Seeing God in Godly Examples

August 25, 2020

WE HAVE WORK TO DO

As a believer, we are invited to regularly look at our lives and ask questions like, “Am I pursuing the Christian walk as I ought to?” “Am I seeing increasing Fruit of the Spirit in my life?” (Gal 5:22-23) Our knee-jerk reaction is to say “yes” and then find evidence for it through recent behaviors. Our natural bias leads us to be generous with ourselves, even as we are critical of others. As such, we are all at risk of self-deception, particularly when we fail to take the time to patiently wait for God’s answer. More times than not, I sense God’s gentle response of, “We have some work to do today.”

God uses many tools to grow us towards him. He grows us through the study of his Word (Heb. 4:12), prayer, the preaching of the Word and relationships of accountability with other Christians, both formal and informal. This latter method is extremely important as we become vulnerable to those who can see our inconsistencies and then lovingly guide us back onto the path of Christ.

As we journey, God also reveals examples of right living to help us along the way. I can think of countless times when I have encountered someone with a remarkable faithfulness, a servant’s heart, or a capacity to forgive that humbled me completely. Such interactions lead me to desire more growth, thereby opening my heart to the work of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, these situations even lead me to admire others for their spiritually maturity.

ON OUR BEST DAY

The challenge with admiring others is that as godly as some people may be, natural man cannot provide a consistent example of God’s nature. People around us may get it right for a time, but the chasm is great between our best day and the complete righteousness that God calls us to. We must always remember that God is the perfect balance of love, justice, grace, power, creativity, truth and wrath and we all fall short.

One example of the limits of human examples is Moses, whom the Israelites held in great reverence (usually) as they traveled through the desert! Moses’ life is filled with examples of inspiring trust in God, courage in the face of conflict and faithful perseverance to accomplish God’s mission. As remarkable as Moses’ witness is, however, the writer of Hebrews describes how Moses and Jesus share a different identity and role in the household of God.

Hebrews 3:5-6 says, “Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son.” The passage reveals that Jesus is an entirely different category than Moses when it comes to faithfulness and the stewardship of God’s house. Colossians 1:15,19 takes this point further saying that only Jesus is an accurate reflection of God the Father, in whom “all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.”

It is important for us to recognize that regardless of the inspiring examples we find around us, it is actually this other-worldly character of Jesus that we are drawn to. The apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 4:19, that Christ is being formed in us as we grow in maturity. Colossians 1:27 acknowledges that the mystery of God’s plan for humanity is based on “Christ in us, the hope of glory.”

BE ENCOURAGED!

Here’s the point: Whether you find yourself encouraged today by a godly example from Scripture, or from a fellow saint, be encouraged! Lord knows we need it given the challenges of our times. Then, look through the human example to see and celebrate Jesus in that person. It is God who gives the grace for growth and change. Therefore, God deserves the credit and the praise. This clarity allows our worship to be rightly focused, protects us from false hope and provides a sure foundation for our faith. Keep looking for Jesus. As we look to our friend groups and church family today, may we be encouraged by the hopeful evidence of Christ’s presence in one another as we continue to on the journey together.

Hebrews 3:6 “And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.”

About The Author

Dan Wendell

Dan joined the Cornerstone team in November 2018 as the Pastor of Missions. His focus is on empowering the church family to step beyond the boundaries of CCLB to declare the Good News, so that the Body of Christ might be established where it would not otherwise occur. In addition, Dan provides oversight for Cornerstone’s Care ministries.