Wednesday, 9 February 2022
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children……” -Ephesians 5:1
To imitate can be understood as following the good behaviour in another person. Imitation is no new subject in our century. Young people predominantly look to heroes or heroines to imitate. In homes, children like to imitate their parents; in the churches one may find people trying to be like their pastors or leaders, even trying to dress like them. When someone thinks of imitating another, a liking or interest first develops and then a lot of time, energy and resources are spent imitating that person.
In today’s reading, Apostle Paul emphasizes that we should “be imitators of God as dear children” (Eph. 5:1). You should remain as “dear children of God” even as you try to imitate- whether you are an adult, youth or child. “Imitation” here also means “walk in love as Christ also has loved us and gave himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God….” (Eph. 5:2). What a wonderful pattern to imitate!
To my young friends:
Have you ever imagined that most of the so-called “heroes” or “heroines” you try to imitate have no knowledge of your existence nor loved or made any sacrifice for you? Do you think he/she loves and cares for you much more than Jesus? The answer is “NO!” If so, why do you desire to imitate such people? In most cases people we admire practice things the LORD detests- fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, foolish talks, coarse jesting, etc. We would like to turn a blind eye to these realities in their lives. Beloved, we must understand in no uncertain terms, God said such people who practice any or all of those things will not inherit the kingdom of Christ and God (Ephesians 5:3-5). How can you imitate someone whose character has no place in your inheritance in Christ and God? You too will lose your inheritance!
Let us look at Eph. 5:6: “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” We are first deceived to believe that the people and things we imitate are good; then those people spend a host of their time to convince us that doing what is sinful to God is a matter of human right. Let not those deceptions take us away from the true Character in Jesus which we are asked to imitate. If we are led astray thus, we first receive the “wrath of God” and are described as “sons of disobedience” (“sons” refers to the female gender too!).
Finally, we who were once in darkness (living in sin and separated from the light of God), but now in the light in the Lord, should walk as children of light (Eph. 5:8), forsaking the deeds of darkness. In Romans 13:12 it is written when you put aside the deeds of darkness, you are to wear the armour of light. Paul emphasizes that we are to walk wisely, not as fools, as the days are evil: “Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people),” (Eph.5:15 AMPC)
You still have the opportunity to first come out of darkness you are living in, by confessing your sins, accepting the Lord Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour through a simple prayer of commitment. Receive your salvation! Secondly, you must focus on imitating the character and way of the life of Jesus Christ. Remember He offered Himself as a sacrifice for your redemption because He loves you. When you hear His voice do not harden you heart but receive Him!
Thought for the Day:
“Our only business is to love and delight ourselves in God.” -Brother Lawrence