Imitators Of Christ

6th August

Imitate God, therefore in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”

Ephesians 5:1-2

What is true love? Going the extra mile? Doing something you don’t want to do to make someone else happy? Or is it just being kind to everyone? Well you could answer all of the above yet the greatest example of love was Christ’s sacrifice for us.

Sacrificial love

Paul tells us in his wonderful writings, here in Ephesians, that Jesus offered Himself up as a sacrifice for us. That means that He surrendered every Heavenly privilege to come down to this earth as a servant. He gave Himself completely for our sakes. He gave Himself 100%. Even when we didn’t deserve it, He gave Himself up for us. Sacrificial love means loving without thinking about your own privileges, rights or what you can get out of it in return.

Un-conditional love

Jesus’ unconditional love meant that He loved us, even when we were sinners. In other words, He loves us no matter what we do, not expecting anything in return and without limit. His love flows from a bottomless pit. There is no end. If we are to love with that same love, then we need to understand God’s love for us and love with that same love. If we try and love in our strength, it will be conditional but when we love with Jesus’ love, we just keep on giving love. Jesus didn’t stop giving love even when He was being beaten or mocked. He just kept loving. That is our marker!

1 John 4: 12 tells us that although no-one has seen God face to face, He can be revealed through the love that is expressed in our lives. In fact it says that if God live in us, then the FULL expression of His love can be seen through us. That is powerful. Jesus is our standard. Let His full love be expressed through you.

We Love Because We Are Loved

5th August

This is real love – not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.”

1 John 4:10-11

When Jesus took our place on the cross, not only did He sacrifice Himself for us, but demonstrated how much God loved us, as He allowed His only Son to die for us. If that picture is too hard to understand, imagine this.

God Himself, came to Earth in the form of a human, the very people He created. He allowed Himself to give up His Heavenly rights and made Himself lower than a servant. He allowed Himself to be tempted in every way, for our sake’s to help us in our suffering and weaknesses, yet He was victorious because He never sinned. He allowed Himself to be ridiculed at the very hands of those He gave breath to. He gave up His right to defend Himself and allowed Himself to be captured in the garden of tears by one of His so called ‘friends’. He went through that so He could relate to us when we feel let down or abandoned. He was whipped, shamed, beaten and tortured. His body was broken and frail, yet all He could think about was you and I.

Furthermore, scripture tells us that it was His joy to endure the cross, because He knew that His sacrifice would mean that we could have a renewed relationship with Him. He even knew that years later, He would still be abandoned by those who call themselves His ‘friends’, yet He still choose to sacrifice Himself for those people too. He knew that people would deny He ever existed, yet yes, He still choose to die for those people as well. In fact, it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us. He didn’t wait until we would become good again. He showered us with His love, even when we were sinners.

Friends, if we have been so loved but such a great God with such great love, then let us accept His love, and love others with that same love. May the world see Jesus’ love through our lives.