Oh, the power of an exemplary life! Today during my time of “coffee with the Lord” I read a perfect description of what one ought to look like. In the passage Apostle Paul describes what a born again, Spirit-filled Christian ought to be like in a pagan environment like Rome… What a born again, Spirit-filled Christian ought to be like among fellow Christians… What a born again, Spirit-filled Christian ought to be like all the time, everywhere! As I read the passage I was so challenged! I thought of authentic, born again, Spirit-filled Christians I knew who lived that kind of life… how deeply they challenged and inspired me… how they created in me a desire to be that kind of person – that kind of Christian!
Here’s what Apostle Paul said to believers living in ancient Rome (I urge you to read these words, pore over each phrase, and think about exemplary Christians you know who are like this)…
“Love must be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another with mutual love, showing eagerness in honoring one another. Do not lag in zeal, be enthusiastic in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the fellow Christians, pursue hospitality. Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil; consider what is good before all people. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people. Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Rather, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will be heaping burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:9–21 from the NET Bible)
Four like this that came to my mind were my dad and mom (Ewalt and Vera Bartel), my mother-in-law, Linda Barnett, and former General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, G. Raymond Carlson… Issue is, they’re all in heaven now! Who will take their place? Oh Lord, let it be me!! Let it be you!! Let’s impact positively our “Romes” and the coming generation with exemplary, born again, Spirit-filled Christians!