Ephesians 5:1-2 - 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.
I wear a beard, and I have for decades. Up until Halloween two years ago, neither my wife nor my adult children had ever seen my bare face. My costume that year called for a clean shave. My family was traumatized far worse than I had imagined. I immediately grew it back because I love them. One thing we learned during this “trying time” was my oldest daughter, my mother, and I share the same chin. It’s a family trait. The child looks like the parent.
In the above text, we are called to “imitate God.” While we may not share physical traits per se, we should strive to share God’s personal traits; specifically love. Are we known as people who love? And what do we mean by “love”?
Paul uses Jesus as THE example of real love. It’s a love that is sacrificial. It cost Jesus everything. He was the rightful King of Israel. At any moment, he could have walked into Jerusalem, been crowned King, and ruled the whole world; however, he knew that what his people really needed at that time was for their King to be their Savior.
Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus endured the cross for the joy that would follow. We are the joy that followed. He endured the cross because he loved us and wanted us. His sacrificial love moved him to act. Do we imitate Jesus in a love that acts? Do we carry on the family trait? Do we look like “dad”?
• Think of sacrificial love. What person, other than Jesus makes you think of “sacrificial love”?
• Give examples of what that love looked like.
• Action - Spend some time in prayer praising God for His sacrificial love and those who have modeled it in our lives.