Growing up, my parents would purchase a matching suit, shirt, belt, tie, socks and shoes for my father and me. Every Sunday we would wear our matching clothes, greeting people at church and hand out bulletins. My Dad and I were so proud.
Do have memories of when you were a child and you would dress up in your parent’s clothes? We were imitating our parents.
Ephesians 5:1-2 says “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.” (ESV)
What does it mean to be “imitators of God”?
The thought could be rendered “you must act as He does” or “you must follow His example.” This would be more than just pretending to dress like God.
We are to share in the love of God. What does that look like?
Believers are to imitate God’s love:
-By acts of compassion and mercy
-Caring for the poor, orphans and widows
-Showing kindness and forgiveness
-By walking in love, as Christ loved us
Christ gave us the ultimate example to imitate love.
He gave His life for us. He died in our place. He sacrificed His life for our benefit.
How do we begin to live our lives in this fashion?
Our lives must be controlled by the love of God imitated in and through us.
How would you describe the phrase “a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God”?
Christ offered His own life to God as a sacrifice on our behalf. Christ loved us and surrendered His life to be killed for us. In this way His life was pleasing to God.
This is the beginning of how we need to imitate God.
Notice that imitating God’s love for others means avoiding sins such as, immorality, greed and foolish talk. Instead, we are to live a life of goodness, righteousness and truth, allowing the Holy Spirit to control us.
Love means to mutually submit to one another, and to always keep the best interests of other in mind.
Ephesians 6:1-2a says: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother…”
Children are observing their parents, and will imitate them. What do your children learn from what they observe in your life?
Whether or not you have children of your own, you are around children of extended family or friends. You are having a profound influence on children.
Moms, Dads, adults, how are you imitating God in all your relationships? If your children are to imitate your life, what does that look like?