Ephesians 4:30-5:2 (NRSV)

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. 31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.       

1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2 and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.      

Ephesians 5:1-2 (NRSV)

1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2 and live in love, as Christ loved us  and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.   

DEVOTION – Anita Dualeh (Minnesota)

Our Two-year-old son, Caleb, loves to imitate his mommy and daddy.  He likes to try on our slippers and shoes and clomp around in them.  He wants to vacuum or shovel snow when one of his parents is doing the task.  He often repeats our sentences, mimicking the intonation exactly.

Caleb’s longing is a universal desire of children.  And child-development experts suggest that such imitated actions present powerful lessons to a young child, leaving lasting impressions on the developing mind.

Our son’s imitation helps us understand Paul’s instruction in Ephesians 5:1.  Because God is our heavenly Father, it is natural and right to imitate him.  Through such imitation we learn how to live most fully.

We learn how to love others by trying to love them as God does.  We learn compassion, generosity, and forgiveness by practicing them in our daily lives.  The more we imitate God, the easier and more natural it becomes.  Through imitation, we become known as God’s children.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: How well do I imitate God in word and deed?

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, fill us with the childlike desire to be like you.  Draw us closer to you, and fill us with your love for those around us.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: TO REFLRCT GOD’S LOVE TO THOSE AROUND ME

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