Imitating Christ - The Crosswalk Devotional - March 15

The Crosswalk Devotional

Imitating Christ 
By Emily Rose Massey

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:1-2, ESV). 

I am a mom of three boys, and I have many nicknames for them, but one of my favorites is “my little monkeys” because they seem to be so good at copying whatever one of them does. You know, monkey see, monkey do? From silly little dances to repeating funny phrases, you can tell these boys are brothers and best buds. Yet, with my youngest being only two years old, we have to be very careful what we say or do around him because he is learning all kinds of new words and emotions and how to handle them. It’s my husband's and I’s jobs as parents to guide our children on what kind of words and behavior honors and glorifies God. When they sin and disobey, we lovingly correct and teach them how we must go to the Lord in repentance, asking Him to help us when we are tempted to sin or disobey. We also help them understand this better when we live this out and model it for them. Children naturally imitate who they are around the most. The environment they grow up in truly shapes them as a person. It’s important that, as believers, we are continually pointing them to Christ, His Word, and His ways. 

This is all true for us as children of God. We are to be imitators not of the world but of Christ. After the Apostle Paul explains how the body of Christ is to be knit together and show Christ’s love and mercy toward one another, he echoes that sentiment as he encourages the church at Ephesus to imitate God:

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:1-2, ESV).

One of the best ways we can imitate God is to continually love others sacrificially like Christ. This way of living is an offering to the Lord as we learn to lay our life down for others and prefer them above ourselves. But just like how little ones need to be modeled godly behavior, we need to surround ourselves with others who walk as ones who are Christ-exalting and Christ-honoring in all they say and do. 

Intersecting Faith and Life:
We are called to imitate Christ, so it’s important that we look to those who have gone before us as we look to the scriptures and heed the instructions of the prophets and apostles and Christ Himself. We also look to the leaders and mentors the Lord has placed in our life. We can learn so much from the Apostle Paul in the scriptures. His existence was filled with suffering and pain, yet he faced it with joy and bold confidence in the Lord. We see through his life that we can trust that the Lord gives us the courage to say no to comfort and ease and yes to suffering for God’s glory. As Jesus’ disciples, we are called to follow Him. That was Paul’s mission in life – to imitate Christ. And it is what he and the rest of the apostles literally gave their lives to preach to the world through their words and actions. We may not ever get the honor to literally die for Jesus Christ because of our faith in Him, but by God’s grace, we can imitate His selflessness every day. 

When we look to the Scriptures and our godly leaders who also help us rightly divide God’s Word and equip us to serve and minister, we can have the courage to lay our life down for the cause of Christ and proclaim His glorious gospel so that others may come to know Jesus and live for Him too. Christianity is not passive but active. It’s a life of obedience to the King in and through our lives, all for God’s glory. We rest in God’s grace which fuels the Christian’s exertion to serve the King. We must remember that we are not just saved from our sins; we are saved for a purpose and Kingdom mission. We are to run the race set before us and live a life motivated by glorifying Christ. Let’s fix our eyes upon Christ, abiding in His Word, and link arms with those He has placed in our lives as we learn how to walk in Christlikeness together. 

Further Reading:

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Boonyachoat

headshot of Emily MasseyEmily Massey began writing short stories and poetry as a little girl, entered the blogging world in her early 20s, and published her first book in 2015. She enjoys being a stay-at-home momma while still being able to pursue her passion as a writer. Believing she has been forgiven much, she loves much, and desires to point others to Christ and His redemptive and transforming power, especially by sharing truth found in God’s written Word. If you would like to connect with Emily, you can visit www.emilyrosemassey.com

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