Thursday, February 4, 2016

Devotion: Imitate God

Did you know that we are supposed to imitate God?

“Follow God’s example in everything you do just as a much loved child imitates his father.  Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins.  And God was pleased, for Christ’s love for you was like sweet perfume to him” (Ephesians 5:1-3 TLB).

Yes, we are to imitate God.  But in order to imitate someone or to follow their examples, one would have to know all there is to know about the one being imitated or followed.  According to scripture, “God is love.”

“Dear friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God, and that they are getting to know him better.  But if a person isn’t loving and kind, it shows that he doesn’t know God—for God is love” (I John 4:7-8 TLB).

According to scripture, we are to practice loving each other, for love comes from God.  The scripture goes on to say that those who are “loving and kind show that they are the children of God” because they are getting to know him better.  And while this is not clearly stated in the passage, we can conclude that those who are not “loving and kind are not children of God” because it shows that “they do not know God.”  To know God is to know love, for “God is love,” but what kind of love is this referring to?

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).

God showed us just how much he loved mankind when he sent his son into the world that through the son, the world might be save.  This is how much love God had for the world.  Jesus brought us the opportunity to have eternal life and to become “the children of God.”  Then who are “the children of God” because it is they who are told to imitate or follow God?

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26-29 NIV).  “Well then, has God failed to fulfill his promises to the Jews?  No!  For these promises are only to those who are truly Jews.  And not everyone born into a Jewish family is truly a Jew!  Just the fact that they come from Abraham doesn’t make them truly Abraham’s children.  For the Scriptures say that the promises apply only to Abraham’s son Isaac and Isaac’s descendants, though Abraham had other children too.  This means that not all of Abraham’s children are children of God, but only those who believe the promise of salvation which he made to Abraham” (Romans 9:6-8 TLB).

It is through faith in Jesus Christ that we become “a child of God.”  As “a child of God,” we are baptized into union with Christ and are clothed with or enveloped by him.  And because we belong to Christ, then we be Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.  This promise is “the promise of salvation,” which God made to Abraham and only those who believe in the promise of salvation are true Jews as well as “children of God.”  It is interesting to note that not everyone born into a Jewish family is truly a Jew, just as not all of Abraham’s children are “children of God.”  It is the same with mankind; not everyone is “a child of God,” however everyone is a creation of God.  Only those who believe in the promise of salvation, which God made to Abraham, are “the true seed” of the promise and “the true children of God.”

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:13-16).

Because we have received the spirit of adoption that we are now “children of God.”  Then let us follow our Father’s example and imitate him by practicing loving one another, God’s way.  Because we are children of the promise and the “true children of God,” then let us show God’s type of love and kindness because we are of God and we truly do know God, for it is the Spirit itself that bears witness with our spirit that we are “the children of God.”

May today’s inspirational message abundantly bless you and greatly inform you.  We pray that you will be the better for having read it.  If blessed by today’s message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

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