesus.

Leadership guru, John Maxwell says, "Leaders are readers." 

Paul was a leader not only because he was a reader but because he was a looker (focused on Jesus) and a learner, and he lived the life.

Maxwell also says, "Leadership is influence" and Paul lived to influence people for Jesus.

Every church he planted, every epistle he wrote, every sermon he preached, every Timothy he discipled and every prison guard he was chained to was profoundly influenced by Paul.

You have been and are being influenced by him even as you read this! I am being influenced by him as I write it.

The question is, will we be influenced enough to look upon Jesus, and learn of Jesus, and love Jesus so we can lead people to Jesus?