Ephesians 5:1-2 NLT
“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”
I remember how, when my youngest son was little, he loved watching his father shave. He’d climb up next to his dad and ask for a bit of shaving foam on his own face and then, with the handle end of an old toothbrush, scrape the foam off again, copying his father’s every move. It was so cute.
Children learn by imitating their parents. Little girls love to dress up in their mummy’s shoes and jewellery and pretend to be mummy.
We are called, as his ‘dear children’ to ‘imitate God in everything we do’;
Immediately after this comes the command ‘live a life filled with love’. But that’s not as easy as it sounds, is it? People are people after all, and people are sometimes …. well, let’s just leave it there shall we?! It’s easy for God to love, isn’t it ?- He IS Love! Well yes, but he will also give us the ability and capacity to love as he does. If that weren’t true, why would Jesus have given the command that we love as he does? John 13:34-35 NLT “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
God tells us to imitate him, because in that way we will learn from him. It’s not about striving and struggle to be a better person, or nicer, or good. Like that little child who dresses up in mum or dad’s clothes to be like their parent, we can choose to literally ‘put on’ Christ. We can clothe ourselves with Christlike qualities.
Colossians 3:10, 12-14 NLT
“Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.”
The thing is, unlike the child dressing up in their parents’ clothing, who looks cute and comical, when we clothe ourselves with Christlike qualities, we become a ‘force’ to be reckoned with. That is to say – the love of Jesus, when allowed to flow freely in and through us, is a ‘force’ to be reckoned with.
Nothing can withstand the love of our God. Our enemy the devil trembles when God’s love is poured out through us!
1 Corinthians 13 is the great ‘Love chapter’ quoted at almost every wedding. Verse 13 says “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”
Prayer: Thank you God, for loving me. Help me today, to put on childlike faith in You, learning from you by imitating your love. Help me to make the most of every opportunity to demonstrate your love to others and to create a sweet aroma of your love wherever I go and to whoever I come into contact with. Amen
Jill McIlreavy 💜