Tag: imitators of God

Be filled with the Spirit!

Scripture reading for August 31:  Ephesians 5

Maintaining Christian unity requires personal responsibility and daily action to follow the Holy Spirit.  We cannot live the life God requires in our own power or strength, but must look to Christ and God the Father as our examples! “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)  Christ’s supreme act of love is our example of how to love others!  We are dearly loved and can now live a life of love.

In order to live this life of love, we need God’s gift of love to us personally.  “Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.  Instead, be filled with the Spirit.  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (Ephesians 5:15-20)

Being filled with the Holy Spirit was not an option for the Ephesian church, nor for us who live as Christians in this 21st century.  As it was then, our days are evil as well and we must be filled with the Holy Spirit to make the most of each opportunity to show love and encourage others in the church.  Christ’s fragrant aroma through our lives will draw others to Christ and promote unity and peace!

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Imitators of God!

Scripture reading for September 27th: Ephesians 5:1-33

It has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Man is always looking for someone to look up to.  God has designated parents to set a holy example for their children.  He also tells those who lead in the church to set examples and the apostle Paul called people to imitate him as he followed Christ.  In this letter Paul points the Ephesians to the supreme example!  “Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children and live a life of love, just a Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)

Sexual purity is required of those who imitate God.  God desires us to live a life that follows the pattern He set for them.  God made man to be a sexual being and chose to give man the responsibility and ability to be fruitful and multiply.  He designed this sexual union to take place between a man and a woman who would be committed to each other in this life.  Any sexual conduct outside of marriage between a man and a woman is considered immoral by God.  (Ephesians 5:3-5)  It is also considered idolatry and no idolater will inherit the kingdom of God!

To aid us in imitating God, God Himself has given us the Holy Spirit.  We are commanded to be filled and refilled with the Holy Spirit.  This keeps us focused on the Lord and gives us spiritual power to live a life pleasing to God in all aspects.  As the Holy Spirit is submitted to God the Father and Christ, so we must submit to one another.  There is perfect unity in the Holy Trinity.  God desires this unity in our homes and marriages.

Wives are to submit to their husbands as to the Lord.  (Ephesians 5:22)  Christ has set the husband over the wife in authority to bring order to the home.  Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.  (Ephesians 5:25)  As we obey the Lord and live a life full of the Holy Spirit, God uses the proper order in the home as an example of Christ and His bride the Church!  (Ephesians 5:32)  This enables the children to see an example that they will imitate as well!  Lord, fill us with your Holy Spirit!

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Turned from idols to Christ!

Scripture reading for October 9th: 1st Thessalonians 1:1-2:8

“Grace and peace to you.  We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.   We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, you labor prompted by love, and you endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1st Thessalonians 1:1b-3)  Paul spent much of his time praying for the various churches that he founded.  He always found something to thank God for concerning the church.  The Thessalonian church was commended for their faith and works based on faith.

These believers had eagerly received and applied the Gospel message in their lives and according to Paul, were a model to all believers in Macedonia and Achaia.  (1st Thessalonians 1:7-8) In fact, many reports of the Thessalonians faith had come to Paul from other Christians there.  “They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead–Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” (1st Thessalonians 1:9b-10)

The Thessalonians were about fifty miles from the site of Mount Olympus in Greece.  The Greek gods said to reside there were many and powerful.  They were a big part of the culture of the country and were popular.  These believers turned from these idols to the living and true God.  Not only that, they chose to wait for the revelation of Jesus Christ from heaven.  Jesus was raised from the dead and coming back for those waiting for Him.  These Thessalonians simply trusted in Christ and the teaching of the second coming.  They chose to believe that when Christ came back, he would pour out wrath on sin and sinner.  This fear of God was a healthy motivator to live in patient expectation.

“We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”  (1st Thessalonians 2:8) The child-like faith of these people had touched Paul’s heart.  They were such faithful and sincere believers that Paul wanted to share his life with them.  The Gospel works best when love is flowing from the preacher as well as the people.  Our living God is a God of love and will win out over all idols if given a chance!

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Imitators of God

Scripture reading for September 27th: Ephesians 5:1-33

It has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Man is always looking for someone to look up to.  God has designated parents to set a holy example for their children.  He also tells those who lead in the church to set examples and the apostle Paul called people to imitate him as he followed Christ.  In this letter Paul points the Ephesians to the supreme example!  “Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children and live a life of love, just a Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)

Sexual purity is required of those who imitate God.  God desires us to live a life that follows the pattern He set for them.  God made man to be a sexual being and chose to give man the responsibility and ability to be fruitful and multiply.  He designed this sexual union to take place between a man and a woman and that they would be committed to each other in this life.  Any sexual conduct outside of marriage between a man and a woman is considered immoral by God.  (Ephesians 5:3-5)  It is also considered idolatry and no idolater will inherit the kingdom of God!

To aid us in imitating God, God Himself has given us the Holy Spirit.  We are commanded to be filled and refilled with the Holy Spirit.  This keeps us focused on the Lord and gives us spiritual power to live a life pleasing to God in all aspects.  As the Holy Spirit is submitted to God the Father and Christ, so we must submit to one another.  There is perfect unity in the Holy Trinity.  God desires this unity in our homes and marriages.

Wives are to submit to their husbands as to the Lord.  (Ephesians 5:22)  Christ has set the husband over the wife in authority to bring order to the home.  Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.  (Ephesians 5:25)  As we obey the Lord and live a life full of the Holy Spirit, God uses the proper order in the home as an example of Christ and His bride the Church!  (Ephesians 5:32)  This enables the children to see an example that they will imitate as well!  Lord, fill us with your Holy Spirit!

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