Food for Friday

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children. Ephesians 5:1

There is a very real reason why advertisers often put a disclaimer on many of their television ads: ‘Don’t try this yourself’. A number of years ago, the Reebok company pulled one of its ads which showed an athlete jumping over an oncoming car, because some teenagers in Kentucky were trying to do the computer-generated stunt for real. One of them broke his leg and ankle trying to perform the daredevil stunt. One television show got in trouble when a stuntman, among other things, tried lying on a barbecue in a fire-resistant suit with steaks attached. A 13-year-old in Connecticut suffered second-degree burns when he tried to imitate that trick. You and I might shake our heads, but there really are some people who lack the common sense that would prevent them from imitating such dangerous things. That type of imitation can be very dangerous. Other types of imitation can be childish or foolish, such as teenagers insisting on wearing the same styles as the movie and music stars they admire. But some imitation is good, as we see when teachers and coaches every day urge those they are instructing to imitate the way they do things. We all have people who we imitate because of things about them that we admire or appreciate. Many times, but not always, that form of imitation is good for us. But there is one form of imitation that is always good for us, and that is obeying today’s text by being followers, or imitators, of God.

Obviously, some of the attributes of God we cannot imitate. God is omnipotent, all powerful; we are not. God is omniscient, all knowing; we are not (regardless of the impression some people might try to give). But many attributes of God can, and should, be imitated. For example, God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18); neither should we. Leviticus 11:45 tells us ‘Ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy’. And in the very next verse, Ephesians 5:2, we have following appeal for imitation: ‘Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us’. This verse reminds us that God has not simply called us to imitate Him; He has given to us a perfect Example to follow.

Only the Lord Jesus could truthfully declare, ‘The Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please Him’ – John 8:29. As God, the Lord Jesus had both the desire and the capacity to always please the Father. As mortals, we lack that capacity, but we ought to have the desire. We have four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John describe to us how the Lord Jesus conducted Himself while among us. Reading, and following His example, will allow us to be imitators of God.

We are God’s dear children, why would we not want to follow Him? -Jim MacIntosh

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