Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5:2)
This verse goes along with yesterday’s. One of the most powerful features of God’s character is his unending, unstoppable love. If we imitate him, as Ephesians 5:1 tells us to, we will live a life that mirrors that love.
And what an example we have to follow. Jesus loved us, and he told us in a way that goes far beyond words.
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
So how do we do that? I mean, laying down your life is all well and good if you’re rushing into a burning building to rescue people, or if you dive into traffic to save a toddler. But that opportunity doesn’t arise very often, and frankly, you can only do that trick once.
There is another way to lay down your life—but you probably don’t want to hear about it. This is the daily act of dying to yourself, of putting other people first. It’s the little things—taking out the trash even though it isn’t your turn, letting someone else have the last doughnut even though you’ve been salivating over it all morning, letting the other car in front of you at the onramp even though it means you have to slow down and why should you have to slow down why can’t they just wait their turn like everybody else and it would serve them right if you just stayed the course and forced them off the side of the road—
Yeah, it’s that kind of stuff. Not terribly dramatic; nothing to get you a mention in the paper, but loving nonetheless. That’s your challenge.
So, Beloved, what will your fragrant offering be today?