Being Imitators of God
Growing up, I wanted to be just like my Dad. I saw him as an incredible person who could do no wrong. When I was little and walking behind him, I would try my best to step into each of his footprints, despite my gait and shoe size being much smaller. Children look to their parents be an example, whether the example portrayed is good or bad, children recognize this and will imitate those actions. Children also have the ability to identify inconsistencies in words and actions.
God sets an example for us to imitate. God provides us with the tools for practical application in our lives. What are we doing in our lives that imitate God’s love?
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
After we set aside our anger and start using edifying words, as seen in chapter 4, Paul calls us to be imitators of God. The word imitator means follower, but I like to view it as someone who is identical or a mirror image of someone. After all, we were created in the image of God, so why shouldn’t we want to imitate His love? As beloved children of God, we are to imitate our Father. Just as our kids want to be like us, we should desire to be like God. We never will become God or be close to being God from our actions, but we should imitate the love God poured out for all of us. Christ is the example we should strive to be like and demonstrate God’s love toward others. He was deemed to be the perfect sacrifice and was a pleasing aroma to God. Since God IS love, we are called to walk in love. Walking is an action and demonstrates a present tense verb. It is continuous because Christ's love for us is never ceasing and is always active. Paul is calling us to action.
How are we imitating God? What are we doing in our lives that demonstrate our walk with Christ? Are we a sweet aroma or fragrance to God?
At a recent home Bible study, as we are going through James, a brother in Christ brought up the point of being tested while at work and what our reactions are toward others. Are we acting and saying things that are Christ-like, and are we being an example of Christ to our coworkers? Or are we allowing others to find fault and declare ourselves hypocrites because we are no different than them in our words and actions?
Therefore, let us be imitators of Christ and imitate His love toward others. May our actions and thoughts be a sweet aroma that is pleasing to God. Jesus was the perfect and unblemished sacrifice for our sins, but we should strive to live a life that is filled with holiness. We can do this by spending time with God in pray and reading His Word to gain understanding so that when we live our lives, we become a reflection of Christ.
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Trusting God in a Time of TransitionThanksgiving Among ChallengesOverwhelmingly Overwhelmed?Building Authentic FaithHoliness, It's What I Long ForSatisfy the CravingPreparing The Temple of God - 1 Peter 2:4-10Absolute Submission - 1 Peter 2:11-17Enduring Unjust Treatment - 1 Peter 2:18-25Building Stronger Marriages - 1 Peter 3:1-7Retaliating With Grace - 1 Peter 3:8-12Trial and Defense - 1 Peter 3:13-22Putting Aside Our Sinful Nature - 1 Peter 4:1-6Taking Responsibility and Ownership of God's Grace - 1 Peter 4:7-11Count Yourself Blessed - 1 Peter 4:12-19Shepherding the Followers of Christ - 1 Peter 5:1-5We're Not Alone in This Journey - 1 Peter 5:6-14Setting the Tone - Galatians 1:1-5The Simple and Pure Truth - Galatians 1:6-10Not by men, but by God - Galatians 1:11-24Discernment and Strength - Galatians 2:1-6Remain Firm Amongst Peer Pressure - Galatians 2:7-14Overcoming Anger and Frustration
Justified By Faith - Galatians 2:15-21Fools Without Faith - Galatians 3:1-14Keeping Our Promises - Galatians 3:15-18Imprisoned by Sin - Galatians 3:19-29Being an Heir of God - Galatians 4:1-7Transformed by Faith - Galatians 4:8-20Children of Promise - Galatians 4:21-31Stand Fast in Liberty - Galatians 5:1-12All About Liberty - Galatians 5:13-15Actively Living in Christ Produces Fruit - Galatians 5:16-25Spiritual Obligations - Galatians 6:1-5What Seeds Are We Planting? - Galatians 6:6-10Emphasize the Truth - Galatians 6:11-18Saints...In Christ - Ephesians 1:1-2Richly Blessed in Christ - Ephesians 1:3-6In HIM...we have... - Ephesians 1:7-14Praising Others and Lifting Them Up in Christ - Ephesians 1:15-23Where Did We Come From - Ephesians 2:1-10Filling God's Dwelling Place - Ephesians 2:11-22The Mystery of Christ - Ephesians 3:1-6Bringing the Light to Others - Ephesians 3:7-13Bowing Our Hearts With Humility - Ephesians 3:14-21Unified as the Body of Christ - Ephesians 4:1-6Gifts in Unity - Ephesians 4:7-16Putting On Our New Self - Ephesians 4:17-24Edifying Words in Christ - Ephesians 4:25-32Being Imitators of God - Ephesians 5:1-2Guarding Our Hearts, Our Words, and Our Actions - Ephesians 5:3-14
Walking Wisely - Ephesians 5:15-21Godly Marriage - Ephesians 5:22-33What Kind of Parents Are We? - Ephesians 6:1-3Equipping Ourselves in Christ - Ephesians 6:10-20Being the Encouragement to Others - Ephesians 6:21-24Being Set Apart From This World - 1 Corinthians 1:1-9Let the Division Cease - 1 Corinthians 1:10-17My Wisdom or God's? - 1 Corinthians 1:18-25What Are We Boasting In? - 1 Corinthians 1:26-31Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing - 1 Corinthians 2:1-5Being Active in the Holy Spirit - 1 Corinthians 2:6-16Growth in God - 1 Corinthians 3:1-4The Fields of God - 1 Corinthians 3:5-9Building God's Temple - 1 Corinthians 3:10-17Don't Deceive Yourself - 1 Corinthians 3:18-23Faithful Stewards - 1 Corinthians 4:1-6Are We Being Humble - 1 Corinthians 4:8-21Purging Our Sin - 1 Corinthians 5:1-13Disputes Within the Church - 1 Corinthians 6:1-8No Tolerance for Sexual Immorality - 1 Corinthians 6:9-20Being True to Your Marriage/Relationship - 1 Corinthians 7:1-11Being True to Your Calling - 1 Corinthians 7:17-24Single or Married? - 1 Corinthians 7:25-40Knowledge and Love - 1 Corinthians 8:1-6Not Being a Stumbling Block for Others - 1 Corinthians 8:7-13Willingly Surrendering Our Rights to Christ - 1 Corinthians 9:1-23Let History be an Example to Abstain From Sin - 1 Corinthians 10:1-22Do Everything For God's Glory - 1 Corinthians 10:23-33Imitating Christ - 1 Corinthians 11:1