Sunday, July 23, 2023

#Jesus Left Us A Real Example To Follow #JesusFollowers


"Leaving us an example that you should walk in his steps." 1 Peter 2:21

The very first words of our Savior, which have been preserved for us, contain an expression of the great leading principle, which regulated his whole life. “I must be about my Father's business.” His last words, too, show, that thirty years of fatigue, and danger, and suffering, did not extinguish his zeal in this his work.

"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” He went out into the world to do something, not for himself, but for his Father, and he devoted himself to it entirely. He was continually engaged in it himself, while he remained here, going from place to place, encountering hardship and danger and suffering, and all without any reference to his own selfish interests, but regarding solely the work he had to do for the salvation of men. 

And at last, when he left the world, his final charge to his disciples was that they should be faithful and persevering in carrying forward this work.

In fact he was so entirely devoted to his Father's business, that half the readers of his life do not imagine, that he had any of his own. But we must not forget that he was a man, with all the feelings, and exposed to all the temptations of men. 

It is surprising how much the example of Christ loses its power over us, simply on account of the absolute perfection of it. 

If he had been partly a lover of pleasure, if he had for instance built himself a splendid mansion, and ornamented his grounds, and devoted some portion of his time to selfish enjoyment there; or if he had entered into political life, and devoted a share of his attention to promoting his own honor, 

And yet if he had torn himself away from these temptations, so as finally to have devoted his chief time and attention to the glory of God and the good of men, than we might have felt that the example he set was within our reach. 

The selfish and worldly spirit, which he would bave exhibited, would, as it were, have made his case come home to us, and whatever fidelity and zeal he might have shown in his work, would have allured us to an imitation of it. 

But as it is, since he gave himself up wholly to his duty, since he relinquished the world altogether, Christians seem to think that his bright example is only, to a very limited extent, an example for them. 

But we must remember that Jesus Christ was a man. His powers were human powers. His feelings were human feelings, and his example is strictly and exactly an example for all the world. 

Still nobody considers him a fair example; at least very few do. Most Christians think that the general principles which regulated his conduct, ought to regulate theirs, but then the most they think of doing is to follow in his steps slowly and hesitatingly, and at a great distance behind.

And there is nothing in which the example of Christ takes less hold of men, than in this leading principle of his conduct – devotedness to his Father's business. How perfectly evident it is, that a very large proportion of professing Christians are doing their own business in this world, and not their Father's. In fact so universal is this sin, that there are great numbers of nominal Christians, who have no idea, no conception whatever, of the ground which Christianity takes in regard to a man's duty. 

It is true you cannot do that. That is, you cannot do your Father's business in the same way precisely, that Christ did. Or, to explain it more fully, God has a great deal of business to be done in this world, and it is of various kinds, and the particular portion allotted to each person, depends upon the circumstances in which each one is placed. 

(Adapted from “The Man Christ Jesus” by Jacob Abbott In “The Corner-Stone,” 1834)

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