Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:1,2
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1,2)
One’s lifestyle is the outward sign of the inward change that God has wrought in a person’s heart. We are given a tall order here — “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” How on earth is this possible? The first thing that is necessary is to have a humble reverence before we can even begin to study the concept. We must see our unworthiness before God and be driven to our knees in humility.
“Be imitators of God.” Do you understand what we are being asked to do? We must realize who God is. We live in a day when very few people know what the living God is like. This is why God says, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). We need to stand in awe before Him. We need to see His transcendent holiness and power. Like Isaiah, we need to fall on our faces before Him and say, “Woe is me!”
We must know what God has said about Himself. We must turn to the Scriptures in which God has revealed His attributes and character. We have to know Him if we are going to imitate Him.
Perhaps the best way for us to grasp what God is like is to look at Jesus. Look at His love and concern for little children (Matthew 19:14). See His deep concern for the lost (John 4:4-26). See His compassion for the oppressed, the sick and the needy (Matthew 9:36). Remember His righteous anger at the temple (Matthew 21:13). Be amazed at His forgiveness when He hung upon the cross (Luke 23:34).
The real key to understanding the phrase, “Be imitators of God,” is found in the next verse — “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” We are to walk in love just as Christ has loved us. Christ’s love for us is unconditional, sacrificial, and unending.
This verse gives us great insight into the work of Jesus. Because Jesus loved us, He gave Himself up for us, as an offering. He voluntarily gave of Himself. He offered Himself as a sacrifice. He paid the price for our sins. He took our place and suffered on on behalf.
Now we are called to imitate Him. We are to love others as He has loved us. We are to be willing to make sacrifices for others. We are to be loving and gracious, and quick to forgive. We are to be imitators of Jesus Christ.
Lord Jesus, when I consider Your love for me and what You did for me, I am driven to my knees in deep humility and gratitude. Because You have done these things for me, You desire for me to imitate You in the way I treat other people. Grant me grace to be an imitator of God. Grant me power to love and to give myself to others.
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