Be Excellent Emulations

There is nothing quite like having the perfect example supplied for a concept or instruction or lifestyle that is being presented for consideration. I have always been a pretty good copy-cat, so when I saw someone play sports or taught me - if they played or taught well then I did well. Same with many other facets of my life. The idea of needing better examples in our lives and being excellent emulations in the lives of others should come as no surprise.

First Impressions and the subsequent display of our lives become all the more important. The challenge and encouragement this brings comes via some familiar phrases. Ever heard - "If you don't stand for something or someone, you will fall for anything"? A purpose driven life will be a rewarded and fulfilled life, but also many times a blessing to others, so look to stand for something or someone or both.

When those that surround you, whether familiar or strangers, notice that you - "Practice what you preach or believe." - then your life begins to stand out and take on this purpose or meaning. This meaning is meted out through actions, because "actions speak louder than words". Just as someone's faith is displayed in their deeds or good works, so the pairing of words and actions. The words and concept - "I love you", as an example - is cheap to say, but show me "love" with a hug or quality time spent with me and the words have taken life.

This does not mean we can say anything we like and get away with it, thinking our words have no impact or influence. The saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." - is a lie. If you are a Christian, every thought should be screened through the Holy Spirit before it becomes speech in our mouths.

Jesus, Paul and Peter provide some great daily action steps for Christians to make part of their lifestyle in order to display God's grace in their lives. In Matthew 5, Jesus speaks about His disciples being like salt and light. Salt being used for flavor and healing properties. Light being used to illuminate for direction and revelation.

Paul challenges the believer to observe what Love is in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, realizing God is every single one of those characteristics and desires us to copy those qualities also.

Paul really breaks things down for the believer in Ephesians 5 and provides some practical handles to apply. A great Christian would emulate someone of no sexual immorality, any kind of impurity, or greed. No obscene, foolish talk or coarse joking. They would also not be drunk on wine. Notice Scripture does not say you cannot drink wine, it states not to be drunk on wine. In fact, if you are going to be filled with anything, be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:1-33).

Paul writes two times to his apprentice, Timothy, and encourages him on how to be a great example or what to emulate for the Lord. 1 Timothy 4:12 - "Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." 
2 Timothy 2:15 - "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."

Paul instructs Titus in the same way - Titus 2:7 - "In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness"

Then in Paul's letter to the believers in Colossae, he stated twice to work at everything as if working for the Lord. Colossians 3:17, 23-24 says, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

Peter tells us how to be an excellent example of a disciple of Christ by being prepared to share our testimony at a moments notice, but with gentleness and respect.

"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." - 1 Peter 3:15-16

Why not just believe? Why not let others be the example? I am sure there are those in the body of Christ that are this way. Christ's next instruction after coming to belief in Him is to go into all the world and make disciples of them. Because He first loved us our immediate response should be to begin returning that love. Because His ways are infinitely superior, we should begin trusting in His direction daily. And ultimately our deeds will be judged (2 Cor. 5:10)

The word emulate means imitate with effort to the degree of equal. The word example means a pattern or model pertaining to something to be imitated. Examples are given for us to Emulate. Christ was and is our ultimate example. Christ SAID So That we can SAY. Jesus DID So That we can DO.

"I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." (John 13:15, 17)

Be Excellent Emulations.