Isaiah 51:1-53:12; Ephesians 5:1-35; Psalm 69:19-36; Proverbs 24:7
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life 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
Paul wanted to get the gospel message out to as many people as he could. Letter writing was one way, but it was limited. His solution: encourage those in the faith to imitate God. Having been forgiven by Him, now forgive. Having been loved unconditionally by Him, now love. Believers are only one degree away from God, because of Jesus! That’s close! Just think, those closest to us, are close to God.
Pretty humbling, I’d say.
Lord God, you became wondrous love for us. Love that sacrificed. Love that died. Love that rose from the dead. What wondrous love is this! That while we were mired in sin and shame, your love covered us, removed the guilt, wiped clean the slate. Thank you for drawing us close to you through faith. May we touch the lives of those around us with the gospel message–that love and forgiveness from Almighty God is so near, so very available, just a prayer away. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Where charity and love prevail
There God is ever found;
Brought here together by Christ’s love
By love are we thus bound.
With grateful joy and holy fear
His charity we learn;
Let us with heart and mind and soul
now love him in return.
Forgive we now each others’ faults
As we our faults confess,
And let us love each other well
In Christian holiness.
~9th Century Hymn