Friday, 12 March 2021
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.” -Ephesians 5:1
Apostle Paul exhorts us to imitate God. Human mind is inclined to imitate! Hero worship is in the history of all cultures. Whilst some have demanded worship (like the Caesar), others have deceived people to worship and imitate them (the popular movie or music stars)! However, there has been only One who carried in Himself the divine charisma that people could not resist but worship and follow Him–Jesus Christ of Nazareth! The divine authority in His call, “Follow Me”, was so compelling that Peter and Andrew left everything to follow that Man who had nothing to offer in return! He had no credentials of the world yet HE charged millions of minds with divine inspiration!! He is the exact representation of God (Heb.1:3), bodily manifestation of God Himself (Col.2:9). This Jesus told us to imitate God!
When Jesus said, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36)He was asking us to imitate God! He went even further when He commanded: “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt.5:48) The entire Christian life may be summed up as a life of imitating God as beloved children, as we walk in love. To imitate God, we must become His beloved children— we become children of God when we are born into His family through a spiritual new birth when we accept the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
To imitate God is comprehensive: we should know Him and His ways, revealed to us through His word.
To imitate God, we should spend time in His word and in prayer
To have an intimate relationship with God and know His ways, only comes through time spent in His Word and in prayer. If you want God to change you, so that you imitate Him in the way you think, how you relate to others, how you deal with life situations, you must be diligent to spend consistent time alone with Him.
Imitating God includes speaking the truth, because He is the God of truth. It includes being faithful in our dealings with others, because He is a faithful God. It includes being holy in all our behavior, because He is holy. But the characteristic that Paul mentions to sum it all up is love (Eph.5:2): “And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”
To imitate God, we must walk in love, just as Christ loved us
Christ’s example of Love had five elements in it:
costly- He gave His life
caring- like a shepherd
conspicuous- visible in demonstrating His love
committed- nothing deterred Him going to the cross
consecrated- set apart his life to save mankind
TO WALK IN LOVE IS A LIFELONG PROCESS! We are called to walk in a manner worthy of God’s calling, as children of light and not in futile way of thinking. We should walk carefully, not as unwise but as wise. To walk in love, we must look to Christ our supreme example in giving up His life. Understanding Christ only as our example is not enough; the foundation for following Christ’s example of love, is to trust in His atoning sacrifice for our sins. Christ took the initiative to give His life on our behalf even when there was no motivation to love us while we were still sinners(Romans 5:8).
Christ’s loyal love brought Peter and the others through all of their failures to become the godly apostles of the early church. His love motivates us even this day! He now calls on us to sacrificially love those who may not be very lovable. Since God is love, we imitate Him by walking in love, motivated by Christ’s sacrificial love that saved us from our sins.
Prayer: Almighty God we come as Your dearly loved children and ask of Your grace to help us imitate You out of our fervent love towards You— in Jesus’ name, Amen.