OPEN HEAVENS DAILY DEVOTIONAL.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 15 2016.
THEME : WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL?
MEMORISE : Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 1 CORINTHIANS 11 : 1.
READ : PHILIPPIANS 3 : 14 – 19 :
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
One thing that thrills me about the Bible is that it is a library of books that confirms that there is no new thing under the heaven. Everything good, bad and ugly have happened before and they are written so that we can learn from them. We have had many leaders in both secular and religious history; we still have leaders in the present age. The question is; who is your role model? Show me your model and I can tell you who you are. In the Bible reading for today, we read about someone who was bold enough to tell his audience to follow him because he was a follower of the Greater Master, Jesus. He went further to tell the Philippians what he did with his life:
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3 : 13 – 14.
In his effort to please his Master and Lord, the apostle said that those things which were gain to him, he counted as nothing so that he may win Christ and His righteousness. He aspired to become like Jesus Christ to the point of no return. He said in Philippians 3 : 10 :
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”
We can learn many things from the life of this apostle: If we look at the dramatic change that followed his encounter with Jesus Christ on the way to Damascus, we cannot help but ask whether we plan to go to the same heaven with this soldier of the Cross. His memoirs are clearly written in 2 Corinthians 11 and 12. He spoke in part about the price of not only his discipleship but also of his apostleship, as he talked of a thorn in his flesh that buffeted him and then concluded in 2 Corinthians 12 : 9 – 10 by saying :
“And he said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
Beloved, who is your role model? We have living role models in the present age; those that are sold to the righteousness attainable only in Christ, those who have not corrupted themselves with the affairs of this life. Their lifestyles may not be amiable but if we follow them, our heavenly destination is guaranteed. Paul, the apostle under study, warned us thus in Philippians 3 : 17 :
“Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example.”
The reason he gave was that many, even as early as the first century Church did not walk uprightly. As it was in the beginning so it is now. Therefore, beloved, watch out for good role models and pattern your life after them as they do after Christ.
ACTION POINT : Look among Christian leaders and find out those living according to Christ’s doctrine. Follow their footsteps.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR : DANIEL 9 : 10 AND PSALMS 78 : 55 – 72.
AUTHOR : PASTOR E. A ADEBOYE.
HYMN 3 : DEEPER, DEEPER
Deeper, deeper in the love of Jesus
Daily let me go;
Higher, higher in the school of wisdom,
More of grace to know.
O deeper yet, I pray,
And higher every day,
And wiser, blessed Lord,
In Thy precious, holy Word.
Deeper, deeper, blessed Holy Spirit,
Take me deeper still,
Till my life is wholly lost in Jesus,
And His perfect will.
Deeper, deeper! though it cost hard trials,
Deeper let me go!
Rooted in the holy love of Jesus,
Let me fruitful grow.
Deeper, higher, every day in Jesus,
Till all conflict past,
Finds me conqu’ror, and in His own image
Perfected at last.
Deeper, deeper in the faith of Jesus,
Holy faith and true;
In His pow’r and soul exulting wisdom
Let me peace pursue.