“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV)
I remember as a kid irritating my brother by copying what he said. It was all fun and games until he got mad and hit me. Then I realized that when he copied me, I got mad too. I am impressed by some who can imitate several different people. They sound just like the person they are copying. One of the best impressionist of all time was Rich Little, “the man of a thousand voices.”
The apostle Paul is telling the Ephesians that they needed to be imitators, not of each other but of God. Can you imagine that? How can we be imitators of God? Read the next couple of paragraphs and see what I’ve discovered in this verse.
First, we need to realize that when we accept Jesus as our savior, we become children of God. Some say that every person is a child of God and in the fact that God is the creator of all things I guess we are. But we are separated from Him because of sin in our lives. Through Jesus we receive forgiveness of our sin and we are brought back into right relations with the Father (this is reconciliation). Just like I look a little like my parents, we should take on the characteristics of God. According to 1 John 4:8, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love“, therefore we love others more than we love our self.
Secondly, our example of living a life of love is Jesus. During the earthly ministry of Jesus, he showed compassion and love to those around Him. We, too, should show that kind of sacrificial love for others. Here’s what I’ve found out…sometimes that is hard to do. So how to I overcome that? I have to become more like Jesus by spending time in the Bible and in prayer. When we do that, we begin to take on His personality. People will begin to see Jesus in you and in me.
So basically, Paul is saying, “It’s ok to be a copy cat of God as we live out our lives like Jesus did…giving himself out of love for others.” Now go out there and do your best to act like Jesus. That’s my point for today.