Philippians 3:17 “Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.”
Throughout the New Testament, Paul speaks of his failures as well as his successes. In 1 Timothy 1:15, he referred to himself as the worst of sinners. So why does he want us to follow his example? Is he bragging about his accomplishments? Is he taking pride in his great service for Christ?
To the contrary, he wanted us to know how flawed he was. We are all sinners, and he considered himself to be worse than anybody else. And yet, he did not let his failures define him, or stop him from continuing his journey. He didn’t let anything keep him from finishing the race. He kept going in spite of his mistakes, in spite of his past, in spite of all the things that could have easily weighed him down.
I can just imagine Paul, sitting in heaven today. When he isn’t busy praising our Heavenly Father, he is probably sitting in those great grand stands, watching us, cheering us on. After all, he was a sports fan. I can just hear him, calling us by name! “Come on, _____________! Keep going! If I can finish the race, I know you can! Don’t look behind you – just keep pressing on! Keep your eyes focused on Jesus Christ! I know you can do it!”
So, let’s not let him down. If we need an example of perfection, we can look to Jesus Christ. But if we just need to be reminded that we are not alone, we can look to Paul, and to countless others who are running this race, right along with us. Let us seek out those who are living godly lives, and follow their examples. Let’s encourage one another to keep going, and together, we can win this race!
Dear Father, Thank You for giving me real-life examples of people who are following You. Thank You for showing me that when I fall down, I can just get back up, dust myself off, and keep going. Please help me to be an example to others, as I press on to become the person You want me to be.