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Heroes For Life

August 13, 2015
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It has often been said, “if you want to understand the character of a man or a woman, just look at their inner circle of friends and those who they look up to.” This is one of the most understated phrases of all time. Just think about it! Who you associate with has an enormous impact on your development and spiritual level of maturity. Many people across this great country want to associate with, hang out with, and be around those who are just like them. They want to feel comfortable that what they say, how they dress, and what they do will be accepted within their immediate circle. In a sense, they are insulating themselves from potential criticism, reproof, insecurities, and the thought that what they have become as human beings may not measure up to the highest standards of thought, language, and behavior. In other words, they want to be left alone to be “who they are” while basking in spiritual mediocrity.  

On the other hand, and more positively stated, there are some who have chosen their Christian friends and associates very wisely. They have sought out individuals that have the ability to challenge and mentor them to new levels of spiritual maturity and awareness. In my mind, those are the keepers. We should surround ourselves with friends who are disciplined, loving, and have a Christian leadership worldview. We should choose friends and confidents who will lift us up when we are down, remind us of our fallen state when we get “puffed up” in the flesh, and drive us to additional and eternal Christ-like behavior.

Please do not think for a minute that I am trying to create or to propose a super-spiritual elite group of Christians who feel that they are better than everyone else. Absolutely not! On the contrary, as “iron sharpeneth iron” we should be more willing than ever to involve ourselves in the lives of others. As we draw closer to the Savior, we should be willing to step out by faith (and out of our comfort zones) to do what may seem to be the impossible for Christ. This means building lasting relationships with both non-Christians and those in the faith that need additional spiritual encouragement. The bottom line is that we are called to impact the world (people) with the gospel message.

Next, we turn the page to those who we look up to and admire. Many of these folks may not be part of our inner circle, but they seem to be squared away and have it all together from a Christian perspective. While they are sinners saved by the grace of God, there is something about them that we want to emulate and/or imitate. These Christians have been tried and tested on the battlefield for Christ. The Apostle Paul has a lot to say about those who we look up to and admire in the faith. He tells the Philippians to “mark them” and imitate those among them that live out their faith in a Christ-like manner, similar to Paul.

Philippians 3:17-19 – “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example.

(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)”

So let us recap just for a moment. First, we are to carefully and prayerfully surround ourselves with those individuals who will build us up in the faith. Second, we are to imitate and/or emulate those Christians who have proven to be spiritual giants. Third, we need to make sure that we are impacting others for the cause of Christ. We need to be about our Father’s business and make sure that we are ministering to and touching the lives of others. We may look to the book of Hebrews in chapter 11 and the “Hall of Faith” as a good starting point for our Christian heroes. 

By faith Abel……………..

By faith Enoch…………..

By faith Noah…………..

By faith Abraham………

Through faith also Sarah……………..

By faith Isaac…………………

By faith Jacob………………..

By faith Joseph………………

By faith Moses……………….

Hebrews 11:32-34 – “And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthah; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”

What a blessing it is to look to our Judeo-Christian forefathers as examples in the faith. Yes, they were sinfully flawed men and women, but they desired to live by faith. Then we compare this prior list of Christian heroes of the faith to the pop culture icons of today, and we shake our heads in disbelief and dismay. Where is the spiritual depth?

The Kardashians

American Idol participants

X-Factor

America’s Got Talent

Hmmmm…………………. We can only hope and pray that the Holy Spirit of God drives our country in a bright new direction. Please pray with me for a new spiritual direction and that our “Heroes for Life” once again become those Christian giants who are exemplary both in substance and in faith! Praise God!

Who are your heroes and those that you want to be like?


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