Friday, August 27, 2021
I don't know about you, but whenever it comes to getting better at something, I'll read the Bible, and I'll seek the Bible, but the Bible even says there is something else that is helpful. While the Bible is essential to grow, God also says that in addition you want to see people who model the Bible. If I want to get better at something I need models. So, I can have somebody say, "Well, if you want to get better at golf, do this," and I can try to do that, but I have to watch them do it. I have this guy named Lenny. He's a really nice friend. I just met him earlier this year, and he has taken a liking to me and he's giving me golf lessons. We played golf earlier this week, and I played as good as I ever have. I mean, I'm hitting the ball with this new lag technique to get more clubhead speed. My short game is getting better, and Lenny has just modeled it for me. He's giving me lessons, we've played together, I've watched him swing and do his thing, and it's a model for me. When it comes to parenting, I've looked to others to help me. With marriage, models have helped me. When it comes to the Christian life, some discipline of the Christian life, models have helped me. When I'm around people that are living a successful Christian life, I'm trying to learn something so they can be a model.
The apostle Paul says that you should do the same thing. Look at Philippians 3:17, where the Apostle Paul says this, "Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you." Paul said, "I should be a model for you." He wasn't saying that braggadociously. He is saying that confidently because of Christ's work in him, and Paul was a godly man. Then he tells the Philippians to live according to the pattern he gave them. What is that? It's the Bible. Take note of people who are living out the Bible. It's not that the Bible isn't enough, the Bible is enough. But you want people living out the Bible - models - and you want to look to them. It's not that you need more than the truth of the Bible, but we are learning to express it and live it out. The practical aspect of living that out, that is seen in models. In fact, Paul even says, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ." And the word imitate is the word mimetes in Greek. Guess what English word we get from that. Mimic. You have to find people to mimic. They don't have to be one person in every area of life. You might say, "I'm going to follow your model for what a patient person you are." To someone else, "I'm going to follow your model because you're really good in how you live out the 80/10/10 plan. Give 10% to God and His Church, 10% to a retirement plan, 80% is what I live on." To someone else, "I'm going to follow your model because you're a really good husband, or parent, or because you're very faithful and you you whatever you say you do."
You must find models in your life, and you must read the Bible to know what models to find. Then, find them in your life and have some models. It's one of the great reasons why we have church, you get to see hundreds of people every week. You get to connect with some of them in small groups, or at Midweek Bible Study where we have, X number of people here. It's a lot smaller than Sunday, and you get to meet people, and then you get to say, "Man, how can you be a mentor or model to me in this area, that area, or another area?" Some of you you have the truth, but you're just learning how to live it out. A model will help you. Do you have a model? Like the Apostle Paul, do you have a model? Like Timothy, do you have a model in your life? It'll help you live out the Christian life. We'll help you to have models here. You have to come here regularly. Get to know people because I can't tell you who should be your model in every area of life. But I can tell you some great people in my life We have a ton of great people at Lakeshore Community Church that will love you. You never know who could be your model. But here's the point, Paul says to look for models in your life, who live out the Christian life, the biblical truth of Christianity effectively in a way that inspires you. It will help you have a lot of joy in your life.
Father, I pray that all of us will have our models and maybe 2, 3, 4, or even 10 people that inspire us to find joy in living out the biblical truth of Christianity. Help us all to find models. It may take days, it may take weeks, it may take months. But if we're determined, we'll find them and they'll bring us joy as we live out our lives more effectively for your pleasure and your purposes. We ask this in Jesus' name, amen.