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Introduction to the month of June

Looking back over 27 years of ministry, I’ve come to realize one of the great challenges as Christians is to be consistent in our daily walk with the Lord.

Chosen by the Father, redeemed in Christ, born again and sanctified by the Holy Spirit – all by grace, how must we now live Corum Deo, before the face of God? How are our lives as Christians to be uniquely different from those of the world?

How? Ephesians 5 provides the answer. We are to be imitators of God. We are to walk in love. We are to walk in light. We are to walk in wisdom. What does that look like? Well, let’s walk through these passages together in the coming month. It is also my goal to write these devotionals simple enough for children and young people to engage in further discussion together during family devotions.

Be imitators of God

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. – Ephesians 5:1

Scripture reading: Ephesians 5:1-7

God, through the apostle Paul, issues a command, “Therefore be imitators of God…”  Notice, God is not merely making a helpful suggestion or offering believers some good advice for our careful and prayerful consideration. No, this is a command. Do this! The word translated here as “imitator” is from the Greek word meaning “to mimic” or “to copy”. God is actually commanding us to mimic or copy Him. We are to be just like Him.

The command to be God-like takes us back to the dawn of creation.“Then God said. “Let Us make man in our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). God is the eternal Creator and we are but mere creatures, and yet, God created us in His image and likeness to be just like Him.

To be made in God’s image means that, as prophets, we can know God and tell others the truth about God and everything He has made and done. As priests, we can offer ourselves to God in our service of love and obedience to Him. As kings, we can fight against sin and evil and rule with God over the works of His creation. The creation of man in God’s image at the dawn of creation indicates that we were created by God to be imitators of God to His praise, glory and honor.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that the Holy Spirit will empower you more and more to be the image-bearer of God that He created you to be.

Rev. Henry Van Olst felt called to the ministry at the age of 32 after 12 years of working in the accounting field. He served the Parkland Reformed Church (URC) of Ponoka, Alberta from 1993 to 2005; served in several other churches, and upon retirement in 2020 moved back to Ponoka, Alberta along with his wife Mary, to be closer to their four married children and fifteen grandchildren. Rev. Van Olst remains active in preaching and teaching as the church is currently vacant. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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