August 17: “Imitate Me As I Imitate Jesus”

6 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Nehemiah 12:27–13:31
1 Corinthians 11:1-16
Psalm 35:1-16
Proverbs 21:17-18

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

1 Corinthians 11:1 (NLT): “And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.”

Reflections from Scripture:

First Corinthians 11:1 seems presumptuous, doesn’t it? Would you feel comfortable telling someone to imitate you as you pursue holiness?

Yet, Paul didn’t just say this one time. Look at the following references:

1 Corinthians 4:16 (NLT): “So I urge you to imitate me.”

Philippians 3:17 (NLT): “Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example.”

1 Thessalonians 1:6 (NLT): “So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord.”

2 Thessalonians 3:9 (NLT): “We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow.” 

What are we to make of these instructions as Paul encourages the first-century saints to follow his example? Is Paul being arrogant? Of course not! 

What he is essentially saying is: 

People need God’s instruction, but they also need a ‘real life’ example to see how those instructions play out. They need someone to illustrate what it means to follow Christ in their particular culture and era. So, Paul was saying that while he hadn’t arrived at perfection, he was definitely headed in the right direction – toward Christlikeness. So, he encouraged others to join him on the journey as he tried to provide for them a helpful, godly example.

Friend, while it would definitely sound presumptuous to encourage others to follow our example, we need to realize that others are watching us. They see how we act. They listen to what we say. They are trying to assess our motives and attitudes. They’re watching!

Are we giving them a good example to follow? If not, allow the knowledge that others are watching you to motivate you to take your walk with Jesus much more seriously. Feel the pressure to become more like Jesus.

And maybe, just maybe, when you get to Heaven, others will tell you that they were watching you, had come to realize that you provided for them a godly example, and they were imitating you.

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, whether I know it or not, others are watching me. Some folks see how I respond to difficulties, conflict, family, or any number of other things. Help me, Lord, to set a good example, first for my family and then for everyone else. I pray that You would enable me to live in such a way that if others were to follow my example, they would inevitably become more like You. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Jehyun Sung on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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