April 17, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly beloved 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
Be imitators of God. Are you kidding me? I am to imitate God? What a challenge Paul presents to us. Some things are unique only to God and impossible for us to imitate, such as His majesty, glory, eternal existence, omnipresence, omnipotence, or omniscience. But there are other virtues we can imitate "as dearly beloved children."
My Dad was a quiet man with deep strengths that were expressed in gentle, loving ways. I can honestly say that I cannot remember my dad ever being violent or even losing his temper or speaking harshly or being unkind to someone. He was a meek, thoughtful, and unassuming man whose love was unquestionable.
As far back as I can remember my dad was bald. As a very young boy, I used to rub my dad's bald head as he sat in his easy chair, wondering why he was bald. One day I asked him why he didn't have hair on top of his head like other men. He just smiled and said, "Well, son, I was a conductor on the railroad and wore a conductor's hat, and it made my hair fall out."
Of course, that wasn't the reason, but being so young I thought it was true. This was when men wore straw hats. So I asked my dad if he had an old straw hat he didn't need, and he found one and gave it to me. I immediately got the butcher knife and cut the brim off on all sides, except the front, so it would look just like a conductor's hat. It was way too big for my small head, but I wanted to wear it everywhere. I was proud of my hat, because it resembled my dad's conductor's hat.
But more than that, I wanted to be bald JUST LIKE MY DAD! I wanted to look like him, be like him, and act like him. In fact, I wanted to imitate my dad. Why? Because he was my father and I loved him!
When I read "Be imitators of God," I thought, my relationship to God should be "as a dearly beloved child," seeking to be just like Him, because He is my Father and I love Him. I want to manifest the same love, grace, and mercy, and the holiness, righteousness, and justice that so characterized Jesus. Just to be like Him, living a life of love as Christ loved us.
That's only half of our relationship with Christ. As His "dearly beloved children," He wants to reveal His love to us. His concern, care, and interests are infinitely greater than those of any parent for a child. The very hairs of our head are numbered, and God says in His Word, "I know you by your name." He watches us as a father watches his child take his first step or go to school for the first time. This is an expression of intense care and loving interest. Paul says that is how God loves us, and infinitely more. We are His own and are very dear to His heart. He gave His life for us.
May we be imitators of God and live a life of love, just as God loved us and gave himself for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-04-17
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