Have you ever imitated your mom or dad? Or maybe someone famous? Who have you imitated?
Children love to imitate their parents. To imitate means to copy or to try to be like them. They might dress like their mom or dad or copy something they do. In school you might imitate your teacher when they are showing you how to do something. In sports you imitate a coach or another player that is older and better than you. Imitation is important because copying is how we learn to do things.
Paul will tell the Ephesian Christians to imitate God. Listen to what he says here at the beginning of chapter 5:
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.
Paul tells us to imitate God. But how do you imitate a God you can’t see? Well we have seen what Jesus Christ has done for us. Jesus is God and we can imitate him. How? By walking in love. Remember, when Paul says “walk” he doesn’t mean literally how you move your feet and step. He means how you live your life. We should live like we are loved by God.
But how do we know for sure that God loves us? We know God loves us because Christ “gave himself as a sacrifice for us.” We know because God has made us into his “beloved children.”
And what do children do? They imitate. They copy the mom and the dad that they love. When mom or dad’s hand reaches down to hold the hand of a child, that child is now walking in love. They are walking wherever the mom and dad are walking, held tight by the hand of love. In the same way when we know that God loves us, we will walk where and how he tells us. We will care about others, and share with them, and be kind, and help others with their problems. We will sacrifice for others just like Jesus did for us. That’s imitation.
Who will you imitate today?
Because of Jesus and his sacrifice, we are always and forever loved by God.
With Jesus we can imitate God by loving others.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Play an imitation game like Simon Says. Talk about why we should want to imitate Jesus. Not just to win a game, but to be able to live a full life of being loved and loving others.
You sacrificed yourself for me because you love me. You saved me from my sin so that now I can imitate you and love like you. And when I fail I know that you have already died for that sin.
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