A Good Follower

September 23 — Ephesians 5:1–8

1Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and 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 5:1–2)

Imagine, if you will, that you are in a parade. You have built a nice float that is sure to draw a great deal of attention. But you are not at the head of the parade. That position is reserved for the Grand Marshall, the person of honor who will lead the rest of the units in the parade. While you may know who the Grand Marshall is, you are not really concerned with him. You are focused more on your part of the parade — your float.

Now, let’s say that Jesus is the Grand Marshall. If I were to ask you if you are a follower of Christ in that context, you might say, “Yes, I’m in His parade. He’s the Grand Marshall, the leader of the parade and I am one of His followers.” But, some may respond, “Sure, we’ve got a Grand Marshall. His name is Jesus. We are all in the parade…. But, hey, look at my float! Maybe I’ll get a big prize.” In that case, it would be like they were in Jesus “parade” but they were more consumed with themselves than with following Him.

In our daily lives, this is not how we are to live. To be a true follower of Christ means to be consumed with Him so much that we imitate Him — we seek to be more and more like Him. We want to imitate His thoughts, how He responded to people, and how He lived His day to day life.

Ephesians 5:1 tells us to be imitators of God. Nowhere are we told to be imitators of our favorite sports hero, or our favorite actor or singer. It says to be imitators of God — of Christ Himself!

Jesus is much more than just the leader of the parade. He is the director of a Godly symphony of which we are invited to be a part. We are invited to imitate every move He makes and to seek to mirror Him in our own lives. As we do, we won’t be thinking about ourselves and our “accomplishments.” We will be too consumed with being like our Lord and Savior.