Monday, August 10, 2015

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Be Imitators of Christ 


Jebin Yohannan
St. Andrews MTC, New York
1."Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children"

There are a few candles that refused to be taken from a storage closet to provide light during an electrical storm and they all gave reasons why they cannot give off light. The husband tells the wife that the candles won’t work and the wife explains, ‘Oh, they’re church candles.’ From Max Lucado’s Book “God Came Near – Chronicles Of The Christ” 1987.
 

Throughout the Bible, we are given the charge to be in the likeness of God. But we can and should ask the question “Why? Why imitate God?” The answers are many, but to begin with, as Christians, we are His adopted children and thus we are part of His family. Children take the characteristics from the family they belong to. They adopt those characteristics into their behavior, replacing behaviors which are inherent to that child’s predisposition. This is how a child matures and develops into a part of their family.

Being a part of God’s family is no different than being a part of a biological family. We are born into a community that instructs us how to live according to the family’s understanding of what makes life correct and meaningful. In His family, love is basic; it is foundational; it is the truth that defines all of our actions, all of our living. Our model, showing us how to live correctly as a healthy family member, is Jesus.
In the Old Testament, sacrifice was the people’s way of showing their loyalty to their Creator God. However, that was not the offering that God was really looking for. The living sacrifice of Jesus was the fragrant offering that truly pleased the Father. It was how He lived, and through what He did, that He initiated what life should be in a true family. He showed and encouraged others to live into that family. He restored not only correct relationship with God, but in doing so, enabled the peoples’ understanding of the Father’s instruction regarding how His family was to live their lives.
It is when God’s family lives according to His design that the Father is pleased. The sacrifice God looks for is not demonstrated by animal sacrifices, but by living in obedience to His way. This is the type of sacrifice that our God has always intended and was modeled by Jesus. It is this kind of sacrificial life, lived by sons or daughters that will bring His world back to righteousness and goodness. It is a result of holy living that all creation will be restored. The scent of this kind of offering is the most pleasing fragrance to him. It is then, as the Church, we become the useful candles.


PRAYER


Jesus, you are the light of the world and have commissioned us to continue that responsibility. While we should joyfully live into that work, too often the light is short lived. We repent of our ingratitude, self-centeredness, and sinfulness and humbly ask that you come into our lives and help us to do what is right moment-to-moment. It is our desire to be children that bring you joy, that make you smile when you watch us live as children of God. 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
“Jesus has now many lovers of the heavenly kingdom but few bearers of His cross.” Thomas √† Kempis, Imitation of Christ