Following the Very Best Example

Romans 15

May 31

There are many examples in this world: some good, many bad but none are indifferent. We often see the fruit of living a life without godly character in celebrities who become corrupted by the money and lifestyle that comes from being in the spotlight. It’s unfortunate that these poor examples of how to live life are inescapable because they’re plastered all over the internet. There are, however, good examples of selfless serving people in this world, such as first responders, volunteers who help the needy, and people who seek the good of those around them. The ultimate example that our lives should conform to is of course to the example of the Lord Jesus. Compared to the example of the life of Jesus and his earthly ministry, all other good examples pale in comparison. Following Christ’s example is our first and true calling as Christians.

Paul in Romans 15 gives a clear and achievable example of how to imitate Jesus. Paul says: “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up for Christ who did not please himself” (Romans 15:2-3b). Christ’s ultimate aim was to think of others before he thought of himself. This is most clearly seen by him voluntarily taking the cross on our behalf so that we might have life in God’s kingdom. This principle was lived out in his everyday life, as well. Christ’s goal was to seek the good of those around him, by serving them, ministering to them and ultimately being an example to them. Christ’s life was marked by building up the people around him. This example was often displayed to the outcasts, the poor and those who were suffering. Christ was always interested in supporting and loving those around him and he always thought of himself second. Not just the people in the upper parts of society, but anyone without exception.

Paul then continues his thought by saying “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 15:5-6). Paul’s thought is this: when we seek to build up those around us we are moving towards a place of harmony. God’s desire is for us to live harmoniously with our brothers and sisters in the faith. When we seek the good of those around us and they do that for us in return, we will truly live in one accord in Christ Jesus, and with one voice glorify God!

Our job as God’s people is to follow the example of the Lord Jesus by seeking the good of others above our own desires. We, by following the example of the Lord Jesus, ourselves are being the example that the world and the next generation of believers need!

-Nathan Massie


1. Seek the good of those around us, even above our own desires. When we all do this as God’s people we are moving towards harmony.

2. Be the example that our world and young believers need.

3. Realize that the harmony that is achieved by following the example of Jesus unites us in worship to our God.

Be the Very Last

Matthew 17, Mark 9, and Luke 9:28-62

In each of our passages that we read today is the transfiguration of Jesus. Jesus had just asked them, “Who do you say that I am?” The Jewish people revered Moses and Elijah as great prophets of God. I believe that this vision was a way to show them that Jesus is even more than a great prophet. To the Jewish people God was always associated with the cloud. In Exodus, He was in the cloud that was leading them through the desert; when He talked to Moses, He appeared in a cloud; when the glory of the Lord was in the tabernacle, it was covered in a cloud, and when they dedicated the temple, the glory of God was associated with a cloud. 1 Kings 8:10 says,”When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord.”

The transfiguration is showing them that Jesus is to be more honored than both of these men. Mark 9:7 says, “Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: ‘This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!’”  God is telling them, and in essence telling us, to listen to what Jesus is saying. To take his teachings to heart. Jesus is not trying to lift himself up and tout his own glory. He is trying to glorify the Father, and teach others about the kingdom.  Acts 3:22 reads, “For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you.” Yes, they had other prophets but they paled in comparison to the Son of God, and we are told to listen to everything that he tells us. We need to make sure that we are reading and closely following what Jesus was teaching them. Today, there is a “Be Kind” movement.  Jesus started that movement years ago, it’s just now catching on. He said to “Love God, and Love others.” Pretty simple and straight forward. The world would be a much better place if we would all listen to the words that Jesus spoke. But we can’t just listen, we also have to act on the words that he said.

Sometimes we, just like the disciples, have a hard time living what Jesus was teaching. It goes against our natural desires, which is to look out for ourselves. Jesus tells them once again about his impending death and resurrection, and he sees them having a conversation. He asks them, even though he knew, what they were disputing about as they walked to Capernaum. They would not answer him, because they had been arguing over who would be the greatest among them. This story always reminds me of one of my children and their first cousin. When they were together, they always wanted to be first at everything. The first to get their food, the first to finish eating, the first in running, etc. So one day I told them, “In the Bible it says, the first shall be last and the last shall be first.” Then they both decided they wanted to be last, so they would then be first. They may not have learned the true meaning of these words. Mark 9:35 says “Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.’” With these simple words, Jesus has given us a fundamental truth. So many of the world’s problems would be solved if we would take these words to heart. If we would try to make others’ lives better instead of making our life better. If we would become the servant of those around us. Jesus typified this when he washed the disciple’s feet. He could have sat down and demanded that someone wash his feet, because he was the Son of God, but instead he showed true leadership by serving them. With his death he was serving all of mankind so that we would have a chance to share in the kingdom when he comes back as the King of Kings.

-Sherry Alcumbrack

Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at BibleGateway – Matthew 17, Mark 9, and Luke 9:28-62

Tomorrow’s passage will be Matthew 18 as we continue on our Bible reading plan. It’s not too late to jump on board to learn more and more about this King of Kings!

%d bloggers like this: