WHOSE EXAMPLE ARE YOU FOLLOWING?

WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL

MARCH 10, 2024

TOPIC: WHOSE EXAMPLE ARE YOU FOLLOWING?

BY T. O. BANSO

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1 New International Version).

King Josiah, despite his young age, was not influenced by the past evil in his parents. His grandfather Manasseh was one of the evil kings of the southern kingdom of Judah before he repented, cleansed the land of idolatry, and commanded the people to return to the Lord. Before then, his evil surpassed that of the Canaanites whom God wiped out of the land He gave to the children of Israel. So Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel” (2 Chronicles 33:9 New King James Version).

Before his repentance, Manasseh who ruled for fifty-five years, ruling longer than any king of Judah, did not follow the godly example of his father, Hezekiah. But upon His restoration to the throne, he tried to undo the evil things he had done. He got rid of the foreign gods, removed the image from the temple of the Lord and all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem, and threw them out of the city. He restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it. Manasseh also told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel. Nevertheless, the people continued to sacrifice to God at the high places. Manasseh couldn’t reverse the death of his children whom he sacrificed in the fire!

Josiah also had the heritage of an evil father, Amon, who didn’t learn from the error of the life of his father, Manasseh. Amon, Manasseh’s successor, took after his evil life. Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. But he did evil in the sight of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done; for Amon sacrificed to all the carved images which his father Manasseh had made, and served them. And he did not humble himself before the Lord, as his father Manasseh had humbled himself; but Amon trespassed more and more. Then his servants conspired against him, and killed him in his own house” (2 Chronicles 33:21-24 New King James Version).

Josiah began to reign at the age of eight years and didn’t take after the evil lives of his grandfather, Manasseh, and his father, Amon. He lived a life that pleased God; he did what was right in His sight. He was a reformer who returned Judah to the Lord. The Bible summarizes his thirty-one years on the throne in Jerusalem thus: Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him” (2 Kings 23:25 New King James Version). 

Josiah’s life teaches us that one does not have to follow the evil example in one’s family. One does not have to make a wicked grandfather or an ungodly father one’s role model. If there is no good example in your family to emulate, there are enough good examples in the Bible and your church. There are also other Bible-believing and Bible-practising Christians around you to emulate.

We are surrounded by godly examples so that we shall not have any excuse before God that it was because of the ungodly families we were born into that we couldn’t live a life that pleased the Lord. Josiah looked beyond his immediate family for a mentor. He didn’t choose Amon or Manasseh as his mentor.

The Bible says, Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left” (2 Kings 22:1-2 New King James Version).

I want you to note the phrase And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the ways of his father David.” But David was not his biological father; Amon was his father and Manasseh was his grandfather. David was his ancestor. The New Living Translation puts 2 Kings 22:2 this way: He did what was pleasing in the LORD’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right.” Note that this translation uses the word “ancestor” instead of “father.”

Significantly, Josiah followed the example of David; he didn’t walk in the footsteps of his father or grandfather. Neither did he even try to emulate his great grandfather, Hezekiah, who also did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done, as 2 Kings 18:3 says. Josiah decided to follow the example of David, his ancestor, and did not turn away from doing what was right.

Follow those who are following God; don’t follow those who are following the devil. Paul told the Corinthians, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1 New International Version). In other words, they should imitate him, just as he imitated Christ. Earlier in 1 Corinthians 4:16, he urged them to imitate him. He could say that because he also imitated Christ.

Writing to the Christians at Philippi, Paul said, “Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern” (Philippians 3:17 New King James Version). Notice the phrase “join in following my example.” Are you a good example others can follow? Whose example are you following? Hebrews 6:12 says, “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised” (New International Version).

Consider the examples you are following. Where will you end your journey in life or spend your eternity after death? Be careful about the example you follow in your family, at work, in church, in the ministry, or anywhere you are. Christ is our perfect example; follow His teachings. Do not depart from His words. They are spirit and life (John 6:63).

TAKE ACTION!

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and cannot save yourself, and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to follow good examples in my family, at work, and in society. Help me to do what is pleasing in the sight of the Lord and follow good examples. I will follow those who follow Christ and not take sinners as my role model.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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