Powerful examples!

Scripture reading for November 24th:  1st Corinthians 7-10

I chose my life theme from going through Army officer’s leadership school.  A key leadership principle that stuck with me was “Set the Example!”  I was taught that one of the most powerful influences that a leader could have on others is their example.  Jesus Christ modeled for us and his disciples by living a life centered on doing God’s will and serving others.   The Bible records many examples that are not so good as well.  Someone has said, “if you are not good for anything else, you can always be a bad example!”

In 1st Corinthians 10, Paul used some bad examples as warning for believers.  Paul exhorted the Corinthians to remember the Israelites of the Old Testament.  They had some great spiritual experiences with the Lord leading them by the cloud and fire and taking them through the Red Sea.  They got to eat “manna” from heaven and drink water from the “Rock” for forty years while they wandered in the desert.  They had God’s appointed leader, Moses, praying for them.  However, God was not pleased with them!  (1st Corinthians 10:1-5)

In spite of being supernaturally delivered by God from Egypt, many of them brought their idols with them!  They were taught by God to be true to their wives, but many were sexually immoral as they worshiped these idols.  Many grumbled against God and died from the bite of poisonous snakes and by the destroying angel of death.  Their hearts were not right with God in spite of all the supernatural power that they witnessed.  They thought they were right with God because of His blessings.

We should learn from their example. (1st Corinthians 10:8-10)  America is a land of idols!  Sports stars, entertainment figures, soap operas, movie stars, popular music stars and the like all serve as idols.  We are sexually immoral and glorify sexual freedom that mocks God and His word because we are idolatrous!

Grumbling against God because of unbelief was also a characteristic of the Israelites.  That grumbling kept them out of the land of promise and a whole generation died in the desert.  These examples should drive us to Christ Jesus.  He is our escape from sin, death and temptation.  He is always faithful and delivers those who depend on Him!

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