* Being an influence on others by example vs. being influenced by others
To say that Noah was “righteous” and “blameless” does not mean that he never sinned. Rather, it means that he wholeheartedly loved and obeyed God. For a lifetime he walked step by step in faith as a living example to his generation. Like Noah, we live in a world filled with evil. Are we influencing others or being influenced by them? (NLT)
Genesis 6:9 – This is the history of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless man living on earth at the time. He consistently followed God’s will and enjoyed a close relationship with him.
* A righteous example affects other for good
Notice how God’s mercy toward Abraham extended to Lot and his family. Because Abraham pleaded for Lot, God was merciful and saved Lot from the fiery destruction of Sodom. A righteous person can often affect others for good. James says that the “earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power.” All Christians should follow Abraham’s example and pray for others to be saved. (NLT)
Genesis 19:16-29 – When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the Lord was merciful. “Run for your lives!” the angels warned. “Do not stop anywhere in the valley. And don’t look back! Escape to the mountains, or you will die.”
“Oh no, my lords, please,” Lot begged. “You have been so kind to me and saved my life, and you have granted me such mercy. But I cannot go to the mountains. Disaster would catch up to me there, and I would soon die. See, there is a small village nearby. Please let me go there instead; don’t you see how small it is? Then my life will be saved. “All right,” the angel said, “I will grant your request. I will not destroy that little village. But hurry! For I can do nothing until you are there.” From that time on, that village was known as Zoar.
The sun was rising as Lot reached the village. Then the Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from the heavens on Sodom and Gomorrah. He utterly destroyed them, along with the other cities and villages of the plain, eliminating all life—people, plants, and animals alike. But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following along behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
The next morning Abraham was up early and hurried out to the place where he had stood in the Lord’s presence. He looked out across the plain to Sodom and Gomorrah and saw columns of smoke and fumes, as from a furnace, rising from the cities there. But God had listened to Abraham’s request and kept Lot safe, removing him from the disaster that engulfed the cities on the plain.
* Children follow parents’ example
Isaac was afraid that the men in Gerar would kill him to get his beautiful wife, Rebekah. So he lied, claiming that Rebekah was his sister. Where did he learn that trick? He may have known about the actions of his father, Abraham. Parents help shape the world’s future by the way they shape their children’s values. The first step toward helping children live right is for the parents to live right. Your actions are often copied by those closest to you. What kind of example are you setting for our children? (NLT)
Genesis 26:7-11 – And when the men there asked him about Rebekah, he said, “She is my sister.” He was afraid to admit that she was his wife. He thought they would kill him to get her, because she was very beautiful. But some time later, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out a window and saw Isaac fondling Rebekah.
Abimelech called for Isaac and exclaimed, “She is obviously your wife! Why did you say she was your sister?” “Because I was afraid someone would kill me to get her from me,” Isaac replied. “How could you treat us this way!” Abimelech exclaimed. “Someone might have taken your wife and slept with her, and you would have made us guilty of great sin.”
Then Abimelech made a public proclamation: “Anyone who harms this man or his wife will die!”
* Rising above the influence of poor models example
Although Uzziah accomplished a great deal, he failed to destroy the high places, the location of pagan shrines in Judah, just as his father, Amaziah, and grandfather Joash had failed to do. Uzziah imitated the kings he had heard stories about and had watched while growing up. Although Uzziah’s father and grandfather were basically good kings, they were poor models in some important areas. To rise above the influence of poor models, we must seek better ones. Christ provides a perfect model. No matter how you were raised or who has influenced your life, you can move beyond those limitations by taking Christ as your example and consciously trying to live as he did. (NLT)
2 Kings 15:4 – But he did not destroy the pagan shrines, where the people offered sacrifices and burned incense.
* Many will not follow your good example
Jotham was generally a good king, but his people became corrupt. Those you lead will not always follow your example, but that should not affect the way you live for God. (NLT)
2 Chronicles 27:2 – He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his father, Uzziah, had done. But unlike him, Jotham did not enter the Temple of the Lord. Nevertheless, the people continued in their corrupt ways.
* Teaching others by example
Ezra demonstrates how a gifted Bible teacher can move God’s people forward. He was effective because he was a well-versed student of the law of the Lord and because he was determined to obey those laws. He taught through both his speaking and his example. Like Ezra, we should determine both to study and to obey God’s Word. (NLT)
Ezra 7:6-10 – This Ezra was a scribe, well versed in the law of Moses, which the Lord, the God of Israel, had given to the people of Israel. He came up to Jerusalem from Babylon, and the king gave him everything he asked for, because the gracious hand of the Lord his God was on him. Some of the people of Israel, as well as some of the priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, and Temple servants, traveled up to Jerusalem with him in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes’ reign.
