Who is your role model?

Rudy Ross is an excellent Bible student and lover of God. He has a deep appreciation for C. S. Lewis. In today’s YouTube video Rudy explains one of Lewis’ profound thoughts.

You can see the video on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.

Think with me about role models.

— I learned to shave by watching a movie actor I admired shave.

— I admired a popular student in high school and decided to imitate the way he interacted with others.

— When I began preaching, I was impressed by a gravely voiced radio preacher from South Carolina. Many of my early sermons were attempts to sound like him.

What about you? Think for a minute about role models in your life.

Paul – A Father and Role Model

Paul was the father of the Corinthians church and desired to be a role model for the congregation.

1 Corinthians 4.14-17 I am not writing this to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.

For though you might have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers. Indeed, in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

I appeal to you, then, be imitators of me.

For this reason I sent you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ Jesus, as I teach them everywhere in every church.

A “guardian” in Paul’s day was a slave who walked wealthy children back and forth to school. At home, they assisted them with their homework.

Different teachers and leaders in Corinth may assume the role of guardian, but as the founder of the church, Paul was the only father.

Because Paul was the father of the church, he had every right to say to them, “Be imitators of me.”

The church’s problem was that there were competing role models vying for the congregation’s allegiance.

The problem of competing role models has multiplied in today’s environment.

— Young adults are influenced more by TikTok and Instagram performers than parents and teachers.

The fact that these performers are identified as “influencers” is a telling notion of their power.

— Our nation is polarized by the rhetoric of politicians. Their influence is gauged by the millions of dollars donated to their campaign efforts.

— The burger chain, “Whataburger,” has exploded in the Kansas City market, based on the influence of Patrick Mahomes.

Where we eat a hamburger is an inconsequential effect of a role model. If we imitate self-serving power-brokers, that is a serious issue.

The church in Corinth was divided in part because some members adopted the attitudes of Corinthians culture.

— It didn’t matter that so-called wisdom teachers had any substance to their message. What mattered was whether they were interesting or not.

— It was dishonorable for the wisdom teachers to work with their hands for a living. They were paid by patrons and loyal to the same.

— Humility was seen as weak, while status and personal reputation were highly valued.

The Corinthians did not see the world through God’s eyes. The church was in danger of not seeing the world correctly either.

It was not the so-called “wisdom” in the Roman forum that was needed. Rather, the church needed God’s wisdom.

1 Corinthians 1.21-24For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe.

For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,

But to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Paul desired to be the church’s role model because his life was modeled after Jesus.

— He was humble because Jesus was humble.

— He worked with his hands, so he could be free from the influence of a patron.

— His message of the cross may not have been entertaining, but it contained life-giving power to those who accepted it in faith.

A Power Encounter

Acts 19 tells the story of seven sons of Sceva, who attempted to free a man from a demon.

The demons said to them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” (Acts 19.15). The men were defeated in a fight and ran away naked and bleeding.

Paul knew spiritual power and threatened the arrogant leaders of the church with it.

1 Corinthians 4.18-21But some of you, thinking that I am not coming to you, have become arrogant.

But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power.

For the kingdom of God depends not on talk but on power.

What would you prefer? Am I to come to you with a stick, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?

Paul wrote a powerful and persuasive letter with the hope of repentance on the part of the offending leaders.

In the next chapter, we will see why their arrogance needed to be stopped. Arrogance and pride lead to rebellion.

For now, let’s focus on the power of the gospel.

When people hear the good news of God’s love and receive it by faith, the power of God is released to give them the best life possible.

God is love and when his love is received, people love him and others in return. This is the aim and power of God’s love.

Prayer for Ukraine

I’m sure you are joining the millions in prayer for Ukraine. Hate is a powerful force, but it is a negative and destructive force.

Jesus taught us to pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6.12).

As angry and outraged as this war makes us, forgiveness and love release the only power greater than hatred.

Jesus taught, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5.44-45).

This counsel takes us to the heart of Paul’s message about the wisdom of the cross.

We are better able to pray for love and forgiveness to rule the day because our country is not being destroyed by an evil aggressor.

Please ask the Lord to show you how to pray that his love will prevail in Ukraine.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross teaches an important principle in today’s YouTube video. I hope you will take the time to listen.

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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