Walk This Way
Read Ephesians 5:1-14
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.
Just as children imitate their parents, we should follow God’s example. His great love for us led him to sacrifice himself so that we might live. Our love for others should be of the same kind—a love that goes beyond affection to self-sacrificing service. One way we can imitate God’s example is through our words.
Obscenities and coarse joking are so common today that we begin to take them for granted. Paul cautions, however, that improper language should have no place in the Christian’s conversation because it does not reflect God’s gracious presence in us. How can we praise God and remind others of his goodness when we are speaking coarsely?
As people who have light from the Lord, our actions should reflect our faith. We should live above reproach morally so that we will reflect God’s goodness to others. Jesus stressed this truth in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:15-16). It is important to avoid the “worthless deeds of evil and darkness” (Ephesians 5:11—any pleasure or activity that results in sin), but we must go even further. Paul instructs us to expose these deeds, because our silence may be interpreted as approval. God needs people who will take a stand for what is right. Christians must lovingly speak out for what is true and right.
In what ways do you “imitate God”? What do you find comforting or daunting about imitating God?
© 1995-2014, The Zondervan Corporation. All Rights Reserved.