Manual SEEING WITH THE HEART AND SOUL: Impressions of Life and Scripture

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In regard to being examples to others, it is helpful to consider the following principles:. Several passages dealing with this issue will be considered later in this study. Someone is going to follow us and be influenced by us. Do we know where we are going? Are we providing the kind of example that will enhance their lives, or are we like the blind leading the blind? The bad news is we are lost, but the good news is we are making good time. Motion in itself does not mean direction.

Activity in itself never means effectiveness. We can be like the cowboy who rushed into the coral, bridled and saddled his horse and rode off in all directions. We need quality lives with quality motion aimed in the right direction with specific, biblical objectives. Effective ministry to others is often equated with such things as dynamic personalities, with talent, giftedness, training, enthusiasm, and with charisma. But these things alone are inadequate, as is so evident by the leadership we have seen in the top government positions in our country the last few years.

Much more is needed. In the Bible, the qualities that lead to effective ministry are found in the elements of spiritual character, in the character of Christ reproduced in us by the ministry of the Spirit see Eph. In his unique style, Dr. Hendricks used to tell the story of a student who came to him with a problem.

The interchange went something like this as I recall:. I have a bigger problem than that. Why did the Lord choose me? His point was—look at the disciples. How would you like to launch a worldwide campaign with the likes of Peter and his compadres? Yet, with these common, average, uneducated men, the Lord launched a campaign that has spanned the globe and turned the world upside down. Was this because of their unique and imaginative methodology?

It was because these common men knew the Lord and began to experience His life and His qualities of godliness. He took common men and made them into great men who became spiritual leaders because they were experiencing Him through the power of the Spirit of God. This is a constant theme of the Bible. This truth is strongly taught in 1 Thessalonians 2: This relates to the issue of living so we truly show that what we are, our character, is distinctively the result of knowing and walking with Christ.

But, sometimes what Christian are speaks so loudly that it completely turns people off or puts them in reverse.

If our lives are not what they should be, others not only will not want to follow us, they will become repelled by what we are. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Some people will follow us. In this case, not so much in what we say, but in the way we live—in our priorities, values, and attitudes as well as our actions.

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If our lives are not what they should be, we become inverted examples who take people away from the Lord and the life He has called them to. If we teach our children about the priority of the Lord, of loving others, of the Word, and the importance of assembling ourselves with others believer to worship, grow, and minister to others Heb. Or do we find every possible excuse to stay home? Do we consistently allow our family to engage in pursuits that keep us and our families away from church or fellowship with believers?

This sets a model that says these other pursuits are more important than the Lord or the assembling together with the body of Christ for Bible Study, prayer, or worship.

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Actions speak so much louder than words! Do we teach our children the principles of being on time, of doing all things decently and in order?

Then are we consistently late? Do our children often miss Sunday school or church because we are so disorganized that we are unable to make it? Again, Actions speak so much louder than words! By definition we mean giving a clear reason for the way we live or the clear distinctives of our lives.

As Christians, if our lives are different, as they should be, and we never let others know why we are different, we may have still failed in being examples.

Holding Fast the Word of Life

Leaders and Christians as a whole are to be models for others to imitate. We are to be a picture of reality, a proof that Jesus Christ saves and changes lives so we can become a powerful magnet that draws others to Christ. You mean people are supposed to follow me? As this passage points out, the issue is who are WE following? Obviously then, the issue here and the key to leadership and spiritual maturity is not how great we are, but how much we are following Jesus Christ who is our supreme example.

How much are we allowing Jesus Christ to be the Lord of our lives? Are we in hot pursuit of knowing and experiencing the life of Christ as was the apostle Paul? It is a command.

Mark #1: An Example for Others to Imitate |

The present tense and the meaning of this verb reminds us this is a process, a target, a goal to set our sights on and pursue daily. None of us ever arrive—but it should be a daily goal. This is not a superficial mimicry or a mere imitation. According to New Testament truth, this involves the process of reproduction.

The Lord Jesus seeks to reproduce Himself in us as we appropriate His life by faith through the knowledge of the Word and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The teaching and example of the missionaries though only for a few weeks and the afflictions they faced plus the ever-present ministry of the Spirit were the tools God used to produce spiritual growth and changed lives.

As mentioned, our word imitate may lead to the wrong impression. Christian imitation has nothing to do with outward conformity where someone merely copies the actions, mannerisms, or speech of another. But, as the New Testament context makes clear, this is not merely a matter of external conformity, but change from the inside out by means of the Spirit and the application of biblical truth as seen in the life of the mature Christian model. This verse teaches us that the secret to leading others flows out of the recognition by others of the rightness of the life of the leader.

In this context, it is the manner of life of the leader which has made him an example. It refers to the manner of the lives of their leaders that had been centered in the Word and the walk of faith. This had a specific outcome—Christlikeness or godliness. In other words, people are going to be watching us and to a certain degree, the example of our lives will affect the conclusions at which they arrive, not only about us, but about Jesus Christ and Christianity.

In the context of this passage, one clear sign of maturity is the pursuit of holiness, a heart set on heavenly treasures and divine objectives see 3: We might note two things here: In this pursuit, one must have his course fixed on the right beacon or have his radio tuned in to the right frequency, or he will arrive at the wrong destination.

In other words he needs the right example and standard. He needs those who stir him on to higher and higher standards. In this believers have a two-fold responsibility: But b they must also be on alert to the fact that there are those who are not walking after the pattern of godliness found in scripture as seen in the lives of Paul and his cohorts cf. Naturally, the Lord Jesus is our supreme example, goal, and authority, but Scripture does authorize the legitimacy of following godly people as examples. And Paul says that Christians, whose citizenship is in heaven, shine in this dark world as lights, that is, like stars in the night sky.

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This is the word used for the sun and moon and stars in Genesis 1. You are the light of the world, Jesus said Matthew 5: Now Paul says that Christians shine as light in a crooked and perverse generation. How do we shed the darkness of our sin — our selfishness and pride and fear and lust and bitterness? Holding fast the word. In 1 Timothy 4: So the idea is holding fast with your attention or with your person. Holding your gaze, or holding your position. So now back to Philippians 2: Holding your position with the word of life. Not leaving the word of life. Staying with the word of life.

Fixing your mind on the word of life. Giving yourself to the word of life. The way you shine as lights in a dark culture is by holding fast to the word. Hold your gaze on it. Hold your position in it. Life and power and health and fruitfulness are mediated from God through his word. This is the way he has decided to do it. If we stay away from the word, the light will grow dim. The word is the fuel of our lamps. You shine, holding fast the word. The word is the fuel of your lamp.

Keep your wick in the word. Give yourself to it. Hold it in your mind and in your heart. This is the only way to shine. I do not promise you that you will shine if you read the Bible and store it up in your heart. So whether you think of the word of God as fuel, without which your lamp cannot shine, or as food, without which your soul cannot live, the point is the same: God has brought you here today so that he could tell you through my voice: I have an invitation for you. I have a gift for you. I give you my very word. It give it to you.

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Take it in Take it and hold fast to it. It is your life. Hold fast to it for the sake of faith. Hold fast to it for the sake of your joy. Hold fast to it for the sake of your freedom. Hold fast to it for the sake of your holiness. Hold fast to it for the sake of the Holy Spirit.

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  • Inward Impressions;
  • Steve Lacy: Conversations (e-Duke books scholarly collection.);
  • Girders in the Sand.
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  • Hold fast to it for the sake of life. Hold fast to it for the sake of strength and stability and fruitfulness. You will be like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. God has a gift for you in An infinitely valuable gift — his word. Holding Fast the Word of Life in