REMEMBER AND CONSIDER! Do you remember the very first spiritual leaders in your Christian life and also the ones who have led you through the years? We should because God told us to. He said, “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith,” (Hebrews 13:7 NIV). In the first steps in my Christian life, which began when I was age twenty-three, God gave my wife and me very godly Pastors who were great bible expositors. And the people who surrounded us in church were very godly people. When God called my wife and me into His ministry He gave us very godly teachers who knew their bible well and taught us well. And now after all these years we still hold them in high esteem and think of them fondly. Some of those people have died and some are well along in their later years of life but as we have watched their lives over the years we have been challenged to “consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” Were/are these people perfect? No, because all are human. But their examples of teaching and lifestyle and love for Jesus have provided a “way of life” worth imitating.
In the long run though we need to remember that the one to whom we are to look for the greatest example is Jesus Christ. He not only is the Word, but He has given us the written Word of God to teach us, and He has given us the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide us in understanding the Word so that we can live out God’s teaching. While even the greatest of human spiritual leaders may sometimes fail us, Jesus will never fail us. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever,” (Hebrews 13:8 NIV). Let us look at Jesus and remember Jesus and His way of life and consider the outcome of a life lived by Jesus’ example and imitate Him. And if God should place some of us in the position of spiritual leaders who are called to “speak the Word of God” to others let us make sure our life is lived in such a way that the ones who hear us “speaking the Word of God” view our lives as worth imitating. As the book of James says, “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly,” (James 3:1 NIV). Remembering and considering can be a sobering and rewarding experience.