Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)
A Fragrant Offering
What would you do if you wanted to imitate me? How would your life look different if you went and did what I did? How would your thoughts and words and deeds change if you followed my example? Let me start of by emphatically saying one thing. What’s that? There is no “if” involved in my answer. I thought so. I want to imitate you. I want to go and do what you did. I want my life to be changed. I want to think your thoughts. I want to speak your words, I want to do your deeds. I know this to be true about you. Hearing you say that, encourages my heart. That’s good. I want you to be encouraged and strengthened in your desire to imitate me.
Now, I will attempt to answer your question about how I will start imitating you. There is only one way to start imitating you. What do you mean by that? My focus should start off with why you did what you did and not on what you did. Explain that. You gave yourself up as a fragrant offering to God. You poured yourself out in service to others. Yes, I did. But your giving yourself as a fragrant offering to God and pouring yourself out in service to others started with your love for Him. You loved God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength. Yes, that is true. You lived in a close and intimate relationship with God. You drew near to Him as He drew near to you. You hungered and thirsted for Him. You lived and dwelt in His presence. You lived your life in a constant dialogue with Him. You listened to His voice. You followed His guidance. You fulfilled His purposes and accomplished His plans. Yes, I did. That is what I will imitate. That is what I want. That is the desire of my heart. That is what I hunger and thirst for. I want to live in the same intimate relationship with the Heavenly Father that you lived and walked in. I want to know Him. I want Him to know me. I want to love Him with all my heart and mind and soul and strength. Then I want to go wherever he guides me to do whatever He asks of me. Then I will fulfill His purposes and accomplish His plans. Then I will offer myself as a fragrant offering to Him. Then I will pour myself out in service to others. Yes, you will and that will be very good.
Father, thank you that I am your child. Your love has changed me. No longer do I want to live for myself. Instead I want to live as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to you as I give your love and my life to others just as Christ did. Amen
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