These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.
1 Corinthians 10:11
General George Marshall served as President Roosevelt’s Chief of Staff during World War II, and later served as Secretary of State. Historians rate him as one of the most capable military leaders the United States has ever produced. He also knew the value of a good example.
It is said that, early in his career, General Marshall took command of the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. When he arrived, he found the post to be in a run-down condition. He could have chewed out his lower-ranking officers. He could have barked out orders. Instead, he did something else. He got out his own paintbrushes and lawn equipment and went to work on his personal quarters. The officers and enlisted men quickly took notice. They began doing the same thing throughout the post. Before long, Fort Benning was a better place; all because of a good example.
In the Bible you and I have the message of what the Son of God has done to wash us clean of our sin, purchase eternal life on our behalf, and bring us into his family through faith in him.
On those same pages of Scripture, the Lord has also given us examples of real lives lived by real people. They are examples for us to think about, study, and discuss. Many examples are warnings of things the Lord wants us to avoid. But there are good examples, too. Examples that the Lord wants us to learn, notice, and follow.
The greatest example of all, of course, is Jesus himself. Go to the Scriptures. Watch him. Observe what he says and does. Give his example some thought. And follow.
Lord Jesus, thank you for the full forgiveness I have through faith in you. Send me to your Word. Help me learn from the example you give me. Empower me to follow your lead. Amen.