Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Ephesians 5:1-20

In today's reading, Paul encourages the Ephesian Church to be imitators of God. But how does one imitate God? What does Paul mean by this? I submit it is simple, live a life full of love. As C. S. Lewis says, "When I have learned to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now."

I am certainly not the best subject for this, but the best way I know to show love and thus to teach others about Christ is through example. As the English author Samuel Johnson once wrote, "Example is always more effective than teaching." Albert Schweitzer said, "Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing." Children become like parents, churches become like pastors, and students become like teachers all because the power of example.

Ephesians 5 begins with an appeal to this principle of showing others the love of Christ by the way we live our lives, "Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children; and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us..." Living a life in which others can see the love of Christ is certainly not easy. However, it is what each of us as Christians are called to do. We are called to love God, to put others before ourselves, and to live our lives in a way that demonstrates this to others.

The Great Commission that Christ gave to each of us is to go out and spread the Word. There are many ways to spread the Word, but one of the most powerful is by the example we set in our daily life. By setting this example, God will open doors for you to discuss your faith with others. This happened to me. We where having a very tough day at work when someone asked me how I was able to stay so calm. This opened the door to a discussion about my faith. This person has since joined their local church.

Setting the proper example is not always easy. When you feel down you might find it difficult to set a good example - I know I do. When this happens to you remember to thank God for the strength to carry on and remember God's love will see you through. Another example Christ gave us.

Wishing you much success in your walk with Christ,
Richard Leach

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