Sunday, November 27, 2011

Follow Me Follow My God

Follow Me Follow My God
November 28, 2011
1 Corinthians 11:1 "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ."

In the Old Testament, there is a beautifully written story of love and tragedy. It is the true story of a woman whose husband died and left her childless; the woman's name was Ruth. You've heard the story, I'm sure, of how Ruth ended up marrying Boaz and they were blessed to become the great, great grandparents of the famous King David, and subsequently were part of the lineage of Jesus. There is another character in the story, however, who sometimes gets overlooked as a hero. Her name was Naomi, and she was Ruth's first mother-in-law. After Ruth's first husband died, Naomi recommended that Ruth go back to her own people to find a new husband, but Ruth refused to leave Naomi's side. Listen to Ruth's words of loyalty, "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God." Most mother-in-laws have a bad reputation, but not Naomi. She was a woman to be followed.

Naomi must have been such a wonderful person that Ruth was willing to be a widow for the rest of her life, willing to leave her homeland forever, and even willing to follow a new god. Ruth was willing to convert to Naomi's religion, willing to serve the One True God, all because of who Naomi was, because of the example Naomi must have set with her life. Notice Naomi did not ask Ruth to follow her; Naomi simply lived her own life in such a way that pleased the Lord. Ruth took notice of how Naomi lived and wanted to be like her. Ruth followed Naomi because Naomi followed the Lord; she was drawn to the Lord because He lived inside of Naomi.

You and I need to be like Naomi. We need to follow the Lord wholeheartedly, simply living our lives to honor Him. If we did, more people would be drawn to us, and consequently drawn to the One who lives inside our hearts. Our lives would then be an example. People would want to be with us and want to live the way we live. They would want to know our God and follow Him.

In the New Testament, Paul instructs us to live this way. He said, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." Paul realized that since not everyone could see Christ, sometimes they need an example of Him in order to understand His ways. Paul was willing to be a living example of Christ and recommended we follow this model. We are to live our lives as exemplary Christians and others will naturally follow. You don't have to be a leader; your job is not to lead them. Your job is to follow Christ and recognize that everyone is watching you at one time or another. Your example, your daily living, is the only representation of Christ on this earth.

You will lead them to Christ naturally, since people will be following you. Have you known a few people whose lives truly represent wholehearted service to Christ that you can emulate? Its your turn to live that way. People will be drawn to your God when you live your life to Him. If they aren't, then maybe you should examine how you live.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Ruth 1:1-16, John 12:25-26, John 10:26-28, Cor 1:3-5, 1 Cor 1:11-13

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