Daily Memory Verse: June 28
Ephesians 5:2 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.”
I remember once seeing a friend in one of my places of employment bring his family to a company picnic. What struck me was how his kids seemed so much like him. The same look, the same facial expressions, nearly the same walk – it was uncanny. There was no doubting that those children were his children.
It’s also kind of funny to watch many walk their dogs; how much the dogs seem to be uniquely theirs. I know some cartoons used to have a lot of fun playing on this phenomenon, exaggerating how the dogs took on the characteristics of its master, or vice/versa.
What I’m trying to get at is that when you are around someone a lot, you tend to subconsciously take on many similar characteristics. Watch many married couples, especially those who have been married a long time. In just a few minutes with them you will observe many similar tics, expressions, mannerisms. They’ve been together for so long that they simply absorb characteristics of their spouses.
I get the feeling that this is what the Bible may have in mind when we are told to be imitators of God. The more time you spend with Him, the more you absorb His character in your life.
This is a Father/child relationship. We start with the assurance of an eternal life, freed from the power of sin, and enter a completely new relationship, being born again and becoming children into the Kingdom.
One of the great words of wisdom has always been that if you want to be a certain way, fill your life with people who have those qualities. And on the other hand, stop associating with those who have harmful qualities, because you will absorb those as well.
This is also another reason why it is so important that believers spend time seeking to be mentored by those who seem to be imitators of God. Paul could write opening the eleventh chapter of First Corinthians: “Be ye imitators of me, as I am of Christ,” because he had spent years in solid relationship with Him. His life could back up his words.
It is also why Jesus, giving what we call the Great Commission at the end of Matthew, tells us to make disciples by “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
This is what kids do. They observe, they absorb. They may hear your words, but if the words aren’t backed up by relationship, the words fall on deaf ears.
And if you are concerned about the salvation of your loved ones, the best thing you can do is develop your relationship with your Savior. Then all those around you will “see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:16).
Good works are all God does, so if you imitate Him, all you will do is good. And they will begin to see Him in you.
Today if you hear His voice, harden not your heart.