ODJ: An Example to Follow

March 10, 2016 

READ: 2 Chronicles 31:2-21 

The people of Israel . . . responded generously by bringing the first share . . . of all they produced (v.5).

In the spring of 2015, the president of a large Chinese conglomerate gave more than 6,000 employees an all-expenses-paid trip to France. The group’s itinerary included a private tour of the Louvre museum and a shopping session at a luxury department store. The gift was in celebration of the company’s 20th year of operation. And what a gift it was—4,760 rooms booked in 79 hotels, along with 146 tour buses rented! It’s safe to say that the president of the conglomerate gave his employees an amazing gift and a wonderful example of generosity to follow.

Hezekiah, one of the good kings of Judah, provided a stellar example for God’s people. As he initiated muchneeded religious reforms for the Israelites, he led the way with their worship of God and giving thanks to Him (2 Chronicles 31:2). And although he required the people “to bring a portion of their goods to the priests and Levites” (v.4), he also generously “made a personal contribution of animals for the . . . offerings” (v.3).

It’s one thing simply to state what you feel is right and good to do; it’s quite another to sacrifice and actually live it out. Hezekiah lived it, breathed it, and did it! His life work “was pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord his God” (v.20). He wholeheartedly chose to “follow God’s laws and commands” (v.21)—paving the way for the Israelites to follow his example.

You and I are living examples to those around us each day. What are they receiving through our words and deeds? How are they seeing Jesus and His ways in our actions? The Lord told us to “seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously” (Matthew 6:33). Want to know how to do that? Follow Jesus! He’s our perfect example.

—Tom Felten

365-day-plan: Judges 13:1-25

Read Philippians 4:8-9 and consider what Paul said about the outcome of following his example. 
Who has been a godly example for you to follow? What about their life reflects thewords and actions of Christ?