THE MODEL LIFE.
In doing anything, it is always well to have a model by which to fashion
our work. In fact, nothing is done without a pattern, either real or
imaginary. The little boy making a toy has in in his mind a model by which
he is framing his work. Likewise, the sculptor has in his mind a model,
and as the "marble wastes, the image grows" into the likeness of the
vision in his soul.
To live this one life of ours
s it should be lived, we must have a
perfect model after which to pattern. Thank God, this perfect model of
life can be found. Of all the vast number of lives that have been lived
since Adam down to this present day, there has been only one that we can
take as a model. This one is the life of Jesus. He says, "I am the life."
To live this life of ours well, to live it to the highest degree of
perfection, we must fashion it according to the glorious life of Christ.
The life of Jesus is the model life for every other human life. He invites
us, yea, commands us, to follow him, to step in his steps, to walk as he
There have been many good men in the world, but none of them afford us a
true pattern of life. There was a man who said, "Be ye followers of me,"
but he immediately added, "even as I also am of Christ." Man may so live
as to reveal to us the life of Christ. We can then follow, not them, but
the Christ-life they manifested through them.
Let me here say a word on a subject on which we may have more to say
hereafter. The grandest, noblest work man has ever done is by his life to
reveal the life of Christ to another, thereby helping that person to be
fashioned more after the image of Jesus. A little flower grew in a place
so shaded that no ray from the sun could fall directly upon it. A window
was so situated that at a certain time in the afternoon it refracted the
sun's rays and threw them upon the flower, thus giving it color and
beauty, and aiding it to bloom. Some people are living in the dense shade.
No light from Christ has ever shined upon them. If you so live as to
refract the life of Christ and turn it upon them and thus stamp upon them
a holier life, you have not lived in vain. To set the life of Christ in
its purity and beauty before some one and influence him, though only a
little, to live better and love Jesus more, is a work the worth of which
can never be computed. He who helps another to a better way of living does
more than he who gains great worldly honor and riches. Blessed indeed is
that life which causes some other life to be more like Christ. Oh, may
this thought seize upon our hearts and fill us with a greater passion to
live the life of God.
We are told by the voice of Scripture to be "followers of God as dear
children." When children are dear to the heart of the parent, he loves to
have them obey him. God's children are dear to him, and he would have them
follow him. To follow God is to imitate him, or be like him. This is the
true way of life.
A text of Scripture as rendered by the Revised Version is very appropriate
here: "Like as he which has called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy
in all manner of living." 1 Pet. 1:15. Only those who live godly in their
entire manner of life are spending the days of their pilgrimage as they
should. Jesus has walked the true way of life; we are told to walk in his
steps. If we will step each day just where Jesus stepped, then on looking
back, we can not see a footprint of our own; but if we take a single
misstep, our footprint will show our departure from the true way of life.
How deep and awful are the words of Scripture wherein we are commanded to
walk even as "Jesus walked"! Jesus says, "I am the way." There is no other
right and perfect way. If we will walk as Jesus walked, then we shall walk
in the true path of life. This only is the pathway that leads up to the
golden gates of glory and the sweet fields of heaven. That bright world of
bliss encourages us on. If we will follow Jesus and live as he lived,
God's approval will be upon us, and his outstretched hand will help us
along life's way and finally over the turbulent river of death to the
sunlit shore of eternal rest.
Many times we may become wearied and think the toils of the way almost too
heavy; but when we remember that it is the way that Jesus trod, then the
heavens open to our view, we look forward to the mansion prepared for us,
and the toils of the way grow lighter.
See that aged pilgrim journeying down the western slope of life. The sun
is nearing the setting. Long and toilsome has been his pilgrimage, but he
has walked in the path his Savior trod. For many years his life has been
hid with Christ in God. In Him he has lived and moved and had his being.
Now he is making his last step on the shore of time; he passes out of our
sight through the gates into that land where toils are ended and the sun
never sets. But his life was the life of Jesus. He was holy as God is
holy; he walked as Jesus walked. This is how to live. This is the true way
of life and the only way to life eternal. He who does not live with Christ
on earth can not live with him in heaven, and he who does not live as
Jesus lived does not live as he should. The life of Christ was the perfect
life. Ours is perfect to the degree that we imitate him.
Take my life, O Christ divine,
Make it holy, just like thine;
Every act and thought and word
Be an outflow from my God.
Guide my feet and keep my heart;
Let me not from thee depart;
Let me breathe thy warming love,
That my soul be drawn above.
Draw me, Jesus, closer draw;
Thy strong arm around me throw;
Draw me to thy pierced side;
In thy bosom let me hide.
Teach me all thy will and word,
That my life be filled with God;
Teach me, Lamb of Calvary,
How to live this life for thee.