By Brooke Holt
“What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9
Have you been blessed with a godly mentor in your life? Someone you admired and wanted to emulate? They had qualities you wanted and integrity that impressed you. A godly mentor often sees you as you are but also sees who you can be. These men and women love you enough to speak affirming words and challenging words. They are willing to speak the truth in love.
God has blessed me with many amazing mentors throughout the years. One who stands out in my mind today was my Girl’s Camp Director. At eleven years old and quite impressionable, sports stars (especially Chris Evert) most impressed me. At camp that summer, God was doing something new in me. Susie (the Girl’s Camp Director) exemplified a faith I had never seen. When I was with her, I felt loved; she listened to me; she encouraged me; and most importantly, she taught me about Jesus.
Susie was a mentor in the faith to me for many years. Our lives changed, but we reconnected at camp each summer. And every year, I arrived eager to learn from Susie. How I longed to be like her! I wanted her joy, beauty, confidence, and her faith. Susie made a lifelong and eternal impression on me as she is likely the one who led me to faith in Jesus.
The Apostle Paul was to the Philippians much like Susie was to me. He taught them about the Lord, led them to faith, helped build their church, encouraged them, challenged them, and longed to see them grow into the fullness of who God created and called them to be.
As he is concluding his letter, Paul encourages them to follow his example. Just as he has done for them, so they are now to do for others and within their church. They must now preach the Gospel, stand firm in faith, love and encourage one another, and build the church. He reminds them to practice these things daily.
Following the Apostle Paul's example was a high call, yet it had a great reward. Paul writes that as they practice godly living, they will experience the peace of God. Paul had lived and ministered among them. And though he was not with them in body, he was with them in spirit. He wrote to teach, encourage, challenge, and demonstrate the fruit of a godly life.
Thankfully, Susie has done the same for me. Even now, 40 years later, I am blessed to call Susie a beloved friend and godly mentor.
Paul modeled a life of Christian faith for the Philippians, one he longed for them to follow. Whose example are you following today? Is that person leading you closer to Jesus or further away? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Awaken the awe and the wonder of Advent! “The King Is Coming” is a 4-week Advent devotional especially written with a child’s heart in mind. It takes families through the salvation story by focusing on who God is, the gift of Jesus, and the importance of celebrating and sharing that miraculous gift! Bring your family together this Advent season for a journey exploring God’s big love for you.
To see all of our Advent Devotionals/Studies, click here.
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