No, not that Peter, Paul and Mary… so get the thoughts about the 60’s folk group out of your head. From the spiritual perspective Christians recognize the need to be Christ-like. Unfortunately, considering the fact that none of us is sinless, it is impossible to truly replicate the life of the greatest man that ever lived. We can, however, emulate those who were servants of Christ as they followed him and be those who are found faithful before him. Paul wrote: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). Therefore, consider some biblical examples we should desire to be like.
I want to have the boldness of Peter. Peter is one of the most poignantly developed individuals in the New Testament. Was the young disciple outspoken? Yes; somewhat overzealous? Obviously; in over his head? Without a doubt. Nevertheless, there was boldness in Peter that we should desire to insert into our own lives. He was not perfect, as Galatians 2 and Matthew 26 clearly demonstrate, but he was confident in what he believed and was not slow to present it. Whether it is, “Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God” (Mat. 16:16), or, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29), many of Peter’s statements have become common sentiments and acknowledgements used by every Christian in myriad situations. His boldness to proclaim the Gospel and state his beliefs clearly should be the desire of every Christian.
I want to have the conviction of Paul. As one reads the writings of the apostle, every page in covered in the conviction of salvation from, and service to, Christ. Oftentimes there is doubt in the hearts of Christians as to whether they are truly acceptable in the sight of God. It is not that they are hiding deep, dark secrets that they know will condemn them; it is instead that they feel so inadequate to the blessings bestowed upon them that they struggle to accept the reality of them. Yet Paul’s conviction was steadfast and sure. From, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ” (Rom. 1:16), to, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phi. 4:13), and culminating with, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7), Paul’s conviction of the truth of God’s Word and his salvation through obedience to it is evident. Yet that confidence does not stem from his own actions and self-centered trust; but in the full and complete trust in the Savior and his promises. Every Christian should have the conviction of Paul when it comes to truth and the righteous servant’s place with the Lord.
I want to have the devotion of Mary. While the name of Mary Magdalene and her relationship with Jesus has been dragged through the mud and besmirched by many Biblical “scholars” through the years, there is no doubt the devotion she had to the Lord. Mary was one who, after having seven demons cast out of her, helped take care of Jesus and his disciples throughout their work (Luke 8:2-3). Yet, unlike so many others, her devotion did not end with words. She was present at his crucifixion, remaining with Jesus’ mother and others while observing the Savior put to death (Mat. 27:55-56). She remained at the sepulcher where Jesus was laid (Mat. 27:61); and was one of those who had come to finish putting a proper burial of the Lord in place on the first day of the week (Mat. 28:1). It is also without a doubt that she would have been among the women listed as being present with the disciples after the Lord’s ascension (Acts 1:14). She was devoted to Jesus, his work, and the needs of his ministry. We need to have that level of devotion to Christ. Though he no longer walks this earth today, his body is present through the church (Eph. 1:22-23). Just as Mary cared for Jesus and his disciples in their ministry, we should be as devoted to caring for, and working with, the body of Christ today.
Christianity needs more people who want to be less like the world and more like Peter, Paul, and Mary; who care far less about what culture and society say and far more about what God says; who are far less worried about the money in their physical banks and far more worried about the securities in their spiritual banks. It is my prayer that every Christian desire with zeal to be like these three stalwart servants of Jesus. If we will, we can rest assured the Lord will be pleased (John 8:31-32).