Scripture: Ephesians 5:1-2 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
Our life should exemplify and model God’s heart. God in Christ, the essence of love incarnate, walked among us and died on the cross because of love. His mission was motivated by love for others. He gave Himself up for us on the cross. His mangled and bloodied body hung from the tree as an offering, once and for all- a sacrifice to God to appease divine anger against evil (which is what we are)- which God accepted with pleasure like a sweet aroma. His sacrifice, His laying down his life for his friends (in truth, his enemies) is an indiscribably loving action which we would do well to imitate in our lives. Most of us will not actually lose our breath because of our sacrifice. However, we may decide to sacrifice what is most dear to us such as our hopes and dreams so that the hopes and dreams of others might be realized. We might seek to decrease our own status and recognition so that others in our sphere might increase. We would do well to consider others more important than ourselves and thus take humiliation from those whom we may even think foolish, unreasonable, and even evil because that is the way of the cross of our Lord, Jesus.
Prayer: Father, You are the fountain and foundation of all that is true and good and beautiful. My sickness is that I am self-serving and self-glorifying. I think that somehow I can set the standard for goodness. While comparing myself to others I either fill with pride because I think that I am “better” or fill with hypocricy because I fake that I am “better” even though in reality I am much worse. I often fail to look to Christ not only for my standard but for my righteousness. Thank you for giving yourself up for me on the cross so that your life in me is a sweet aroma to God. Help me to model your actions with my own. Not for my own glory but for your sake and for your glory alone- because only you are worthy to be praised. In Jesus name, Amen.