Sunday, December 31, 2017

The World is Changed by Your Example

Titus 2:3- "Likewise, older women are to show their reverence for God by their behavior. They are not to be gossips or addicted to alcohol, but to be examples of goodness." (ISV)

Titus 2:3- "The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;" (KJV) 

Titus 2:3- "Tell older women to live their lives in a way that shows they are dedicated to God. Tell them not to be gossips or addicted to alcohol, but to be examples of virtue." (NOG)


Example is described as, "a pattern or model, as of something to be imitated or avoided." 

In Titus chapter 2, God call us to be a pattern or model-- something that CAN be imitated, SHOULD be imitated.

When I read the definition of 'example' and saw the desire of God Almighty for us to be examples of His goodness---- I felt a little piece crumble inside of me. 

I haven't been an example to much of anyone the past few years- especially to my children.

Thankfully, He is a God of mercy and grace. Thankfully, He gave me another chance. And thankfully, I am going to spend the rest of my life trying to be the best possible version of myself-- the best example I can be.

Virtue and Goodness.

Virtue is described as "moral excellence, goodness; righteousness; conformity of one's life and conduct to moral and ethical principles; uprightness; a particular moral excellence." 

Goodness is described as "moral excellence; virtue; kindness; generosity."

He has called us to be examples of- moral excellence, virtue, kindness, generosity, goodness, moral, upright, ethical.

He wants our lives to be teachers to others of what is virtuous- what is precious in His eyes.

This is a tall order-- but a beautiful one. He picked us, ladies! He chose us. Now, I find myself overwhelmed with prayer this morning that He creates this person in me. That's one of my greatest desires.

Living the Life He has Called Us.

One of my favorite quotes is "You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips." Back when I had my 'life in order', I constantly thought about this verse. Does my life reflect Jesus or does it reflect a hypocrite? Spewing words of goodness but living an immoral life? 

Then there's the person I have been-- someone who knew the life God was calling for-- but not wanting to let go of who I was. 

I look at the example I was being for my children- my husband- my friends- strangers... and I became overwhelmed. What was I teaching them about life? About morals? About ethics? About His goodness? About kindness?

I became so selfish and so overwhelmed with my desires-- I forgot all about what He called me to be.

He called me to live His Word-- not just speak it. 
He called me to be His Word- not just read it.

And I was failing miserably.

Think on These Things.

In Philippians 4:8, Paul writes, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (KJV)

"Christian brothers, keep your minds thinking about whatever is true, whatever is respected, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever can be loved, and whatever is well thought of. If there is anything good and worth giving thanks for, think about these things." (NLV)

Paul breaks it down for us. God Almighty created a template for our thoughts- our actions.

Is it true (good)?
Is it honest (respected, honorable)?
Is it just (right)?
Is it pure (holy)?
Is it lovely (worthy of love, friendly)?
Is it of good report (proper, admirable, commendable)?
Virtue (goodness, righteousness, ethical, moral)

We should think (and act) on these things.

This is a wonderful tool for us to utilize during our conversations--- our daily activities. Is what we are preparing to do or say good? is it respected? Is it right? Is it holy? Is it friendly? Is it proper? Is it commendable? Is it righteous? Is it moral? Is it ethical? 

If it is, proceed.
But if it is not, pray that Jesus would help you overcome the situation. 

My Being an Example- We Become Teachers

Titus 2:3 instructs us to be teachers of good things---- this is all done through our example.

Proverbs 27:17 states, "As iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens [and influences] another [through discussion]." (AMP)

Proverbs 27:17- "As iron sharpens iron, so people ·can improve each other [sharpen their friends]." (EXB)

Proverbs 27:17- "People learn from one another, just as iron sharpens iron." (GNT)

What are we teaching others? What are they learning from us? Are they learning about being slow to anger? Are they learning about the love of Jesus? Are they learning about forgiveness? Are they learning about being virtuous? Are they learning about the blood He shed? Are they learning about faith? Are they learning about patience and kindness??

Or are they learning about an immoral lifestyle? Are they learning about the sin of this world? Are they learning about wrath? Are they learning about bitterness? Are they learning about impatience? Are they learning about jealousy? Are they learning about unkindness? Are they learning about malice?

We are the teachers--- what are we teaching?

"The world is changed by your example, not your opinion."

What are we showing them today?