A Life Worthy of Imitation (Philippians 4:9) - Radical

A Life Worthy of Imitation (Philippians 4:9)

“What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things. And the God of Peace will be with you.”
– Philippians 4:9

That is a bold statement. To say to other followers of Christ, “Okay. You’ve watched me and you’ve learned from me. You’ve received things from me and You’ve seen things in me. And you’ve heard me teach things. Just practice those things, and the God of Peace will be with you.”

We should be living our lives in such a way that what the people around us learn from us would teach them to follow Christ.

Philippians 4:9 Shows Us What it Means to Make Disciples

Paul knew that his life would have an effect on others’ ability to follow Christ and experience the peace of God in their lives. This is in essence what it means to make disciples. It means to say to other people, “I want to show you how to follow Christ. I want to teach you to follow Christ. And as a result of my life, if you will follow me.” Paul says something similar in 1 Corinthians 11:1, he says, “Imitate me, and you’ll be imitating Christ. Follow me, and you’ll be following Christ.” That’s exactly what he’s saying here in Philippians 4:9.

So this verse just causes me to think. I think causes all of us, should cause all of us to think, “Okay. Who are we saying this to in our lives?” Who are we saying, “Hey, I’m living my life in front of you in such a way that whatever you learn from me, you receive from me, whatever you hear from me, whatever you see in me, if you will practice these things, the God of Peace will be with you.”

A Reminder to Lead People to Christ by How We Live

I want to encourage you to think intentionally about being this kind of person in the lives of people around you. Certainly in family, I mean those we live under the same roof with. May we live in such a way that those who hear and see us, learn and receive things from us, that if they follow us, they’ll be following Christ. But not just in our homes, when we think about the sphere of influence around us in the church, in the community around us, in the place where we work, are we living lives worthy of imitation that if people follow us, they will be following Christ?

Prayer: God, Help Us be An Example

So we pray, God, help us to live these kind of lives today. God, help us to live intentionally in such a way that the people around us, in our homes, in our churches, in our workplaces, in the community around us, the people we interact with on a regular basis, God, help us to live in such a way that whatever they learn from us, whatever they receive from us, whatever they hear from our mouths, whatever they see in our lives, that if they practice those things, they will be following you and experiencing your peace.

God, help us to show other people how to follow Christ. Help us to teach other people how to follow Christ. Use our lives in such a way that in imitating us, people will be imitating you and following the pattern of our lives, people will be following Christ himself and experience your peace in the process.

O God, we pray, please help us to make disciples, to help other people grow in their lives in Christ as a result of being around us, as a result of hearing from us, seeing in us, learning from us, and receiving from us.

We pray for this in Jesus’ name.


David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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