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Being Like God:  Love—The Willing Surrender

Ephesians 5:1-2

“Good theologians make the greatest lovers.”

Potential, in a negative sense, is unrealized, unused strength. It’s the gap between how well you are doing and how well you could be doing. Are you striving to live up to your Christian potential?

This text shows the heart of God, our duty toward God, and our motivation to do our duty.

We are called to be like God. Can you aim any higher than that? We learn to do something better by observing and imitating someone who is really good at it. We learn sports by watching and imitating athletes. We learn to love by imitating God, but we can’t imitate Him unless we know him. We do this through theology—the study of God, not just in the mind, but applied to the heart and through the life. What is God like? His heart of love for us is shown by Jesus in the gospel.

We are called to imitate Christ as God’s beloved children. As Christians we can, and must, bear the family likeness—not to earn our place in God’s family but because we are in it. We have experienced God’s love; we love because He first loved us. In the family of God, we are taught to walk in that love, and we have the potential to do it because we have the power of Christ’s Spirit living in us. Love will become a character trait, a habit, a way of life for us because we are God’s children.

We are called to love as Christ has loved us. Jesus is our model of love, our motivation for love, and our power to love. He loved us by giving Himself up for us knowingly, willingly and to the death. For us to love up to our potential, we must go deeper into the love of Christ—become a better theologian! We see in Christ that an offering of love must be freely and wholly given, and it is pleasing to God. Christians should be known for costly, sacrificial love for others, especially for one another. So do something radically loving. Dwell upon what God has done for you in Christ. Then think of how you can give yourself away in love for someone else, and do it—not just once but again and again until it becomes a way of life.

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