By Brooke Holt
“Almighty God, you have given your only Son to be for us a sacrifice for sin, and also an example of godly life: Give us grace to receive thankfully the fruits of his redeeming work, and to follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.” The Collect, p. 232, Book of Common Prayer
Who is your role model or who was your role model as you grew up? In my early years, I so deeply admired Chris Evert. She was the great women’s tennis player. I loved watching her play and always appreciated her nature on and off the court. As I have matured in my life and faith, Beth Moore became a role model to me. Her biblical teaching and writings transformed my life. I longed to speak, teach, and write with the kind of conviction, passion, and power that I saw in Beth.
Having good role models or mentors is healthy for us, especially when those people are modelling faithful lives. How helpful it is to have earthly models for our faith; people whom we can ask questions, pray with, emulate in our lives.
Even better than these earthly role models is the model of Jesus Christ! In our Collect for today, we are called to remember Jesus, to remember his perfect life and sacrifice on our behalf, and then to follow his earthly example in leading a godly life. While you can never attain the earthly perfection of Jesus, you can seek to emulate his example in every aspect of your life.
Do you have a hard time loving your enemies, people who have betrayed you, hurt you, or even abandoned you? Jesus understands. He, too, was betrayed, hurt, abandoned, and falsely accused. Yet, Jesus loved his enemies all the way to the end. As Jesus hung on the cross, some of his last words were a prayer: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). When challenged, Jesus always spoke the truth, but spoke that truth in love. Jesus never turned away from those considered outcasts, sinners, or the sick. Instead, he brought peace, forgiveness, and healing to those that cried out to him.
Clearly, the admirable qualities of Jesus are innumerable and far surpass the limited space of a devotion. In his life and in his death, Jesus was the perfect example of a godly life. As you wonder how to be faithful in this challenging world, you are to look to the life of Jesus. You are called to look to Jesus and turn to Jesus: Jesus, what does it look like for me to love this person; Jesus, what does it look like for me to forgive; Jesus, show me the faithful way forward in my marriage, business, and church.
The Lord loves to answer the prayers of his people, especially those prayers in which you ask to follow the godly example of Jesus Christ. May you bring your questions and petitions before him today and see him provide what you need to follow in his footsteps.
Whose example are you seeking to follow today? How might you look more to the example of a godly life provided through the Son of God? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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