Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 08-31-23

Intro: The other day I was watching our one year old granddaughter, Amana, mimic her father as they were playing in the kiddie pool. When our son, Jimmy, would spin or splash in the water, she would watch him and then try to do the same. When he would laughed or make faces in the spraying water, Amana would followed right along. It was such fun to see them playing together. Jimmy is an amazing man of God; a father filled with love. Amana loves and trusts her daddy, so she is very quick to imitate him.

In our passage today, the Apostle Paul encourages believers to be imitators of our Father. That seems like an impossible thing to accomplish, doesn’t it? God is so holy and just; his love is perfect and his compassion never fails. However, we know through the life, nature, and character of Christ we are to mimic him, because in following him we are pleasing to the Father. So, in the power of the Spirit, we need to approach life with that desire and obediently seek to mimic the One we confess to wholeheartedly and sacrificially love.

It is a tendency for believers to condemn unbelievers for their lifestyles, but I do not believe it is our place to do so even though we must never condone sin. Jesus did not model that action for us. With that said, I do believe it is our responsibility to pray and share the love of Christ with unbelievers so they will come to know the Lord. It is right for us to live the Word of God and to be ready to give our testimony. However, we are encouraged to help each other, as believers, stay the course in imitating Christ and allow the Light of Truth to shine through our transformed lives. Every believer is to mimic Christ—imitate God with his or her life. When we practice sin, we are children of disobedience—we are not imitating or following Christ. Let’s not pretend to be believers; instead, out of gratitude let’s challenge one another to live in the Light of God’s love.

Ephesians 5:1-6 NLT Living in the Light
1 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 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.

3 Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. 4 Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. 5 You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

6 Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him [children of disobedience].

Prayer: Lord, thank you for leaving such an amazing example for us to follow. It can be an overwhelming challenge to stay the course while in this world, Lord, but thank you Holy Spirit for always being there as our Helper. Thank you for surrounding us with other believers so we can help and challenge one another toward victorious living. We praise you for being our Shelter during the hurricane and we ask for ways to bless others while we all go through the cleanup process. For those hardest hit by the hurricane, we pray grace and provision for them. Please continue to guide and direct our lives. Lead us forward in your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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