Memory Scripture: Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Phil. 4:9).
A model is a person or thing to be copied. The Holy Scriptures – the story of God and man is full of model characters for us in the later generations. The injunction of the same scriptures is that we consciously copy these models (Phil. 4:9; Heb. 6:12; 13:7).
If any, who are said to be believers or ministers fall short of scriptural standard, such are no believers or ministers.
Today’s texts reveal three models whom we must all consciously copy if we want to be where they are now, viz:-
1. ABRAHAM, A MODEL BELIEVER (Gen. 18:1-10)
Abraham is not only the spiritual father of those who believe, but a complete challenge to whosoever is named by the name of Christ (Heb. 13:7; Heb. 6:12).
From the ten verses of this narrative, the following challenging qualities are unveiled:-
a. He knew, before the men spoke that they were heavenly visitors - Gen. 18:1-3. The need to readily know who they are that approach us in these last and evil days cannot be over (emphasized Matt. 22:18; Acts 8:23; 14:19).
b. His hospitality, despite the heat of the day is rather compelling and an eye opener for those who want a reward in heaven (Gen. 18:4-8; Matt. 10:42; Mark 9:41).
c. Abraham was strong enough to run out to meet his guests at the age of above 99 years, proving that God will give even physical strength to faithful ones; even at old age (Gen. 18:2,7; Jos 14:6-12).
d. He was confident that nothing questionable was in his house hence he readily invited the heavenly visitors to draw nearer his tent (Gen. 18:3, )
e. Abraham and wife were not slothful in business. Sarah could make ready fine meal within a short time (Gen. 18:6-8; Rom. 12:11; Heb. 6:12).
f. Abraham did not go to borrow anything because he had everything he needed, and that, from God (Gen. 18:4-10; 14:22-23; Phil. 4:9).
2. MARY, A MODEL BELIEVER (Luke 10:38-42)
Mary and Martha were sisters, but Mary was and still is a model listener to the word of God. Martha did a good thing - showed hospitality, but Mary did a better thing. Where there is a better thing, a good thing is not sufficient, and where there is the best thing, a better thing is not sufficient.
What a number of parishioners, like Martha, who are troubled and concerned with even legitimate things “that can hold no water in the end of life”!
3. PAUL, A MODEL MINISTER (Col. 1:24-28)
There are God-made ministers as well as man-made/self-made ones. The former are superior (in the sight of God). The former are spiritual, but the latter are carnal, who don’t understand the things of the Spirit (1Cor. 2:14); the former are crucified to the world and the world crucified to them (Gal 6:14) but the latter love this present world (2Tim. 4:10).
The following are the lessons from the five verses of the above reading:
a. God-made ministers suffer and rejoice in their suffering for the body of Christ (the Church) knowing that these are the afflictions that Christ left behind with the gospel (Col. 1:24, Phil.1:29).
b. Man-made ministers, i.e. pastors, teachers, evangelists, priests, nuns, etc, never fulfill the word of God in the lives of the people, but God-made ministers like Paul, Peter, and Barnabas do (Col. 1:25).
c. From man-made ministers will God hide His mysteries, but to God-made ministers, mysteries are manifest (Col. 1:25-27; Gen. 18:16-17).
d. God-made ministers preach Christ only and warn and teach every man in all wisdom, so as to present every man perfect in Christ, but for man-made/self-made minister, this is an impossible task (Col. 1:28).
I Love To Walk With Jesus (HSCF 185)