We all imitate human examples we have known whether we realize it or not. Think about it. You do it just like I do. The question is, who are those examples, and are they the ones we should imitate?
So I want to recommend one of the books I’m currently reading, Heroes, by Pastor Ian Murray (get the book here). First of all, Pastor Ian is a great example of a man who loves the gospel, the church, and the lost. And his book is filled with more great examples of people we should all strive to imitate. There are eight easy-to-read, brief biographies that will fill your mind with godly examples to emulate. Plus you will discover little known facts that will enhance your life and spiritual growth in many ways. In fact, you’ll probably find yourself telling these stories to your family and friends around the dinner table or on long drives in the car.
Here’s one example. Chapter five records the story of two men of whom most modern Christians have never heard, William Hepburn Hewitson and Robert Reid Kalley, both from the 1800’s. By the amazing providence of God, they both ended up traveling to a place most people have never heard of, the mountainous Mediterranean Island of Madeira, off the coast of North Africa. An amazing move of God in gospel awakening happened there which is known by few. But it will encourage you to read about it. I won’t spoil it by telling you all the details, but here’s a clip.
Hundreds of men, after heavy labours in the fields, went to school at night, and in almost every case they were motivated by the desire not merely to read the words of men, but the Word of God.
In 1842, especially in the summer and autumn, people came in large numbers to hear the Scriptures read and explained. Many walked ten or twelve hours and climbed over mountains three thousand feet high, in coming and returning to their homes.
There’s much more to their story that will amaze you, including severe persecution and how the gospel spread to South America. And there are many more stories like these in the book. Your life will be enriched to know more about these as well:
Charles Colcock Jones
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
As you read these stories, make sure to tell them to your children and those with whom you meet one-on-one. They need good examples to imitate as well. You’ll be a good example in pointing them to more good examples. This is how discipleship happens.
1 Thessalonians 1:6-7 “And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.”