Jesus our Example and Guide

Take a moment and think of two goals that you have in life. If you had to single out two specific things that you wanted to accomplish in this life, what would they be? It’s an interesting and compelling question.

Regardless of your answer, the answers will vary from person to person, for the Christian there is one over-shadowing goal into which all other aims in this life must fit. Paul says it well in Philippians 3:10,11 when he writes,

“I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, become like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

There it is! I want to know Christ! From knowing Him I have access to all of the responsibilities and privileges of the kingdom of God, AND SO DO YOU! Therefore, as Christians the primary goal of life is to get to know Christ Jesus as fully and intimately as possible. The rest of life holds out the exciting prospect of being able to cultivate a personal and active relationship with Jesus. Consequently, we should want to know Jesus as FULLY GOD and FULLY MAN. We should want to know Him completely as our LORD and SAVIOR. We should also want to know Him intimately as our EXAMPLE and GUIDE!

1. JESUS IS OUR EXAMPLE!

The New Testament is clear on this point. If we want to know how to live a life that is pleasing to God, then Jesus Christ is the person we must model. Paul told the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 11:1 and he tells us to,

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”

Likewise, the apostle John tells us in 1 John 2:6 that,

“Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.”

In other words, we cannot claim to have fellowship with God unless we are making a conscious effort to live like Jesus.

The rest of your life will be spent in learning how to follow Jesus’ example. However, please remember this: nothing will reflect the example of Jesus more than a firm decision on our part to always and completely do God’s will. If we would live like Jesus, then we must decide every day that we will obey God! From the beginning of Jesus’ ministry Matthew 4:10 tells us when He was tempted in the wilderness by Satan, to the end in Gethsemane as Jesus prayed concerning the cross in Luke 22:42, the great cry of His life, was, “Not my will, but yours be done.” God’s will always came first!

Paul put this whole issue into very sharp focus when he wrote to the Philippians church in Philippians 2:5-11. He said,

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross! Therefor God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is about every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Jesus made it clear in Luke 22:42 in the garden of Gethsemane that God’s Will is not always easy. But if we would follow Jesus’ example, and we must if we would claim to have fellow with God, then must make a conscious decision that God’s will MUST COME FIRST! Each of us must say, “I will be obedient to God!”

2. JESUS IS OUR GUIDE!

What do you think of when you hear the word “guide?” Do you think of someone who blazes a trail before you? Do you think of someone who has already been where you are going, and therefore someone who can lead you there safely? THAT’S JESUS!

There is only one person who could have been our guide. Jesus has already experienced death, and when He was raised from the dead He demonstrated that He had blazed the trail for us and that He knows how to get us from HERE to ETERNITY in perfect fellowship with God in heaven. Jesus told us that He was our guide when He said John 14:6, “I am the way–and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus is the WAY from HERE to ETERNITY!

Therefore, it is so important that we keep our eyes glued to Jesus and follow Him all of our lives. The book of Hebrews says in Hebrews 12:1-3,

“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, ad sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

IN the cross, Jesus ran before us, marking the course, and in the resurrection He holds before us the prize of eternal life for all of us who run the race with perseverance.

Since Jesus is our EXAMPLE, let us model our lives after HIM! Since Jesus is our GUIDE, let us follow Him!

And may we all say with Paul concerning the goal of our lives, “WE WANT TO KNOW JESUS!”

QUESTIONS FOR REVIEW AND STUDY

  1. What was the one over-arching goal in Paul life Philippians 3:10,11?
  2. 1 Corinthians 11:1 whose example did Paul say we should follow, and in what way?
  3. What does John say 1 John 2:6, we must do if we are to claim that we have fellowship with God? ()
  4. From the beginning to the end of Jesus’ ministry, what was the great cry of His life according to Matthew 4:10 & Luke 22:42 ?
  5. Rewrite in your own words what Paul says about Jesus in Philippians 2:5-11 and tell how it applies to your life:
  6. What does Jesus say about Himself in John 14:6 ?
  7. How does Hebrews 12:1-3 apply to your life?

 

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