Faithful Living – Holding Fast the Pattern

By Gregg Woodall

In January, we shared with the congregation our church family’s theme for 2023, which is Faithful Living, Holding Fast the Pattern. This idea comes from Paul’s letter to Timothy where the apostle says in 1Timothy 1:13, “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.” This means that we are to live our lives in accordance with the scriptures and be good examples for each other and for the world.

Paul further instructed (sound words) that we are to be good examples of holy living to those who believe, both by our deeds and devotion to God’s word (1 Tim. 4:12 and Titus 2:7-8). Others should be able to look to us as a pattern of how to live for Christ.

We do this by putting God first in our lives. “You are to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all of these things [basic needs] will be added to you” (Matt 6:33). This is one of the most demanding and often ignored admonitions from our Lord.

We must be diligent students of the Word (2 Tim. 2:15), longing for it to grow in Christ (1Pet. 2:2). We must be fervent in prayer (Col. 4:2 and Phil. 4:6). We must be diligent in our assembling together (Heb. 10:24-25), fellowshipping with one another (Acts 2:42) and sharing in communion (Acts 20:7). We must be evangelistic to help save others (Matt. 28:19-20) and in so doing keep ourselves faithful (1 Cor. 9:27).

We must live in such a way as to be pleasing to God in all manner of our daily living. This world will continue to pull at us to conform to its sinful lusts and lifestyles, but we through Christ and our brethren’s help can overcome (1Thess. 4:1-12). We do this so that we may be found faithful at the return of our Lord Jesus Christ (1Thess. 3:13).

Let’s resolve to be more faithful in our daily lives and to continue following God’s divine pattern.

Christ sends us into the world recognizing our human weaknesses. We do commit sins, but our lives should no longer be characterized by the persistent practice of sin (1 John 1:5-9). We must improve our words and deeds in such a way that the world sees Christ in us. As devoted Christians we acknowledge our own imperfections, but we should sincerely strive “to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:12). Such will bring glory to God.

We need to shine in our families, in the congregation, in the workplace, at play, and in everything we do. By our faithful living and good works, we can be a positive influence on those within their circle of influence. The essence of life is summed up when Jesus said: “Let your light so shine.”

Gregg Woodall