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by Jim Clark

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    Last week at a church reunion, my wife and I ran into several friends we hadn’t seen in years. As we spent the afternoon talking about what’s happened to various people, one woman made the comment about how many of her spiritual heroes had fallen off their pedestals. Ministers and missionaries she had looked up to who had affairs. A highly respected businessman and community leader she knew who left his wife.

    As other friends told us of couples that had split up or once strong followers of Christ that were no longer faithful, we became a bit disheartened. Many of our spiritual heroes had fallen.

    On our drive home, Susan and I reflected for a long time about how we so easily exalt dynamic Christian speakers or gifted and charismatic Bible teachers. And when they let us down, we become so disappointed.

    You likely know the experience. The couple at church that you thought had “the ideal marriage” are no longer together. The minister you knew who once led a very dynamic ministry has now left full-time ministry and has become bitter and disillusioned with the church... and maybe even with God.

...when they let us down, we become so disappointed.
    What can we learn from these experiences? I can think of two lessons.

    First, there is only One who should be placed on a pedestal—the Lord Jesus. As you begin looking up to that person at church who has such a strong relationship with the Lord and teaches His word so eloquently, remind yourself that it is Christ working through a man or woman with feet of clay. They still battle with sin as we all do.

    Second, ask the Lord to help you finish this Christian race strong. My wife and I are resolved to ask the Lord for continual protection over our marriage. And to help us stay faithful to the end. As Steve Farrar says in his excellent book, Finishing Strong, so many spiritual leaders recorded in the Bible fell morally in the latter half of their life! Therefore, it’s vital that we be on guard, keep our spiritual armor on and be proactive in staying close to Jesus and resisting sin. Let’s heed these words of Scripture:

Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)

    It’s a great blessing to have spiritual mentors and godly leaders who can help us “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18). However, let’s all remember that we can make idols out of people—especially spiritual leaders. May we exalt Jesus as the One we primarily look up to—and ask Him to make us strong to the end so that our lives will bring Him glory. And so that one day, by the grace of God, we’ll hear these heart-stirring words from Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”


Are you presently experiencing a new life? God’s word says, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” This new life is a free gift of God through faith Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about this life that only Jesus can give you, sign up for one of our Bible courses. Wherever you are in life, whatever you’ve done, you can begin again. You may also contact Jim Clark at jimclark@abilene.com if you have questions about becoming a new creation.

 
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      © 2002, Herald of Truth and Jim Clark, Hope for Life. Used by permission.

      Title: ""
      Author: Jim Clark
      Publication Date: September 10, 2002


 
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