I find it interesting at the random ways God can provide us with opportunities to glorify Him. Recently, my son Connor and I were running some errands around town. As we were leaving a store, a gentleman who looked worn and dirty began to ask me for some cash for food. Without giving the situation much thought, I looked at him and said, “No.” As I was buckling Connor up in our vehicle, he began to ask me questions about that man. He asked me, “What did he want?” and I replied “That man needs money for food.” And Connor replied, “That man is hungry daddy, he needs food.” It was as if someone walked up and punched me in the stomach as I looked into the eyes of my 2 year old son who appeared to be wondering why I didn’t help that man. I had two main thought quickly run through my head. The first is the following passage.
Matthew 25:41-46 – “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
The second thought which ran through my head was 1 Timothy 4:12 – “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” From deep within, I felt the Lord granted me an opportunity to be an example of love and hospitality to both this strange man and my son.
What type of example are we for God to others? Are our words consistent with our actions? How do our family members and friends view our example of faith and good deeds?
The apostle Paul set a godly example to teach others how a Christian ought to live and challenged others to live the same way.
1 Corinthians 4:15-16 – “For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.”
2 Thessalonians 3:7-8 – “For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you.”
Paul taught new Christians at Thessalonica by his godly example and they soon became good examples for others.
1 Thessalonians 1:5-7 – “because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.”
Jesus warns us never to set a bad example and cause others to sin.
Matthew 5:19 – “Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 18:5-6 – “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”
Jesus also warns for us to never put a stumbling block in another person’s way.
Romans 14:13 – “Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.”
As we can see from these few passages, God has much to say about our example of faith. Might I personally state that our example of faith is not to be confined to the walls of a church building, but is to be lived out loud for the entire world to see.
After taking a few minutes to set me heart and mind straight I knew what the right thing was for us to do. Therefore, we drove across the street and located the man in need and gave him some money for food. The man looked me in the eye and said, “God bless you.” I had a warm feeling within my heart. As I turned to look into the back seat, there sat my little champion with a big smile on his face.
I am thankful for opportunities such as these to be a godly example to my son. I pray that you too will look for ongoing opportunities to be a light which is so desperately needed in our present world.
May God bless you richly!