“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”Ephesians 5:1-2
In every Freedom That Lasts class we quote I Peter 1:5-7 and verse 10. These verses speak of the virtues of Jesus Christ and are the core principles of Freedom That Lasts. The curriculum of Freedom That Lasts deals with these behaviors and characteristics of Christ and build on each other. Each chapter in the book details a specific virtue and the final virtue is love. As one goes through the book, there are statements, memorization and reading that must be done to complete the sections in the book. I find the curriculum to be a great source of spiritual growth, and I am thankful for how God has used these virtues in my life.
I think back to the final virtue noted in the book -love, and it is one of the hardest to live out in our life. Love is a word that is thrown around, but its practice is quite difficult. I can think of many instances in my life where I was shown love and the sacrifice people made to express that love to me. I think back to the times where I was not lovable, yet people still found it within themselves to love me. I think of my Heavenly Father who had all the dirt on me, but He still chose to love me and die for me. I think of how He was walking to the cross and could hear the blasphemy and hate, but yet He pushed Himself forward as He pursued the joy that was set before Him. He did not choose when, where, and whom to love, but He walked in love as it was part of his character. Loved oozed out of His very being, and it was a love that mirrored His Father’s love. Every moment of Jesus’ life was filled with love for use as He came to seek and to save that which was lost.
I am convicted by these verses and the events in my life where I am not walking in love. I find times where I am walking with my own desire and welfare and not walking as I should. I find times where I react to things with my own interests in mind, and not out of the love to which I have been called. I find times where others do not see the love of God in me that I should outwardly express. I think of His love for me and how nothing in the world should be able to contain that love that has been shown to me. I think of the woman at the well and how Jesus showed love and compassion on her even though He knew the unflattering details of her life. I think of His love for me even though He knew all about my shenanigans and sinful deeds. I can think of no better example of how to love than to look up to my Savior who gave all for me.
Where are you today friend? Do others know who your Father is by your life? Do others desire to follow you as you follow your God? Do you love those who are different than you? Are you thankful for the love God has showed you? Are you thankful for the sweet smelling sacrifice of Jesus Christ? I have heard the phrase, “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck.” May the same be said about our love being reflective of our Heavenly Father– “walks like God, loves like God, must be of God.” Amen!