Be An Example by Ricardo Butler

Be An Example


The MC Part 7 - Children and Youth Life e-Book by Ricardo Butler @
The MC Part 7 - Children and Youth Life e-Book by Ricardo Butler @

“But continue [Gk: ‘to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy):–abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry’] thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom [Christ through Paul] thou hast learned them. And that [those thing you have learned] FROM A CHILD thou hast KNOWN the Holy Scriptures [the Word God, the ‘Bible’], which are able to make thee WISE unto salvation through faith which is IN Christ Jesus.” (2nd Timothy 3:14-15).


“Brethren [brothers and sisters in Christ—the Church], be followers [Gk: ‘An imitator:–follower (a ‘mimic’ {imitate, impersonate, take off, ape [like ‘monkey see, monkey do’], copy, impressionist})’] together of me [Paul the Apostle], and mark [Gk: ‘to take aim at (spy), i.e. (figuratively) regard:–consider, take heed, look at (on), mark’] them [others in the Body of Christ] which walk [Gk: ‘to tread all around, i.e. walk at large (especially as proof of ability); figuratively, to live, deport oneself, follow (as a companion or votary):–go, be occupied with, walk (about)’] so [in the same way or manner] as ye [ALL of you—the whole Church of God] have US [those who are Spiritually mature and walking according to the same or close to the life of Jesus Christ] for an ensample.(Philippians 3:17).


The Greek word for “ensample” can also be translates as, “a die (as struck), i.e. (by implication) a stamp or scar; by analogy, a shape, i.e. a statue, (figuratively) style or resemblance; specially, a sampler (“type”), i.e. a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning):–en-(ex-)ample, fashion, figure, form, manner, pattern, print.”


I love this definition of that word “ensample”, which is the old 1611 King James Version of our word today, “example.”


You know the old saying, “Be an example to others.” Or maybe you have heard the other one, “Be a positive role model.” or one of my favorites, “Lead by example.”


Even better, which I am pretty sure we have all heard it, those most famous words, “Don’t do as I do, do what I say!”

This particular section I almost left out of this blog series, because this is a thing I struggle with. I’m not perfect. In fact, I am far from it! We can and are a lot of the times hypocrites looking to cast stones at those who do not “do what they teach other’s to do.”


The Apostle Paul must have had the most guts to say things like,


Be ye [the WHOLE Corinthians Church] followers [Gk: ‘imitators’] OF ME, EVEN AS I also am [also a follower/imitator] of Christ.(1st Corinthians 11:1).


Me I don’t have that type of confidence! I mean I got people following and imitating me, but I did not ask them too. I would never ask anyone such a request. I don’t even ask my kids to do it.


I try to teach them and model certain Christ-like behavior in front of them, but I probably would never ask them to imitate everything I do. Jesus told His disciples,


“Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to His disciples, Saying, ‘The scribes [theologians] and the Pharisees [church leaders and the board of directors] sit in Moses’ seat [throne, desk, bench (to judge or for political reasons)]: ALL therefore whatsoever they bid [Gk: ‘to speak or say (by word or writing):–answer, bid, bring word, call, command, grant, say (on), speak, tell’] you observe [Gk: ‘to watch or to guard (from loss or injury) by keeping the eye upon; i.e. to note (a prophecy; figuratively, to fulfill a command); by implication, to detain in custody’], THAT OBSERVE AND DO; but do NOT ye [all of you the SAME WAY …] after their works: for THEY SAY, AND DO NOT. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” (Matthew 23:1-4).


This passage is backwards to one of the statements that I made earlier. The one where I said, “Don’t do as I do, do what I say!”


In this verse Jesus contradicts it by saying to DO what the false leaders SAY … BUT not as they do. They were teaching God’s Law flawlessly. They were just not living by the same Law of Moses they taught to the people. I don’t know what the make of that one. I’ll let you all figure that one out.
That’s something you don’t expect to hear from an author. When have you ever heard an author (expert of there niche) be real and say, “I don’t know!”? I’ll tell you when … not often!


Anyway, there was another Scripture that Paul also gave to balance this whole principle out. The Apostle Paul told the church at Rome,


“Nevertheless, brethren [brothers and sisters in Christ], I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind [to remember], because of the grace that is given to me of God, that I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles [non-believers], ministering the gospel [of the Kingdom] of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles [non-believers] might be acceptable, being sanctified [set apart for God’s holy use] by the Holy Ghost [Spirit]. I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought [prepared, worked] by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” (Romans 15:15-19).


Let me explain what Paul is saying here. What he was saying here was that if Paul was out of God’s will or out of order by acting in ways that was not Christ-like, then Paul wasn’t preaching it. It also means that if Paul did not have the experience in that certain area so he couldn’t really preach on it (or could he?). So he couldn’t teach or preach anything with scars on his track record. It made no sense for Paul to preach to love other people if he was out still killing church folk. Do you get what I am saying?


