52-Yo, Ephesians! Check it.
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.”
So, Paul just finished encouraging the good citizens of Ephesus who were not just living in the city, but also committed to following Jesus and His ways, to not be acting the fool like everyone else. Please, allow me to paraphrase Paul’s words. “Quit lying, don’t be angry, and work dang-it! Don’t steal or wait for handouts, but work hard so you can give to those in need. Don’t you dare grieve the Holy Spirit who has sealed you for a coming day that you will be redeemed. Instead, while you wait for that day, quit being a jerk and let’s start being kind to one another, tenderhearted, and forgiving for goodness sake, even as God in Christ forgave you. Since He forgave you, imitate His example just like children imitate their parents.” [Ephesians 4:25-5:1]
Isaiah, my youngest at a ripe 1-½ years old, was following me through the backyard the other day, dragging a 2×4 along in the dark. I was using my phone for light (we don’t let daylight savings time stop the Foss the family from playing outside!) and periodically would turn around and shine the light so Isaiah could see where he was going. The next board run we made, I carried the wood and Isaiah held the phone. He stopped in almost the exact places that I did, turning and shining the light from my phone onto the ground behind his path, so that I could see. My heart melted in a moment. So simple…imitation. He may not have even known why he was turning around, but just did it because he saw ‘dad’ do it.
The real question is how closely do we imitate our heavenly father as he graciously forgives us, seals us for the day we see Him face to face, and models for us how to live out our daily lives? The more I see my own children modeling me, the more I realize how serious Paul’s words are to us through the book of Ephesians. I don’t really think that anything more needs to be said. Although, there’s a saying that I’ve heard from a teacher out in Colorado that he uses quite often that goes, “If it’s good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me.” There, now I’m done.
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