from Lynda Lindsey
Readings: Philippians 3:17-20; Psalm 27
Lent: A Journey to the Cross
The King Is Coming; Prepare Ye the Way
Imitate the Real Deal on the Journey
Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. Philippians 3:17 Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends! Philippians 4:1 One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in his temple. Psalm 27:4
A builder must take note, or pay particular attention to, the architect’s blueprint, else the project will go awry. A quilter’s pattern pieces must be carefully reproduced or the design will be off. An out of round tire, no longer a true circle, spins unevenly and puts the car’s occupants at risk and in danger. In the same vein Paul instructs believers to follow the pattern of living as he, Timothy, and other godly men had taught. To do otherwise risks exchanging truth for a lie and to base our life on out of round doctrine. Avoid danger. Imitate the real deal.
We become like those with whom we spend time. Our character and our actions reflect the character and actions of those with whom we spend the most time. Thus it is vital to invest our time with men and women in faithful pursuit of God. In Psalm 27:4 David asked, and sought for, one thing from the Lord. David’s desire was to dwell in God’s presence, and gaze upon the Lord’s splendor and majesty, as long as he had breath. God would be well pleased if we follow David’s example. The more time we spend dwelling in the Lord’s presence in prayer, and in study and application of the Word, the more Christlike we become. As we dwell in God’s presence we slowly and subtly begin taking on His character and ways. Imitate the real deal. Paul reassures us that we will stand firm in the Lord if we carefully follow his example as well as the example of those who live according to God’s true pattern. Christ followers have a home on earth, but being earthly minded is not our focus. We are citizens of heaven, our future home, and being heavenly minded is our life’s goal. Therefore live by godly patterns and examples. Take up Christ’s cross. Emulate godly behavior not crass conduct. Demonstrate servanthood not self-indulgence. Exemplify faith, not unbelief. Renounce legalism and exalt grace. Embrace joy; reject cynicism. Life everlasting awaits at the end of our journey. Imitate the real deal!