On a recent visit, as our granddaughter’s family prepared to retire Saturday night, I witnessed a ritual. Her husband laid out his Sunday clothes. The last item he carefully placed on top was his necktie. Then I saw their 5-year-old son carefully lay out his Sunday clothes the same as his dad. The last item he carefully placed on top was his necktie.
Michelle told me later that he chooses to dress up every Sunday for church, not because she makes him, but because “I want to dress just like my dad.” What an example!
The apostle Paul, a prisoner bound for Rome on a cargo ship during a violent storm, urged crew and passengers: “Take food. It has been fourteen days since you have eaten. You need it to survive.” After that, he took bread and gave thanks to God IN FRONT OF THEM ALL. Then he broke it and began to eat. His example encouraged them, and “they ate some food themselves.” With renewed strength, the crew “passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together,” and all those aboard were saved and, in their own way, praised the God Paul served.
My great grandson had an example, his father; all aboard that sinking cargo ship had an example, Paul. Where is our lifestyle that says, “Be like me?” When we live in such a way that says, “Imitate me,” then God, taking us through our storms of life, will make us catalysts, like Paul, for getting others safely to “shore.”
Please email me about when God used you as an example. email@example.com Also, check out Paul’s exciting sea drama in Acts 27.