Monday, September 5, 2011

Are You "In Love"? Part 3

We have come to the end of this brief series on what it means to be “in love,” according to several passages in the book of Ephesians. Ephesians 5:1,2 says this: “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” (emphasis added).
Once again, here is the picture of a child.  Children are like their parents.  I thought it was humbling to be married, until I had children!  In my experience so far in life, there is nothing more humbling than having a daughter or son.  They mirror us!  In them we see a reflection of ourselves: how we talk, what we say, what we do, how we think and react, even what we value.  As Christians, we are to “be imitators of God as beloved children.”  And one way we can imitate God is to walk (live a life) in love, the way Christ loved us.  
And just how did Jesus Christ love us?  He gave Himself up for us.
Jesus gave Himself up physically as the final sacrifice, the Lamb of God.  Obviously God does not require this of us!  But there are so many other ways He gave of Himself that we can walk in as well:
    • By giving others “our” time, rearranging a schedule
    • Considering others more important (see Philippians 2:3)
    • Putting the desires and interests of others above our own (Philippians 2:4)
    • Actively looking for opportunities to serve and minister to others
How about bringing this full-circle, back to Ephesians 4:2?  Every time we respond to others with humility, gentleness, patience, and tolerance (all done for the sake of love), we give of ourselves in some form!  We do battle against our flesh any time we respond in ways that honor God rather than seeking our own honor.
So how is your “love life?”  Honestly, mine could use some improvement!  I continually see areas where I put my desires, my plans, myself above others (yes, again, especially my husband!).  I recognize that I do not respond with humility, gentleness, patience, and tolerance as I ought to.  Praise God for His grace!  While my sin is great, His grace is far greater (see Romans 5:20).  Because of grace, God forgives me and doesn’t leave me where I am at right now.  He continues to change me and make me reflect Jesus a little more accurately (even if I don’t see it, I know He is somehow doing it!).  
May we rest in His grace to forgive, and walk in His grace to change.
Enjoy His blessings,

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