Different members of our church family write these reflections each week to go along with the two year reading plan the church is participating in. It is our hope that these reflections help you to get in to your Bible throughout the week and be challenged by the word of God.
Read Ephesians 5:1-2 (Monday 9/11)
Have you ever known a kid who was just like his parents? Not just in looks, but in mannerisms as well? Kids often do things the way their parents do because they observe and then imitate them. One of the ways little kids learn is through doing things with their parents – they learn how to behave by watching their parents and participating in an activity together.
When we are commanded in Ephesians to imitate God as beloved children, think of it in the same way that little kids learn from their parents. God, the perfect Father, acts with us, enabling us through His Holy Spirit. And as we work with Him, observing how He does things, we learn to act like Him and it is obvious that we belong to the same family. Even Jesus took His cues from His Father – looking to Him and only doing what He was doing (John 5:19).
So how exactly does the Father act – what should I be doing to imitate Him? Verse two explains how God acts – in love. And Ephesians is chock full of examples and instructions on what that looks like practically. If you read a bit further, you’ll learn what that looks like in husband-wife, parent-child, and master-servant relationships. Take some time this week to OBSERVE God – read His Word and look at how the rest of Ephesians describe healthy relationships. After you’ve observed Him, IMITATE what you see, knowing that you become like Him not in your own strength, and as His beloved child.
How does the fact that I am a child of God change the way I follow Him?
What one passage or verse in Ephesians stands out to me as a way I need to imitate God?
Read Psalm 10 (Saturday 9/16)
Take a look at the first 11 verses of Psalm 10 – wat kind of emotions do you hear? The Psalmist is questioning God – asking Him why He seems so far away and is not acting to stop evil men from hurting the innocent. And look at the attitude of those evil men – they exploit the poor and think God has forgotten and doesn’t see the evil things they do.
When you look at the events happening here in Chicago, in the States, and around the world, do you ask along with the Psalmist, “Why God? Why don’t you act?” When people take advantage of you or those you love, do you ask God why He allowed it to happen? The Psalmist had the same questions, and He brought them to God.
Things shift, however, in verse 14 – “But you do see…” And the psalmist goes on to express His confidence in who God is and that He will act. Note the action words in verses 14-18: God sees, He notes wrongdoing, He is a helper, He hears, He strengthens, He inclines His year, and He does justice. When you are hurt or afraid or angry because of the senselessly evil things that people do, take your questions to God and like the Psalmist, anchor yourself on the certainty that God is just, and He will act.
Do you have confidence that God is just and will punish the wicked? If not, tell God about it and ask Him to show Himself to you as just.
Where do you go first when bad things happen, either to you or to others? Is your first response to turn to God with your questions? If not, what should change in order to develop a habit of turning to Him?
Reflections written by Monica Friesen