photo by: Shirley/Missouri/October 2010
Imitators of God
originally written 31 Oct 10
posted 1 Nov 10
This morning, as I was getting ready for church, I had words running through my head…words I intended to share on the “lightbulb moments” page even though it wasn’t really a “lightbulb moment” but more of an angry rant against some actions/attitudes from others I had witnessed
(which, though not directed at or about me, had still caused me pain).

However, before I even made it to the computer to begin,
I received a clear “NO” from the Lord about it.

Now I understand why.

In Sunday School this morning, not even 2hrs after I 
initially thought about using my writing site as a ranting platform,
we were looking at Ephesians 5:1-20.*

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love,
just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us,
an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NASB)

My rant would have served no good purpose…
and certainly not God’s purpose.
Even though I was right—these people should never have said the words they said, nor adopted the attitudes they did…because God loves those they were ridiculing—
my intended public rant would
not have served my Heavenly Father’s purpose.
These hurtful and cruel words/actions happened years ago
and it’s time for me to let them go.

My rant would have fallen into
the category of “empty” and “unfruitful” words.
I would have been venting because my own feelings were hurt—
not because God led me to defend anyone.

God has a purpose…to redeem the world from sin.
As His children, believers in Christ and heirs to His promises,
this should be our purpose too.
Sometimes this requires a sacrifice of our “rights”
or our pride or our hurt feelings, etc.
A sacrifice for the greater eternal good
rather than for the temporary victory of being “right.”

Christ laid aside His right as King of Kings for us.
What rights do we possibly have that are greater than
what He laid down willingly for the sake of our eternal lives?
Should we expect to do anything less in response to such great Love?

God is purposeful—as we grow more like Him we must be purposeful as well.

*Ephesians 5:1-20 (NIV)
 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 
 3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them. 
 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said: 
   “Wake up, sleeper, 
   rise from the dead, 
   and Christ will shine on you.” 
 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
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