Devotional/Reflection: Growing up we often have heroes. Maybe yours, like mine, were sports figures. I remember during my 4th through 8th grade years living in the north suburbs of Chicago while Michael Jordan and the Bulls dominated the competition. Around the same time, Gatorade created a commercial campaign that reminded us that we all wanted to “Be like Mike.” In Ephesians 5:1, Paul reminds us that we want to be like Christ, to be imitators of God. Curiously, here in 1 Corinthians 4, he tells the Corinthian church to be imitators of him, Paul. It perhaps seems strange to us to think of Paul setting himself up as an example, but as the one who was their spiritual father, he ought to be one whose life serves as an example of a godly, Christian life. Truly we ought to have individuals in our life that we look up to in the faith, whose example we can look to for how to live out our lives faithfully in our present context. More importantly, Paul was not just one who talked a good game about how to live the Christian life. Rather, he sent Timothy to them as an example that might teach them how Paul lived his own life. Moreover, Paul challenges those who were claiming importance but were merely talking a good game. Paul says when he comes they will see where the power lies, for the kingdom of God consists not in talk, but in power. Do we have individuals in our life that we imitate? Is our life worthy of imitation? These are questions that we should be asking ourselves and working towards if we want to see God’s kingdom work in power.
- Who in your life do you look up to as a “father” in the faith?
- Who do you imitate as a great example of the Christian life?
- Is your life worthy of imitation? What areas do you need to work on so that one might see you as worthy of imitation?
- In what ways have you seen God’s kingdom in power?
Sermon: 1 Corinthians 4:14-21 (Jay Todd)
Scripture Memory: “For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.”–1 Corinthians 4:20