Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity—1 Tim. 4: 12.
Every Christian should strive to be a pattern worthy of imitation—a pattern of earnest, faithful endeavor to copy Christ in his daily life, and of active zeal in His service. Patterns of perfection, of the ultimate moral glory and beauty of holiness, we cannot expect to be in the present life. Such a pattern we have only in Christ our Lord. In no such sense did Paul ever say, Follow me, or Follow us; but he did say, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (1 Cor. 11: 1). The Apostle was a grand example of earnest endeavor to attain perfection, but not of the ultimate perfection which was in Christ only; and it is his zeal and intense earnestness in striving to copy Christ and to accomplish His will that we should seek to imitate.
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Those set in prominent positions as teachers in the Church have double need of Christlikeness, first to inure to making their calling and election sure, and second to helping others by their example to develop Christlikeness. Their influence over those who hold them in love and confidence is great, and to support their influence with Christlike character will prove helpful to those whom they teach.
Parallel passages: Titus 2: 7; 1Pet. 2: 21; 5: 3; Lev. 18: 2, 3; 2Chron. 30: 7; Prov. 22: 24, 25; Matt. 23: 1-3; John 13: 15; 1Cor. 8: 9-13; Phil. 2: 5; 1Thes. 1: 6-8; Heb. 13: 7; Jas. 5: 10, 11; 1Pet. 3: 5, 6; 1John 2: 6.
Questions: Have I this week been an example of and to the brethren? How? Why?
With what results?
FOLLOW THE PATTERN
LET us take to our hearts a lesson—no lesson can braver be—
From the ways of the tapestry weavers on the other side of the sea.
Above their heads the pattern hangs; they study it with care;
The while their fingers deftly work, their eyes are fastened there.
They tell this curious thing, besides, of the patient,
He works on the wrong side evermore, but works for the
right side ever.
It is only when the weaving stops, and the web is loosed and turned,
That he sees his real handiwork—that his marvelous
skill is learned.
Ah! The sight of its delicate beauty, how it pays him
for all his cost!
No rarer, daintier work than his was ever done by
Then the master bringeth him golden hire, and giveth
him praise as well;
And how happy the heart of the weaver is, no tongue
but his own can tell.
The years of man are the looms of God, let down
from the place of the sun,
Wherein we are weaving always, till the mystic web
Weaving blindly, but weaving sure, each for himself
We may not see how the right side looks, we can only weave and wait.
But looking above for the pattern, no weaver need
Only let him look clear into heaven—the perfect pattern is there,
If he keeps the face of the Savior forever and always
His toil shall be sweeter than honey, his weaving is
sure to be right.
And when his task is ended, and the web is turned
He shall hear the voice of the Master, who shall say
to him, "Well done!"
Since in copying thus the pattern, he had laid his own
And God for his wages shall give him, not coin, but
a glorious crown.
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