Embracing God’s love for me
25. Is God my role model?
Ephesians 5:1-2. 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. (NLT)
I love to watch children imitate their fathers, little boys “shaving” their chins, children trying to dunk a basketball into a three-foot-high hoop, pushing a plastic mower behind Dad as he cuts the lawn. As a human father can be a role model for his children, so our Father God is a role model for His children. The more time I watch my Father and spend with Him, the more I will know Him and want to be like Him. And the more I will know how to be like Him. This knowledge comes mostly through the Bible, but also through watching God’s interactions with the world He created. He is kind even to those who do not acknowledge Him. He still loves me even when I am avoiding Him, when I know what I should do but I’m slow to do it. He does not reject me for my flaws but instead sees me as being perfect, complete, and whole in Christ because He sees Jesus, and Jesus is interceding for me. The more I recognize how God reveals Himself the more I will be able to imitate Him.
Verse two gives specifics on how to imitate God: love others as Christ did during His life and by His sacrificial death for us. If I follow the example of Christ, I will love and act gracefully even to those who don’t reciprocate. I will see others as creations of God and treat them with respect, compassion, and patience. I will sacrifice my “rights” for others –- the whole concept of “consider others as more important than yourselves” in Philippians 2:3.
How can I imitate God today? I would love to do this spontaneously, without pre-planning, and I do pray for God to make me naturally more like Himself. But I also know that I need to take intentional steps to imitate Him. So today I will look for one person or situation in which I can intentionally give up what I would prefer in order to demonstrate God’s love. It’s a little step but moves me in the right direction.
Father, I know I can never be entirely like You, but today my desire is to be loving like You. Please change my core attitude to be more loving toward others; then may that attitude shape my actions into expressions of Your love. Holy Spirit, today make me aware of an opportunity to imitate God. And may it be “a pleasing aroma” to You. Amen