1 Corinthians 4:14-21 – Who Do You Imitate?

Read 1 Corinthians 4:14-21

outline of Jesus in bright orange circle of light

Did you like to play dress up when you were a kid? I always figured out a way to get my brother involved in the make-believe, and we made all sorts of great memories. Who did you pretend to be? I was usually a teacher or a mother.

As grown-ups, we often look to other people who we admire and want to be like them. Amy Grant is one of those people I dreamed of being. What a beautiful voice she has! Some people idolize athletes and movie stars. Often, the underlying character of those celebrities is flawed. If we could only see the “real” person we might not be so enamored.

Paul is wanting the Corinthian church to model his behavior. “So I urge you to imitate me.” The way he lived for the gospel of Jesus was certainly honorable. He believed, rightfully so, that the young Christians needed a leader to show them what it meant to be a Christ follower. It was helpful to have Paul’s example, someone they could visibly see.

As humans, we are all flawed. The best example we can follow is Jesus Christ himself. Paul will later tell the Ephesians “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.” (Ephesians 5:1) What are you doing in your daily walk to be more like Jesus?

Paul also reveals a little of what the Kingdom of God is all about. Jesus talked about it during his ministry, too. Paul says, “For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.” Living by God’s power. What does that mean to you?

I recall a teaching by Pastor Rick Warren on this very verse. I think we can all agree that God is able to do more than you can ever imagine. So how do you get God’s power in your life? Rick suggested three ways.

You get God’s power by praying. It seems too easy that we could just ask God for his power, but he happily responds.

You get God’s power by taking risks to obey God. It can be hard or even unpopular to be obedient, but God will reward you with his power.

You get God’s power by not giving up. There will be times of testing, difficulties, and discouragement. Remember God is there. The blessings are on the way.

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray …
Father God, thank you for giving me Jesus, the most wonderful example to follow for how I should live my life. Forgive me for those times when I look at other sources for inspiration that are not helpful. Keep my eyes focused on you so I can faithfully tap into your power. It is my desire that others will see Jesus in me and be drawn closer to you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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