Imitators – Week of March 20, 2017

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 1984)

ECME Devotion – March 20, 2017

Devotion based on Ephesians 5:1-2

See series: ECME Devotions

As I look around my classroom, I can see young children learning through their play. In one center, a group is playing kitchen. They are making dinner and talking with one another while serving each other the food. It is clear that they are imitating the way they see their parents make dinner. In another center, there is a group pretending to fix the broken book shelf. They are measuring boards and pounding pretend nails. They have seen someone in their life try to fix things and are imitating the behavior. Finally, I see a group sitting in a circle at the center playing school. If I listen closely, I can even hear the children use the exact words that I use! Children learn by watching and then doing, they are imitators! These verses from the book of Ephesians command us to be imitators of God and to live a life of love. We are to do what God has done for us, show love to our neighbor.

Now the command in these verses is no easy feat! How many times do we get frustrated with a parent? How often do we get impatient with a coworker? Instead of frustration and impatience, the Lord urges us to show love. Love includes kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. Thankfully, we have the perfect example to imitate, Christ himself. He loved you and me so much that he gave himself as an offering to God on our behalf. We are sinners, but our sins have been wiped away through the sacrifice that Christ made! We are forgiven and dearly loved children of God. This example of Christ is what gives us the motivation and ability to imitate the love that was shown to us. Just as a child imitates an example set before them, so you and I can boldly be imitators of God! Through his example of love and forgiveness, we can sincerely love and forgive our neighbors as well. When we feel ourselves struggling to show love, we lift our eyes to the cross, where we find the perfect demonstration of love.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to offer himself as a sacrifice on our behalf. Thank you for demonstrating a deep love for each one us. Please give us strength as we imitate your love in our lives. In your name, we pray. Amen.

A Question to Consider: How can we teach the young children in our care to be imitators of God?

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.