Imitating God – Godliness

Ephesians 5:1 “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.”  Young children learn by imitating their parents.  We learn how to walk, how to talk, how to use a fork or spoon, and many other things by seeing and hearing our parents do these things.  Yes, there may be instruction from our parents and that combines with what we see them do.  Sometimes we find it amusing to see a young child walking behind his father, imitating how he walks, how he uses his tools, how he stands, how he puts his hands on his hips, etc.  It is natural for us to imitate our earthly fathers and it certainly is natural and necessary for us to imitate our heavenly Father.

One way we are to be like our heavenly Father is in love.  We are told that God is love (1 John 4:8).  Not only should we be characterized by love as God is love, but we are to love all persons as He loves them.  Matthew 5:43-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?  Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”  

Another way we imitate God is in forgiveness:  Matthew 6:11-14 “And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.  And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.  For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” 

There are many ways we should imitate our heavenly Father.  Imitating Him is called godliness.  1 Timothy 4:7-8 “But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.  For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”  We have been given everything we need to know to be like God.  2 Peter 1:3-7 “As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.”  We need to work to add the characteristics of God to our lives (godliness). 

The following scripture is our encouragement.  2 Peter 3:10-11 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.  Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?”  Let us seek to imitate God.

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