Be careful, the values, priorities and patterns of our society do not belong to us and must not be part of us. Just because it is accepted in society does not mean it is accepted by our Holy God. There is real danger here. It seems that originality and individualism are highly prized in our society, even though most people conform to the image of society. We however do not desire to be an original; we want to be imitators, but not of society:
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children. (Ephesians 5:1)
You know that attitude, when children are of the age of seeing mom and dad as their heroes. That is when their greatest aspiration is to be just like dad or just like mom. As followers of Jesus that attitude must remain our desire, to be imitators of God.
We are dearly loved children and our Father has given us an example to follow. He gave us Jesus as the first born, the one who opened the door for us, set the path, showed us how it is done. Along with that we have the Spirit who is transforming us into the likeness of Jesus. There is no other measuring rod for us. We do not compare ourselves to society, successful people, even heroes of the faith. There is only one example we follow and it is Jesus, our big brother, friend, Saviour, Lord and King. Let the world mock us and call us names but Jesus is our hero and our desire is to be just like him.
His is example is based on one foundation and we have a lifetime to search the height, breadth and depth of the matter, not just to understand it but to live it:
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved 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)
Love is the foundation of all of creation and of our lives. I don`t know how people miss this message in the Word of God. The example we follow, the power that transforms, the life we are to live is that of Jesus' love. Not our love because it is too pathetic in nature to be of any use; it has to be Jesus`love. This love is sacrificial and fragrant.
Quick, look at your life before you notice yourself looking. Quick glance! What do you see? Is it a life of sacrificial love or something ugly and pathetic? I am not saying you are pathetic but what we try to be becomes pathetic in nature because we try to live for God in our love and strength. If we could do it ourselves Jesus would not have had to die. We have to live his love. We have to be transformed by his love, made new, different eyes to see, different priorities to live. We must be permeated by that love which calls us into action and provokes us to serve God beyond our pain and circumstances.
Here is your test to see if you love Jesus: Do you do what he has told you to do? Do you obey?
Here is your test to see if you love people: Do you consider them more important than yourself?
A Christian life is not weak or pathetic, controlled by poverty or circumstances. A Christian life is not clouded by struggles and personal opinions. A Christian life is powerful in love, joy, peace and hope. A Christian life is filled with the powerful sacrificial love that changes every situation and life it touches. Powerful I say!
Be imitators of God: live a life of love. This should be the desire of our heart as we serve Jesus every second of our life, living for his glory by sacrificing our lives for others, investing into them the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. Anything else makes us cheap imitations. I don't know about you but after living my life here, I don't want to have to explain to Jesus why I only had a cheap life, with a cheap faith and a cheap love. I want to be as rich in my love as Jesus is because I want to be lust like him.
I am not there yet, but it is my desire to be. So every day I surrender my will, my heart, my mind, my strength to Jesus so that he may live through me. And as he does, I am changed and made more like him. Anything less will not do. My friends, are you genuine imitations?