This weekend was the ladies brunch at my church and since it is February it was so fun to fellowship with ladies that I don’t usually have the chance to. Our theme was love of course and, one of the verses that the speaker used about Christ’s sacrificial love has been lingering in my heart.
When they were little, there was nothing cuter than to see my kids try to imitate me. From carrying little purses filled with their favorite toys, to wearing my shoes around the house, I loved seeing that they looked up to me. Ephesians 5:1-2 urges us to mimic or ‘imitate’ Christ. Unfortunately it is so tempting (at least for me) to stop at verse 1. Verse 2 reminds, me that walking in Christ’s footsteps won’t always be fun.
Why Imitate Christ?
We are told in the first verse why we should imitate him- because we are his children. Think about the road you took to become his child. We were not born into the kingdom of God, we were adopted! We began as humans who were so far from fulfilling the law of God that we could not hope to ever be near him. We owed a debt that was unpayable in a hundred lifetimes.
God saw the chasm between himself and us. A void that we created. God did not move away from us when we sinned, but rather in the Garden of Eden we turned and ran far from him. We had no way to get back to his saving grace. So he sent Christ to die on the cross to bridge the gap that sin left between us.We are adopted into the family of God because of the great sacrifice Jesus made.
What Should I Do as a Result of the Sacrificial Love of Christ?
Verse two reminds us that we are children of God because of the sacrificial love of Christ. All the sacrifices made through the Old Testament were temporary. Each one just enough to wash a person until their next mistake. It was a little like using an eyedropper to power wash a driveway.
Jesus died on the cross in my place because the love he had for me was greater than the love he had for himself. He walked a perfect life on earth and then died the death of a criminal. The death that I should have died.
What should I do? Verse two says that also; ‘Walk in love.’ I often find myself walking as though I was not released from death row. I’m not grateful for what God did for me, I don’t treat the good news that there is hope for all humanity as the amazing message it is.
What would it really look like for me to walk in love? Not the love that I have for my kids and those who love me back, but the love Christ has for the dirty and pitiful.
How to Walk in Love
Walk in love, it sounds simple enough. It is simple to love my kids, my husband (he’s amazing guys). It’s a little different to pray for the coworker who makes your life miserable. To pray for their marriage and to live love when they don’t seem to care. If I am walking in love it should be in my every action and in my words. My actions are no longer self serving, but crafted carefully to show the message that my life is about; to point to Christ and the cross.
How can You do this Practically?
- Open your Bible. Let God’s word be a nonnegotiable part of your life. How can you know whether you are living like he wants if you haven’t read what he says?
- Make prayer your go to problem solver. Before you pick up the phone to text a friend or your husband or whoever, stop and pray. Begin your day with prayer. End your day with prayer. Ask God to show you how your heart needs to change.
- Fellowship with believers. Join a Bible believing church. This is important! If I only fellowship with the friends I have that are Christians, I will naturally surround myself with people like me. Being part of a church fellowship gives me that chance to join people of other ages, economic statuses and races in worship. I hear solid teaching from God’s word and will be convicted by it.
I love Ephesians! Its one of my favorite books of the Bible. If you’d like to dig a little deeper into this book, grab my free six week Bible Study over the Book of Ephesians.