“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)
Dearly Loved Children
The Apostle Paul’s encouragement from this verse to Christ-followers grabs at our heartstrings—tugging them tight—when referencing our relationship with the heavenly Father. I don’t know about you, but it blesses me to know that I am the Father’s dearly loved child! Therefore, I feel compelled to walk in the way of His love in an effort to please Him.
Pleasing Aroma of Our Faith
Paul gives yet another stirring image to consider here when he said that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for us wafted up to the heavens like a fragrant offering before the Lord. This sensation and reality is true for every Christ-follower when we respond in obedience—walking out Jesus’ way of love before the watching world. We get to bless and please the Father with the aroma of our faith and sacrifice on display.
Staying in Step with God
So how do we walk out Christ’s way of love?
I think it’s a lot like the way a toddler tries desperately to keep up with his loving father so that he can grab his daddy’s hand and stay in step with him. Likewise, every time you and I, as Christ-followers, chase after Jesus and stay in step with our loving Father, we walk out God’s way of love.
That might mean being willing to lay down our comforts and preferences in our marriages, so that Christ is honored by our devotion to Him.
It might mean giving financially to someone in need, even if it stretches us in a lean season.
It could mean forgiving and showing compassion to someone who has purposely hurt us—doing so in an effort to follow Christ’s example of forgiveness and love toward us.
Whatever opportunity God walks toward in your life today, be sure to stay in step with Him—knowing it will not only bless those you give to, but please your heavenly Father by how you’re walking out His love.