9/11 Ephesians 5:1-2

1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

The verse just before our verse for today was in yesterday's devotional. It told us to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving, because that is how God has been toward us. Paul goes on to say that we should act the same way God does because we are His beloved children. A good child should desire to honor his or her parents by imitating their good qualities.

The ultimate expression of God is love. To imitate God is to live a life of loving others. Jesus showed us how to do that by His daily life, comforting the hurting and instructing His disciples. He taught the truth to His enemies, even when He knew it would mean His death on a cross. He comforted the hurting and instructed His disciples.

The greatest example of love was His willingness to go to the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. In the Old Testament, animal sacrifices that were completely consumed on the altar were said to be a pleasing aroma to God (Exodus 29:18). Those sacrifices pointed forward to Jesus giving Himself up completely as a sacrifice for our sins. His offering of Himself was a pleasing aroma to God because it was love that had him give up His life so that we might live. When we sacrificially serve others with the love of God, our service is a fragrant offering to God. It is to imitate the way He has been toward us.

Consider: Love motivated Jesus' words and actions. They were a demonstration of His love for the Father and for us. To act out of the same motivation is to imitate God. May He ever help us do so!