Waist Deep in Heroes

As a child, many godly men and women intentionally invested their time into my life. Most of these were members of the local church congregation in my neighborhood. They made sacrifices to ensure there was an example of Christ-likeness available for me and others to pattern our lives after. I consider these great ‘heroes,’ not only of my childhood, but my entire life.

Think about this question D. A. Carson asks of his readers.

“Do we encourage new believers in Jesus Christ with the words, ‘If you want to know what Christianity looks like, look at me’?”

I know, it almost sounds arrogant. But is it biblical? What it seems he’s asking is, as believers, are we secure enough in our faith to offer our visible walk with Christ as an example for younger Christians to follow?

The Great Commission anticipates our role-modeling of the Christian life before younger converts, so they in turn become examples for others. After promising His followers that He had been given all authority, Jesus instructed His disciples to make more disciples. (Matthew 28:18-20).

Jesus wanted His disciples to teach and model His words and life to others. Consider the sentence structured this way. “While you are going, make disciples!”

Paul once encouraged his hearers, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). We see this demonstrated in his relationship with Timothy. Paul knew there were plenty of bad examples available, so he instructed Timothy to choose his mentors wisely. He told him, “Watch me.” (2 Timothy 3, 4)

We live in a day of ridiculously blotched moral values. Even the law defends iniquity and immorality. The heroes who are applauded and followed in our culture seldom consider the paths they forge for their admirers. Our young are susceptible to heroes who demonstrate an inadequate perception of truth.

As Paul knew his time was short, his primary goal became leaving behind more than a legacy of his own life and ministry. He knew someone had to take the baton from his hand and continue the good fight.

This is no less true today. We are called to be disciples… and to make disciples for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We’re not perfected, and we shouldn’t claim to be… but if we walk by faith, and live in the grace afforded to us by the blood of Jesus, we desire that others do also.

[An added note: The movie, ‘Courageous’ is an awesome encouragement to fathers to step up and be the role-model of Jesus’s love before their children. I encourage all to see this excellent film!]

[Question quoted: From the Resurrection to His Return (Living Faithfully in the Last Days) – Don Carson]

About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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12 Responses to Waist Deep in Heroes

  1. Debbie says:

    I think most of my making disciples comes from being one – or doesn’t when I’m not. Thanks, Mike.

  2. Yes, I praise God for Godly men and women who encouraged and helped me in my early Christian life. Mentoring is /should be an important aspect in any believer’s life – and more so as areas are now more shades of grey than clear cut.

  3. lambskinny says:

    You’re right, Michael about COURAGEOUS — it’s a touching film. Quite thought provoking! God bless. Carley

  4. isaiah43123 says:

    D.A. Carson’s question takes me to the book I am reading, Amish Grace – How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy. Christian living is about example. Our walk speaks, no, it shouts louder than our talk.

  5. You wrote in your post “As a child, many godly men and women intentionally invested their time into my life”. This is kind of what you have done with me. I can attest first hand that you live what you preach Mike. ” We are called to be disciples… and to make disciples for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” You wrote that too and you live it, leaving me an example to follow. My knowledge and faith have grown leaps and bounds and a large part of it has been because you cared enough to step out and offer encouragement. Had it not been for you, I would not even have known what a Matthew Henry Commentary was.

    My point is that each day, I try to take what I learn from you and use it to help and teach others. We all need people like you that are willing to step out of themselves and show Christ to others. I can only hope that I can continue to follow in your example.

    Thanks Mike for being a true christian friend and mentor.

    • mtsweat says:

      Brother, you are much too gracious. Believe me, when I write these posts, they are primarily directed toward my growth in areas where God is working (a work desperately needed!). But I am greatly appreciative of your support and encouragement. You are a true friend. God bless.

  6. literary lew says:

    I liked your paraphrasing, “While you are going, make disciples.”

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