Be imitators of God
5 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 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.
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
As a little girl I remember trying to imitate my mother and my aunts. I tried to walk like they walked, I tried to mimic their singing, and occasionally I would do what every little girl loves to do—try on their jewelry. Why was I eager to imitate them? Because I loved them.
Today’s scripture tells us we are to imitate God, and of course the way we imitate God is to live and love like Jesus. Why? Because we love God, and because we are His children. Paul goes on to tell the Ephesians, and us, that we should keep ourselves so pure there will not be a hint of immorality, impurity or greed. Even a hint. And Paul goes so far as to tell us not to associate with those who have these characteristics. This is tough talk, but the Christian walk is a tough walk!
The darkness of sin is something from which the disciple should be completely severed. There should be no longing for anything that would make us fall off of the pathway to holiness. The problem today is that the defining line between the church and the world has become so small that at times it is barely discernable.
In your Sunday School do you study the Word, taking it apart, chewing on it, getting a complete understanding of God’s will, or does your study consist of self-help books and books about keeping our planet green? Does your pastor not only encourage you from the pulpit but exhort you to live a holy life, or have platitudes and “feel good” sermons replaced those that remind you of your duties as a disciple?
Be imitators of God, dear children, and live a life of love.
PRAYER: Father, how do we so consistently miss the mark? I pray today that we would keep our eyes upon you, for it only then that we will be able to imitate you and leave the desires of this world behind. Amen.
- Posted in: Holiness