Show Yourself and Example - Mark Copeland; A Clean Start - Michael Ledbetter

SHOW YOURSELF AN EXAMPLE!

 

Paul told Timothy in 1 Tim. 4:12, "Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech,

conduct, love, faith, and purity, show yourself an example of/to those who believe.

 

Examples are very important in our lives. We learn from examples how to do or not do things. For example,

the story is told of an alcoholic father that had two sons. One son turned out to be an alcoholic and the other son

did not become an alcoholic. Both were asked why they had chosen their different paths in life and both of them

responded with the same answer, it was because of my father's example. We all should examine the examples that

are put before us to see if these examples should be followed or not.

 

The word example used in 1 Tim. 4:12 comes from the Greek word "tupos" used in the sense of being a pattern,

an example, for others to follow. Paul told Timothy to be an example in the way he talked, in the way he acted,

in the way he loved, in his faith, and in his purity.

 

If we examine the context (4:6-16) of verse 12, we see that Timothy was encouraged by Paul to be an example/pattern

that others could follow that would lead them in the paths of Christ. He would be a "good servant of Christ Jesus,

constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following." (4:6)

In verse 16, Paul tells him to "Pay close attention to yourself and in your teaching; persevere in these things, for

as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you."

 

The example of how we talk, how we act, how we love, in our faith and doctrine that we teach, and in our purity

is important for the salvation of ourselves and for others that follow us. So brethren, let's do what

Paul encouraged Timothy to do, "Show yourself an example!"

 

Mark Copeland

 

A Clean Start

Looking back at my notes, I also had the privilege of writing this segment for the January 2020 newsletter. In January of 2020, no one expected what we would encounter in the months ahead. Last year my theme was around 1 John 1:5-9 with a reminder that we have a constant opportunity to start fresh. If we walk in the light, we maintain our fellowship while receiving the continual cleansing that keeps us pure, keeps us fresh.

How often did we long for continual, physical cleansing this year? From a physical standpoint, we all became so much more aware of our physical environment. What did we touch? Who did we touch? Don’t touch your face. Don’t spray hand sanitizer on the keypad at Walmart. Did you wear gloves to pump your gas? Did you take a shower immediately after going to a store? We became absolutely obsessed with anything physical that could contaminate us.

Let’s start 2021 with that focus and awareness of the spiritual contaminates around us. As we continue to guard our bodies, are we guarding our hearts and minds from the worldly influences that contaminate us in an even more harmful way?

Matthew 15 helps us understand what defiles us. Verses 18-20 state: “… what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

As we move ahead from 2020, a year that placed so much focus on the physical, let’s place the emphasis on the spiritual, to keep ourselves from being defiled. If the things from the heart defile us, we need to protect the things we allow into our hearts.

Are we being the salt and light that provides Godly influence to our friends and neighbors? Or, are we allowing worldly influences to creep into our hearts and destroy our Christian influence by what we read, what we watch on TV, who we associate with, or by where we spend our time?

We have an opportunity again to start a new year, set new goals, and to get a clean start. Let’s place the diligence we learned from 2020 on physical cleanliness and apply it to our spiritual cleanliness, to walk in the light, to maintain our fellowship, to receive the continual cleansing that keeps us pure.

Michael Ledbetter

 

 
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