Provoking to Emulate

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Romans 11:13-14 “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.”

Paul said, “I magnify mine office.” Why would Paul make such a big deal of his office? He understood that he was not the important one, but the office he held was very important. He understood that if he magnified his office, it would provoke others to do what he had done. Paul was not against people copying him because he knew they would do mighty works for God if they copied him.

Imagine if Paul had not magnified his office. Had he not magnified his office, there would be no Timothy or Titus who followed him. Had Paul taken the mindset that there was no need to make a big deal about what he did, he would have never provoked or aroused a desire in those he led to do what he had done.

One of the reasons most people do something is because somebody provoked them to emulate what they have done. We live in days when many promote the Devil’s message that tells people not to copy a man, yet Paul challenged people to copy him. Let me give you a few thoughts about the importance of provoking others to emulate you.

First, you are provoking others to do something. You are either provoking people to do good or to do wrong. Everybody influences somebody for good or bad. You must be careful that every word you say and every action you perform is something worth emulating. If somebody copied what you have done in the past month, you must ask yourself if you have provoked them to serve God and do acts of faith.

Second, you can’t provoke to emulate the great works of God if you are not doing the great works of God. Maybe the reason people don’t provoke others to do great works for God is because they don’t do great works themselves. Great works always challenge others to do great works; it is contagious. There is nothing wrong with provoking others to do something mighty for God. I would much rather inspire and challenge people to do great works for God than to make them feel comfortable living in mediocrity.

Third, if you don't make a big deal of what God has you doing, you will never provoke anyone to want to do what you are doing. People don't want to be something that someone is not excited about. One reason a preacher should make a big deal of his office is because it makes the younger generation want to do what the preacher is doing. I know, the Pharisees will say that you should only provoke people to be like God, but they ignore the fact that God had Paul write about how he provoked people to follow him. I would much rather make a big deal of the preacher’s office to get people to follow him than to make a big deal of politicians, sports figures, or wicked Hollywood stars and get young people to copy their wicked lifestyles.

My friend, we need to provoke a younger generation to emulate what we are doing for God. However, you will never provoke them to emulate you if you are not doing something great for God yourself. YOU need to do something great for God, and your attempts and accomplishments to do something great for God will provoke others to want to copy what God is doing through you.

Dr. Allen Domelle


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