The Message Bible puts this verse to say,


“So, my dear friends, don’t take my rather bold and blunt language as criticism. It’s not criticism. I’m simply underlining how very much I need your help in carrying out this highly focused assignment God gave me, this priestly and gospel work of serving the spiritual needs of the non-Jewish outsiders so they can be presented as an acceptable offering to God, made whole and holy by God’s Holy Spirit. Looking back over what has been accomplished and what I have observed, I must say I am most pleased—IN THE CONTEXT OF JESUS, I’d even say proud, but only IN THAT context. I have no interest in giving you a chatty account of MY adventures, ONLY the wondrously powerful and transformingly present words and deeds OF CHRIST IN ME that triggered a believing response among the outsiders. In such ways I have trail blazed a preaching of the Message of Jesus all the way from Jerusalem far into northwestern Greece.” (Romans 15:15-19, The Message).


Here’s something that I always say in a lot of my own messages, “Find out what I’m not preaching on and you will find my sins, faults, and weaknesses.”


We all know the saying, “You can’t give away what you don’t have.” We’ve got to be examples to our kids artists of God: on the stage and off the stage, and especially at home.


One day the Lord gave me another perspective of all the “be ye followers of me” verses. He told me that as a spiritual leader (especially parent) we have to be always learning and growing spiritually. It’s not a one-time thing. It’s an on going process! As long as I keep following and walking after Jesus; doing what He is doing and learning from Him, I put myself in a place where others can follow and imitate me as I imitate Him. The point is to always be trying to be better and do better. It’s spiritual growth! Paul said,


“Be ye [all of you] therefore [for this reason] followers [Gk: ‘AN IMITATOR:–FOLLOWER, (A “MIMIC” {IMITATE, IMPERSONATE, TAKE OFF, APE (like ‘money see, monkey do’), COPY, IMPRESSIONIST})’] of God, as dear children [Gk: ‘A child (as produced):–child, daughter, son’].” (Ephesians 5:1).


Paul told Timothy,


“Those things, which you have both …


  • LEARNED [Gk: ‘to learn (in any way):—learn, understand’], …
  • … and RECEIVED [Gk: ‘to receive near, i.e. associate with oneself (in any familiar or intimate act or relation); by analogy to assume an office; figurative to learn:—receive, take (unto, with)’], …
  • … and HEARD [Gk: ‘to hear (in various senses):—give (in the) audience (of), come (to the ears), ([shall]) hear (-err, -ken), be noised, be reported, understand’], …
  • … and SEEN [Gk: ‘properly to see (literal or figurative); by implication (in the perf. only) to know:—be aware, behold, x can (+ not tell), consider, (have) know (-ledge), look (on), perceive, see, be sure, tell, understand, wish, wot (known)’] IN me, …
  • DO [Gk: ‘to “practice”, i.e. perform repeatedly or habitually; by implication to execute, accomplish, etc.; specially to collect (dues), fare (personally):—commit, deeds, do, exact, keep, require, use arts’]: …


… and the God of peace shall be with you.” (Philippians 4:9).


This is how we, as parents and role models, are to impart Christ-like character into our children. We ourselves have to learn it from Christ, receive by faith from Christ, hear what the Spirit of Christ is saying to us, and we must also (which is the hard part) SEE IN Christ (or IN the Spirit {the invisible}). That’s the hard part for someone like me, because I learn best by sight.


Now the even harder part is DOING IT! I love the Greek definition of the word “do”. It says, “To practice” or practice, “PERFORM REPEATEDLY OR HABITUALLY.”  That means you got to keep doing it over and over and over and over again. The supernatural must become natural. I’ve heard too much preaching on, “It’s all God’s doing. He will do it all. I’m just a vessel.” God works IN, YOU work OUT (Phil. 2:13-14).


Paul says we are, “we are laborers together with God” (1 Cor. 3:9).
The words, “laborers together with” come from one Greek word which means, “A co-laborer, i.e. coadjutor:–companion in labor, helper, fellow-helper, fellow-laborer, fellow-worker, laborer together with, work fellow.”


Let’s check out some of the definitions of these words and see if we can max out a greater meaning.


  • Co-laborer: “One who labors with another; an associate in labor.”
  • Coadjutor: “A coworker; an assistant; an assistant to a bishop (Jesus, the Chief Bishop), especially one designated to succeed the bishop.”
  • Companion: “A person who accompanies or associates with another; a comrade; a domestic partner; a person employed to assist, live with, or travel with another; one of a pair or set of things; a mate; to be a companion to; accompany.”
  • Helper: “One that helps; an assistant; a person who contributes to the fulfillment of a need or furtherance of an effort or purpose; a person who helps people or institutions (especially with financial help).”
  • Fellow-worker: “An associate that one works with.”
  • Work fellow: “One engaged in the same work with another; a companion in work.”


Maybe there is a lesson in there on how we are to come along side our children and work with them, just as the Father does with us. He takes us by the hand and leads us in the paths of righteousness. We need to do the same with our kids as well.

The MC Part 7 - Children and Youth Life e-Book by Ricardo Butler @
The MC Part 7 - Children and Youth Life e-Book by Ricardo Butler @

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Ricardo Butler of Ricardo Equips Artistic Leaders

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