I had heard of Ted Gibson by reputation only. He was acknowledged as one of the premier theologians in Australia and as the Principal of the Baptist Theological College of Queensland he had overseen a period of enormous growth that established it as one of the best theological colleges in the country.

Then I met the man himself. It was 1982 and he was leading a chapel service for the new batch of first year students, of which I was one.

Doc stood up, opened his Bible and began to read the text from which he was going to preach.

I don’t know what it was – the way he read the text, the obvious love and delight he had for Jesus spread across his face as he read, or the unaffected, reverent way he held his Bible; perhaps it was a combination of all of them – but that wonderful moment left an indelible impression on me.

I knew then that I wanted to be like him.

Don’t misunderstand me. Doc was an incredibly deep, rich and profound thinker. He said things at times that have taken me years to figure out. I will never match him for brains.

What I mean is, I wanted to be like him in the way he knew Jesus.

Deeply personal and with genuine delight in His presence, demonstrating His love and grace to others.

Paul encourages us to follow after the “pattern” of the Godly people the Lord places in our lives. Paul was writing, literally, about people who “mark” us, “leave an impression on us”. (Phil.3:17).

Their faith in Jesus and their love and passion for Him “imprint” our own lives.

Take a moment today to thank God for the people He has placed in your own life, past and present, and for the mark they have left on you.

Follow their example…and leave your own mark.

Blessings to you!

Pastor Rob Furlong.