Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. (Ephesians 5:1-2 NASB)
My little granddaughter is learning to chat and interact with us more fully these days. Watching her string words together and create increasingly complex sentences is so much fun! Also sobering. You see, she imitates what she hears. The other day, I asked her to do something she did not want to do. When I insisted, she declared, “Okay, fine,” but with a martyred expression and a slight roll of her two-year-old eyes. Oh, did I laugh (and cringe). You see, she didn’t just “make that up.” She had heard that expression and that tone from me. I’ve become freshly aware that her inquisitive young mind is listening to me, watching what I do, and imitating. Oh, Lord, guide and help me to say what is good and true as this little one observes me, please!
This granddaughter and her family are temporarily living with us, so she has ample opportunities to watch and imitate her Nina. We do tend to imitate those closest to us, don’t we? If we are surrounded by cursing at our workplace, we find ourselves having to guard our tongues. If we hang around gossips, before you know it, we’re joining in. Oh, how careful we must be when it comes to imitation.
This is one of many reasons we need to spend time with God. If we are to be imitators of Him, as His beloved children, we need to hang around Him enough to see what He says. We need to be reading the Word and studying Christ’s life, so that we do as He did. And just in case we are confused about that, Paul lays it out for us quite plainly, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (emphasis mine). What does that look like in my life and yours?
Love: When I walk in love, I walk as Jesus did. He saw the woman caught in adultery and did not condemn her, although He did tell her to “sin no more.” (Read John 8:1-11.) When He was on the way to heal Jairus’ daughter and a desperate woman touched His clothing, He stopped in His tracks and ministered to this dear one. (Read Mark 5:21-34.) When children and their parents tried to see Him, He allowed the interruption and said, “Let them come.” (Read Matthew 19:13-14.) He told stories of seeking lost sheep and lost sons, even running toward prodigals who have turned for home, even loving the self-righteous firstborn son enough to leave the party and plead with him to attend. (Read Luke 15.) Oh, Lord, help me to be kind to those caught in sin, while still maintaining the truth that it is sin. Help me to notice those who interrupt my days and love them whether it’s convenient or not. Give me grace enough to seek those who are lost and gently lead them home to You, and help me also to love the self-righteous folk, like You did.
Give: When I live sacrificially, I live like Christ did, always focused on His Father’s will. (Read John 6:38.) I start my days with a surrendered heart, wanting to go where He sends me and do the work He sets before me. I yield my own comfort and selfish desires and look to please God in the day’s activities. As Christ did, I give up the rights to my time and my agenda and seek God’s agenda more. Father, help me to stop and listen to You each day, receiving my marching orders from You first. When I tend toward laziness or selfishness, enable me to do the servant-hearted thing if that is what You have placed on my heart to do. Lord, I need Your guidance in sorting out where to spend my time. Help me walk so near to You that I hear Your voice directing me in my “yes” and in my “no” each day. Enable me to please one Voice: Yours. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
You are loved,
Sweet Selah Ministries
Vision To encourage a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth that stillness and knowing God matter most—
and will be reflected in more effective work and service
To offer resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)
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