So, you’re a seasoned actor. You have played the role of Matthew Cuthbert in Anne of Green Gables and Winston Churchill in the documentary Churchill at War. Your newest assignment is to play Billy Graham in the upcoming movie The Presidents’ Preacher. Every spare minute you have, you’re researching the life of the late Billy Graham. You watch every old video you can get your hands on. You study his facial expressions, posture, body movements and how he repeatedly sliced the air with his hands. You listen to his intonations, his distinctive dialect, etc. You have read his autobiography Just as I Am twice – all 760 pages and you’re halfway through it again. You’re trying to get right into the character. You want to think like he thought, talk like he talked, walk like he walked, laugh like he laughed and look like he looked.

But just recently God has saved you. Everything has changed. You abandon your plans to see a break-through on Broadway or Hollywood. Signing the big contracts, getting lead roles and picking up an Oscar is no longer a goal in your life.

Living for Christ excites you now. Pleasing Him, following Him, submitting to Him, honouring Him, working for Him, and eventually, seeing Him, and being with Him – all of these together is the one big motivator in your life now.

You are reading your Bible and loving every minute of it. But, this morning, you came across a verse that gave you a flashback to your old life:

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

Imitate God? You look up the word on your Bible software program. What does it mean to imitate God? You discover that from the same Greek word come our English words such as mimicking and miming. Of course, we all know what it means to copy, follow or model, as closely as possible, a pattern. In this verse, the pattern is God.

You are to imitate God. You are to act as God would act and behave as God would behave if He was in the world today. In your former life, when you were given a role to play, you did everything possible to get into the psyche of the character. You wanted to so immerse yourself in your character-study that it would be evident on stage you thoroughly knew your character.

To get to know God more and more – there’s only one way to go about it. Study Him. Spend time with Him. He left you His written Word – the Bible. Everything He wants you to know about Himself, He has given to you in writing. In the context of Ephesians 5:1 – the subjects of forgiveness and love are in view. Imitate God in the way He forgave you of your sins. Imitate God’s love, by loving your brothers and sisters and neighbours.

Breathe out prayers as you read your Bible.

“Lord, I am reading the very words You left for me. I want to know You more and more so my behaviour will become more and more like You. I want to love what You love and hate what You hate. I want to authentically reflect Your character as I live/perform on the stage of life and others observe me. Let them see You through me.”

Abandon your plans to follow the world more closely. Don’t imitate the world. Imitate God.

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ
Peter Ramsay

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