Ezra arrived in Jerusalem in August of that year. He had left Babylon on April 8 and came to Jerusalem on August 4, for the gracious hand of his God was on him. This was because Ezra had determined to study and obey the law of the Lord and to teach those laws and regulations to the people of Israel.
* Paul urged Titus to be a good example to those around him so that others might see Titus’s good deeds and imitate him. Paul’s life would give his words greater impact. If you want someone to act a certain way, be sure that you live that way yourself. Then you will earn the right to be heard, and your life will reinforce what you teach. (NLT)
Titus 2:7-8 – And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good deeds of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Let your teaching be so correct that it can’t be criticized. Then those who want to argue will be ashamed because they won’t have anything bad to say about us.
* Jesus’ resisting temptation an example to us
This temptation by the Devil shows us that Jesus was human, and it gave Jesus the opportunity to reaffirm God’s plan for his ministry. It also gives us an example to follow when we are tempted. Jesus’ temptation was an important demonstration of his sinlessness. He would face temptation and not give in. (NLT)
Matthew 4:1 – Then Jesus was led out into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted there by the Devil.
* Why Paul was such a good example
Paul told the Corinthians to follow his example. He was able to make this statement because he walked close to God, spent time in God’s Word and in prayer, and was aware of God’s presence in his life at all times. God was Paul’s example; therefore, Paul’s life could be an example to other Christians. Paul wasn’t expecting others to imitate everything he did, but they should imitate those aspects of his beliefs and conduct that were modeling Christ’s way of living. (NLT)
1 Corinthians 4:16 – So I ask you to follow my example and do as I do.
* Examples for us
Today’s pressures make it easy to ignore or forget the lessons of the past. But Paul cautions us to remember the lessons the Israelites learned about God so we can avoid repeating their errors. The key to remembering is to study the Bible regularly so that these lessons remind us of how God wants us to live. We need not repeat their mistakes! (NLT)
1 Corinthians 10:6-11 – These events happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did or worship idols as some of them did. For the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged themselves in pagan revelry.” And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day. Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites. And don’t grumble as some of them did, for that is why God sent his angel of death to destroy them. All these events happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us, who live at the time when this age is drawing to a close.
* Younger believers are watching your example
Women who were new Christians were to learn how to have harmony in the home by watching older women who had been Christians for some time. We have the same need today. Young wives and mothers should learn to live in a Christian manner—loving their husbands and caring for their children—through observing exemplary women of God. If you are of an age or in a position where people look up to you, make sure that your example is motivating younger believers to live in a way that honors God. (NLT)
Titus 2:3-5 – Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that is appropriate for someone serving the Lord. They must not go around speaking evil of others and must not be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to take care of their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.
* Does your example make it easier for others to believe?
We must not live with only our own survival in mind. Others will follow our example, and we have a responsibility to them if we are living for Christ, as we claim to be. Does your example make it easier for others to believe in and follow Christ, and to mature in him? Or would those who follow you end up confused and misled? (NLT)
Hebrews 12:12-13 – So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. Mark out a straight path for your feet. Then those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong.
* Example of patience in suffering
James 5:10 – For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
* We may suffer for many reasons. Some suffering is the direct result of our own sin; some happens because of our foolishness, and some is the result of living in a fallen world. Peter is writing about suffering that comes as a result of doing good. Christ never sinned, and yet he suffered so that we could be set free. When we follow Christ’s example and live for others, we, too, may suffer. Our goal should be to face suffering as he did—with patience, calmness, and confidence that God is in control of the future. (NLT)
1 Peter 2:21-25 – This suffering is all part of what God has called you to. Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in his steps. He never sinned, and he never deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted. When he suffered, he did not threaten to get even. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. He personally carried away our sins in his own body on the cross so we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. You have been healed by his wounds! Once you were wandering like lost sheep. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.
* Lead them by your good example
Often the spokesman for the apostles, Peter witnessed Jesus’ death and resurrection, preached at Pentecost, and became a pillar of the Jerusalem church. But writing to elders, he identified himself as a fellow elder, not a superior. He asked them to “care for the flock of God,” exactly what Jesus had told him to do. Peter was taking his own advice as he worked along with the other elders in caring for God’s faithful people. His identification with the elders is a good example of Christian leadership, showing that authority is based on service, not power. (NLT)
1 Peter 5:1-3 – And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share his glory and his honor when he returns. As a fellow elder, this is my appeal to you: Care for the flock of God entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your good example.
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