A very good morning to you my precious family.
Ephesians 5:1-2 says “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
The late Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the famous missionary, medical doctor, and musician, was asked, “What is the best way to raise children?” He replied, “There are three ways: 1) By example, 2) By example, and 3) By example”. He was certainly right. By your actions, your words, and your attitudes in the home, your children learn to follow in your footsteps.
Paul puts it flatly, bluntly, openly: Be imitators of God. That is a great declaration. The word for imitators is the Greek word that means to mimic. Mimics are those who follow the pattern or the example of God. If you want to put it simply, you can say it this way: Be godlike. That is the goal of Christianity. It is to produce men and women, boys and girls, who are godlike in the midst of an ungodlike world. That is what it is all about.
Notice that it does not say, Be gods. That is the lie of the devil. He distorts the truth and makes it come out as a promise to us that if we follow our own desires, throw overboard all restrictions, cast aside the bonds of authority, and do what we want to do, we can be gods. For, after all, isn't that what God does? He does what He wants; He is sovereign; He does what He likes. But that is a lie. We cannot be gods.
The Christian faith says, “rather be godlike, meaning, reflect the one true and holy God.” There is only one God. There can be only one God. By definition, God is a supreme being. How many supreme beings can you have? Only one.
Therefore, the Christian message is to be like the one true God. Reflect Him in your humanity. Be a godlike man. Be a godlike woman. From this we get our English word godly. After all, this word godly, which makes many of us cringe and feel uncomfortable, is simply a shortened form of the word godlike. It originally came from the word godlikeness. Godlikeness is godliness; godliness is godlikeness.
What will you be like if you are godlike? Will you be strong? Yes, of course. There is no strength like God's strength.
Will you be filled with power if you are godlike? Oh yes, but be careful. It is a different kind of power than the world desires. It is quieter, less apparent, but far mightier.
Will you be happy if you are godlike? Oh yes, but a different kind of happiness than the world is seeking after.
Will you be wise and kind? Of course, wiser and kinder than you have ever been before, because that is what God is.
We can sum all this up in two words. Despite all the works of God that are evident around us, both in the natural world and in the world of thought and ideas, there are really only two things that God ever does in human history: God creates and He redeems.
Those are the two things. Everything in the whole universe gathers about these two. God makes things live, and God heals that which is broken. It is because God is life and God is love. He is therefore our Maker and our Healer. And that is what you will be if you become godly. You will learn how to live to the fullest capacity of your humanity. And you will learn how to love and to heal, to restore and bring together instead of to scatter and fragment and break apart. For that is godlikeness. It is desirable, isn't it? Who does not want to be like this?
We must spend time in His presence, allow Him to leave His mark on us and submit to His shaping. He will kindle a fire in us and He will make you and me bold. We will become an imitator of God and an example for others to follow.
As born again believers, Romans 8:2 reminds us that we are free from the law of sin and death to live in the righteousness of God.
1 Timothy 4:12 reminds us that we are responsible to be imitators of God and to be examples “in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity”. That may seem like a tall order, but once again, the Lord Jesus equips us with all that we need.
When we spend time with the Lord Jesus, we become more like Him. When we spend time in His Word, we begin to see things His way. When we spend time communicating with Him, our prayers become powerful and effective. We begin to speak His heart into situations. When we follow Him and step in His footprints, we begin to look a lot like Him Who “is the image of the invisible God” as Colossians 1:15 says. We become imitators and examples.
After Moses spent time with God on Mount Sinai, he descended the mountain with the stone tablets in hand, his face was aglow from being in the presence of the Lord. His countenance was kindled by the Light of God. In Acts 4:13, the crowds marvelled at Peter and John when these uneducated and untrained men stood and boldly compelled others to accept the good news, but the people “realized that they had been with Jesus”.
When we spend time with the Lord Jesus, He leaves a mark on us that can be seen by those with whom we do life. He moulds us, He shapes us, and He leaves His fingerprints all over us.
Let us pray.
Dear Lord Jesus, stamp me with Your signature. Mark me as Yours. As I spend time with You, let me look like You, speak like You, act like You, and love like You. Make me the image of our Father. Father, this is what I have always wanted to be like. Teach me to listen that there might break out in our lonely, bewildered, confused age and help me to live a godly life so that others may see You in me. In Jesus’ Mighty name. Amen
Much love and blessings to you from Maurice and Margaret.