Read: Ephesians 5:1-2
Be imitators of God . . . (v. 1)
Celebrity impersonators pretend to be well-known stars, mimicking phrases and mannerisms of the famous. We laugh, but everyone knows it is an act. There is a profound difference between impersonating and imitating. Impersonating someone involves fooling others into thinking you are that person. Imitating someone involves actually doing what that person does. And what God primarily does is love.
To imitate God is only possible because the command is rooted in God’s love and exemplified in Christ. The root is that we are God’s “beloved children” (v. 1). To be “beloved” implies a special bond, a permanence that cannot be lost. God loves each of us as his very special children. And that is exactly who we are in Christ. That kind of love desires to love like the one who so loved us (John 3:16). We can’t fool anyone by pretending to be God. But our lives can show that we live like people who are extravagantly loved. We can imitate God by sharing that extravagant love with the people around us.
The example of that walk is Jesus, who “gave himself up for us” (Ephesians 5:2). To walk, or live, in love is to give of ourselves in ways that point others to Christ. When Peter and John testified in the temple, people were astonished at their boldness, but “they recognized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). When we walk in love, people notice who we’ve been loved by. —Jon Opgenorth
As you pray, ask God to help you live so loved.