Monday, March 19

Imitate me

Scripture: Joshua 3-6, 1 Corinthians 4

1 Corinthians 4:15-16 For you can have 10,000 instructors in Christ, but you can’t have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me.

Observation

Paul is writing a strong corrective to the Corinthian church which he founded.  He appeals to his unique relationship with them: he is their father in the gospel.  Therefore, he urges them to imitate him.  He offers himself as a model of what it means to follow Jesus.  “Watch me and do what I do.  Imitate my attitudes, my faith, my words and deeds.”  Later in the letter he will say, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ,” or “Follow me as I follow Christ.”  (11:1)

Application

Here is disciple making 101.  Paul doesn’t give them a book or a manual; he offers a relationship, a person, himself.  This is still how the best disciple making happens: life to life, person to person.  I learned more about following Jesus from being with Noel than any other single thing I’ve done.

This kind of discipleship requires two things from us: genuineness and proximity.

Genuineness: You don’t have to be perfect to say, “Follow me as I follow Christ.”  (None of us is.)  You only have to be genuine—truly following Jesus.

Proximity: You have to be close enough so that others can observe you, and not just in “religious” settings, but in every day life.

Prayer: Lord, help me be an example others can follow, and multiply many other examples that others can follow!