Philippians 3:17
The Example

17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

When our focus is on Christ as Paul’s was, we can be an example to others as he was. He obeyed heaven’s laws and knew heaven’s language. He was loyal to heaven’s cause and he knew his record was in heaven. It was heaven’s Lord who was his Lord, and he was looking for Him to come. These are characteristics of those who follow the path of those godly servants like Paul who have gone on before us. There is a great contrast between Paul and those who were enemies of the cross of Christ. There are those who claim to be Christians who are false professors. They are not called enemies of the blood of Christ. Nor are they called enemies of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ which is the Gospel. But they are enemies of “the cross of Christ.” The cross is our identification with Christ personally from day to day. There is shame and reproach to the cross that is not popular even among Christians. Not many are willing to suffer what Paul did in his life for the sake of the cross. He wrote, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Christ was truly his Lord and that is the position He holds in our lives. He is our Lord.

If people who never read the Bible, want to learn about Jesus
They should be able to know something about Him whenever they see us
There should be enough of a difference in me that those who live in sin
Would recognize, even though I’m a man, in practice I am different to them.

My speech should be with gracious words so I don’t have to shout
To declare my allegiance to God when I am around and about
The things that I say should be trustworthy; they should know I tell the truth
When I buy or sell a thing, they should know its real worth.

In my dealings with others, those who are poor or of a different race
I should not base my response to them on what they have or on their face
For to God each one is worth more than the whole material world
If they come from different nations, I should keep my own flag furled.

My lifestyle should not be flamboyant even though I am not poor
To flaunt my success or riches would close people’s ears for sure
It is better if I become like them as close as it is possible to be
Not practicing sin or patronizing, but joining with them in empathy.

If I am to follow the example set forth, when it comes time to eat
I will eat what the others are eating, and not take the highest seat
My like and dislikes I will hide, not allowing my face to express
Some kind of inner aversion, so I can other people bless.

Some differences to me may seem funny but it would be wrong for me to laugh
To make some careless comment perhaps would be a social gaff
The Lord, when He was here, could identify with needs of those in sin
And like Him, I too should connect that I some souls would win.

Paul was a pattern example; he focused his life on Christ
Now I must follow the same way even though there is a price
The end of the life of example can be either good or bad
I want those who follow to know in their lives, the blessings
I for a lifetime had.

“Father God of all grace: my prayer this morning is that I might not forget people may form their opinions and decisions on what I do or say. I know many good examples that influenced me. May I now influence others to be like the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.”

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