Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us.
Paul calls his fellow Christians to imitate God in order to live up to the reputation of God’s family. He challenges believers to “walk in the way of love,” as Christ did.
This is about loving the way Jesus loved. And Jesus always acted in line with the Father’s will. The love of Jesus embraced outcasts, pardoned sinners, healed the hopeless, challenged the complacent, and willingly sacrificed everything so that we sinners could be reconciled with God. Sacrificial love is our most visible and defining family trait.
The only reason we are in the family of God in the first place is because of God’s extravagant love. As Paul calls us to imitate God’s love, he reminds us that we are defined by it—we are “dearly loved children.”
Our own love emerges from the depths of that eternal love. Our love is an overflow of the love God has personally shown to each of us. Love is the DNA test that determines paternity with our Father God (1 John 4:7-8). God loves you because you are his child, and you are his child because he loves you. Children of God are caught up into the infinite circle of God’s love.
We are most like our Father, most godly, when we allow that love to flow from us into the lives of others.
Lord, grant us the love to serve others with such selfless devotion that our kindness will help transform their lives and draw them to Jesus, the source of all love. In his name we pray. Amen.
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