Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. Philippians 3:17
This was part of the message our Pastor talked about last Sunday morning. I’ve heard this verse more than once and it has always amazed me, I mean, how can someone–a man, tell other Christians to follow his example? I know we have our Lord Jesus Christ as our perfect example. But a mere man? One who isn’t perfect? Paul definitely didn’t say this proudly but with all humility he is telling others to follow him as he, by God’s grace, follow Christ.
As you continue reading, I want you to take a moment to remember the people that has inspired you in your Christian walk, those whose testimony of faith has revived your own faith, and those who intentionally set a time for you, to help and guide you make godly choices, rebuke you in love if need be. Think about how good God is for leading you to such people. Godly examples for you to mark and look up to.
Some of them maybe long gone home to heaven bur I’m pretty sure there are still living ones to whom we can address our thankfulness today.
I’ve listed down 5 ways we can show how thankful we are for these godly examples:
1. Tell them
Proverbs 3:27 says, “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. “
Our words can encourage other people. Go through your list and try calling the godly examples in your life. If that’s not possible, maybe a message on their social media account or a letter. I can assure you that joy works both ways in this. These people whom God has used in your life (consciously or unconsciously) will be encouraged knowing that they have somehow contributed in strengthening other believers as they, too, need strengthening and as you verbalize or write down their traits that have helped you along the way, you will be encouraged too.
2. Share them
Share their testimony to other believers. Let other people know about them so they too can be encouraged. I love including missionary women on my lessons whenever I am given the chance to teach because these are real people with real stories testifying of the grace of the Lord.
3. Follow them
As Paul tells other Christians to follow his example, we are also told to mark the people in our own lives who has shown us how to walk with God. If God led you to a mentor or a discipler or someone who guides you in your Christian walk, He wants you to follow them. They are there for a reason and that is to lead you to Christ so you can, in turn, lead others to Christ.
Have they given you an advice? Listen and follow. Have they rebuked you over a particular sin that you need to repent of? Listen and follow. Have they encouraged you to be involved more in the work of the Lord? Listen and follow.
4. Pray for them
If you read Paul’s epistles, he usually asks for prayers for him and his co-labourers. Why? Because we are all in need of it, even the most godly people need prayer too.
So I encourage you to set a time to pray for the godly examples in your life. I’ve read an article recently that encourages us to pray for the missionaries and Mrs. Berrey (author of live with a mission blog) shared the “prayer basket” wherein they will put in the prayers cards they got from churches and will pick up one to pray for each day. What a great idea! These people are in need of God’s strength, wisdom and grace each day just like us and what better way to have it but by asking the God who can provide it.
Don’t forget to let them know you are praying for them too.
5. Don’t forget them
I taught Sunday school for high school girls for almost 10 years before I got married. In 10 years, I have met several young ladies, most of whom are now young professionals (some even have families of their own). I can tell you how excited I am to see them every now and then. But, it also breaks my heart to learn about others who have gone the wrong way. Like a mother who wants to just cuddle all day with her babies, I want to keep them all forever under my care. Reality knocks and we all know how that is close to impossible. Time flies, people change, seasons of life come and go, and some even forget their Sunday school teacher.
But that is not a problem at all. You may, and I’m sure many did forget my name or my face but whenever I think of all these young ladies that God led to my path–to guide and take care of, my only prayer is for them not to EVER forget what I taught them about Christ.
Dear brothers and sisters, God is so gracious to give us people that would lift us up whenever we fall, people who will hold our hands whenever we are afraid, people who will give us a hug whenever we are discouraged, people who will pat us in the back whenever we are going the wrong way, people who are willing to listen whenever we have something to say, people we can share life with, people who draws us nearer to Christ. Please don’t forget them, or at least what they have done for you, for the Lord.
Mark them. Thank them. Praise God for them.