“In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,”
There have been many times throughout my life when my wife and I purchased something that had to be put together. After opening the box, the first thing I always look for are the instructions. Those instructions are the pattern that is needed to make that item useful. If I choose to ignore the pattern, I may or may not be able to build that item so that it functions according to how it was originally intended. Following the pattern given in the box is paramount to making that item fully functional and enjoyable for the user.
God says in Proverbs 24:21, “My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:” God wants the Christian to be predictable. Though James 1:6 applies to our prayer life, it can also be applied to an individual’s life who is always changing. This verse says, “…For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” The person who is always changing will be controlled by whatever is the latest winds of change.
The verse above says, “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,” God wants the Christian to practice pure doctrine, self-control, and to be sincere in all that they do. The key to this verse is when it says, “In all things shewing thyself a pattern…” God didn’t say in some things we are to show ourselves a pattern, but “in all things.” If the Christian is going to be a pattern of good works, they are first going to have to be a pattern. Let me give you three statements about being a pattern.
First, a pattern follows instructions. The instructions for the Christian is God’s Word. You will never be a pattern of good works if you don’t follow the manual that shows what good works are. One of the reasons many people are constantly changing is because they read too many books instead of reading The Book. A person of God’s Word will find themselves grounded and settled, not given to changing to the latest wind of fads. If you want to be a pattern of good works for others to follow, you must follow the instruction manual of God’s Word and let that be your guide to living.
Second, a pattern is predictable and unchanging. One thing you can count on about a pattern is that once it is given, it doesn’t change. I’m afraid too many Christians are constantly changing; thus, they become prey to the next thing that feels good. My friend, you need to become predictable in all that you do. Your daily routines and core beliefs should be set for life if you want to become a pattern of predictability. Many people love being unpredictable, but unpredictable people over time tend to fall into sin or false doctrine. Christian, there is nothing wrong with being predictable. God’s Word never changes, and if we follow His Word, we will find ourselves becoming predictable and unchanging.
Third, a pattern becomes successful because it follows success. The formula for success never changes. The best pattern to follow to become successful is God’s Word. God’s Word has always led to success, and you will never fail when you follow the pattern of life God gives in His Word. If you follow the pattern of God’s Word, you will find yourself becoming a pattern of good works for others to follow.