Monday, March 12, 2012

Ephesians 5: 1-4

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

Imagine a Freaky Friday scenario in which you and God traded places for a day. Putting aside the fact that you might smite quite a few people and muck up the world pretty badly, would people notice a difference in the person walking around in your shoes? Is your life an imitation of God? Do you walk in love as Christ loved us? My children would experience true joy at a day of being taught by God in his gentleness and patience. I can only imagine the delight throughout the day as he revealed truth to them – a much different picture than the chaos that so often surrounds me.

But we would not be called to imitate God if it were an impossible task. Daily our lives should more closely mirror God’s image within us and exhibit the love of Christ. As earthly children naturally observe and mimic their parents so should we spiritual children imitate our heavenly Father. As Jesus regarded his earthly life as a pleasing offering, so in view of God’s mercy we become living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God as an act of worship (Rom 12:1). Christ’s love for us was so strong as to die for us when we did not deserve it – likewise we are to give our love, time, forgiveness, and even our lives for one another.

The opposite of imitating God and walking in Christ’s love is walking in sexual immorality, impurity, and covetousness. Not naming these sins does not mean that we ignore them when they are present – especially if they occur within the body of Christ. But when they are frequently named we grow desensitized to them. When our music, television, movie, and literature is peppered with sexual innuendo, coarse language, and greed for material possession we become desensitized and are no longer shocked by the things that grieve the heart of God. Filthy, obscene talk should never cross our lips or our outbox, no matter how funny the joke may be. Rather our hearts and tongues should pour out thanksgiving to God.

2 Corinthians 2:14-15 (ESV) But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,

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