Monday, February 19, 2007


Ephesians 5:1

We have all seen children imitating their parents. Little girls love to play dress up and put on their mothers’ clothes and make up. Little boys like to do the things their dads do. I remember wanting to drive the car. I used to climb into the car and sit behind the steering wheel and pretend I was driving on a long trip. I wanted to be like my dad. My dad was a deacon in our church and on communion Sundays I used to watch him sitting in the front of the church with all the other deacons and then serving communion. I wanted so much to be a deacon like him and be able to serve communion! I was the batboy for our church softball team. I could hardly wait until I was old enough to play on that team like my dad.

I wanted to be like my dad so I watched him and imitated him. But I only wanted to be like him because I admired him so much. He loved me so much and so well that I could imagine nothing better than growing up to be like him. I was a dearly loved son and children who are dearly loved want to be like their parents. Paul tells us that we are to begin being imitators of God because we are dearly loved children! Can there be any doubt in your mind that you are a dearly loved child of God? When you realize the grace and mercy he demonstrated in lifting us from the depths of our own hopeless despair, can you doubt that we are his dearly loved children? When you think about the fact that he brought us into his kingdom and cleaned us up and clothed us with the righteous robes of his only begotten Son, can you doubt we are his dearly loved children? If you know how much God loves you as his child then you will have a longing to please him and be like him. The motivation we find for becoming imitators of God is that we are his dearly loved children!

One of the greatest joys I have experienced as a dad was watching my kids mimic me. When Aaron and Caleb were small we lived on Lake Michigan. For awhile there, whenever we went to the beach Caleb would insist on taking Aaron out into the water and baptizing him. It was so funny to watch this little three- or four-year-old kid make his big brother get down on his knees in the water while he baptized him! It brings a parent great joy to see his dearly loved child mimic him. It is God’s goal for us that we would become imitators of him!

Do you know someone who is a good mimic? Someone who is excellent at imitating accents or mimicking people? I have a secret…my wife is an excellent mimic. I don’t mean to say she does impersonations, but she does a great job imitating people. She gets just the right voice inflections and word pronunciations and then adds a little tone of voice and a gesture or two and it can really make me laugh. It amazes me! She can listen to a person for just a few minutes and do an excellent imitation. How does she do it? I’ll tell you. People who are excellent mimics have special abilities of observation. They watch and listen and pick up on details that most of us miss and those details are the very things that remind us of the person they are imitating.

Why am I saying all this? The way I learned to imitate my dad was by living with him, watching him closely, listening to him as he spoke, and spending time talking with him. This is exactly the way we will be able to imitate God! We need to live in his presence. We must learn to know him well. We have to talk to him and listen to him. How does one live in the presence of God? It is a decision we make. It is a difficult decision because it requires a lot of time and effort. You need to say to yourself, “I am going to live in the presence of God!” Then you need to do it! You have to make a conscious effort to be aware that he is right there with you all the time. Decide to be aware that you are always living with God. Watch him! What does that mean? Be alert to the things God is doing in your life and in your world. Look for the hand of God everywhere, every day! Get to know him intimately. How do we do that? We read the Bible carefully, looking for God’s attributes on every page. We look at history and see the kinds of things he does. We learn about him by listening to him tell us how he wants us to live. We have to be willing to invest the time to sit quietly at God’s feet and listen for his voice. That is why I say we have to make a conscious decision to live actively in the presence of God and learn what he is like so we can imitate him!

Look at it this way, if you are being shaped by the world and the people of the world then you are not imitating God. But if you are making an on purpose decision to imitate God you will no longer be under the influence of the world. You cannot imitate God and be conformed to the world at the same time! This is how we are shaped into the image of Christ! This is how we put on the “new man created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness!” This is the true Christian life!


At 7:07 AM, Blogger jazzycat said...

Amen Dave,
Excellent points. Go to Scripture to learn about God and be imitators of Jesus.


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