Imitators

Hello! Unfortunately, technology has betrayed us once again — the batteries died on the recorder! So, I’ll do my best to summarize the wonderful lesson from Pastor Steve as he continued his teaching on being salt and light. But first, the Call to Worship.

Call to Worship
Psalm 16
1 Keep me safe, my God,
    for in you I take refuge.

2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
    “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
    I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
    or take up their names on my lips.

5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

This week, Pastor Steve took us into the book of Ephesians.

Ephesians 5:1-2 says that we need to be imitators of God. We need to model our conduct after Christ, Who gave His life for us. Our “Thought for the Week” in our bulletin talked about this, too. We have been looking at Greek words each week, and this week’s reading said, “The word ‘imitators’ comes from the Greek word mimétés. This is the same root word as our English word ‘mimic.’ It means exactly what you’d think it does: an imitator or emulator; properly, the positive imitation that arises by admiring the pattern set by someone worthy of emulation. There is no one more worthy of imitating that God, who sent His Son to be a perfect example for us to follow…. To be like God, and to set ourselves to resemble Him, is the sum of all Christian duty.”

Other verses also call us to be imitators of God. Ephesians 3:19 tells us to be filled with all the fullness of God. Our goal is to be like Him. Matthew 5:48 says we are to be perfect as our Father is perfect. There is no way we can ever do this on our own. That is why God sent His Son. 2 Corinthians 5:21 explains that Christ became sin for us, so that by His death on the cross and His resurrection, our sin could be wiped away when we repent — so we can become righteous, right with God and able to be in His presence.

Ephesians 5:3-7 tells us some of the ways to imitate God while we are in the world. Just as Romans 12:2 told us, we are to be different from the rest of the world, not conformed to it. Deception surrounds us at all times; it is one of Satan’s greatest tools. So, we need to remember to test those things that are spoken or given to us, to make sure that they are God’s truth, not just what we want to hear, as 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22 and 1 John 4:1 remind us.

And, finally, Ephesians 5:8-10 takes us right back to where this all began: we are children of light in this dark world, meant to shine the love of God onto others. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we are rescued from the darkness (Colossians 1:13). Those spiritual forces which are battling against us cannot overcome us when we are walking in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:2, Galatians 5:25, Ephesians 6:12). If we follow Him, we will not walk in darkness any longer (John 8:12); we are God’s holy people, called into the Light (1 Peter 2:9).

Christ gave His life for us. It is our reasonable service (Romans 12:1 NKJV) to give all that we have to be like Him: lights in the darkness.

Have a blessed week!