*The sermon audio and the write-up are quite different, just to warn you (ha ha ha). Be blessed this week! –WRM
Click below for Sermon Audio…
I LOVE YOU. PERIOD. — THE FAMILY OF GOD
Ephesians 5.1–2 ESV
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
We kick off a new series today, “I LOVE YOU. PERIOD.” We’re emphasizing the family of God and what it means to be a part of that family. Whether you’ve thought a lot about it or not, “the family” is a divine creation, its origin springing forth from God’s design and desire to love.
Being that we are created out of God’s love and that God has chosen to identify as our Father, that makes us children brought forth out of divine love. Every life, then, has a purpose and the potential to experience the love of God, through both the Father’s love and the love of His children.
But this raised an interesting idea for me. Being that God loves His children with a unmatched, undying, perfect love, do God’s children love one another that way? The answer is obviously ‘no’ but it doesn’t excuse us from engaging in divine relationships as God has purposed.
You see, where do we learn love? We learn it from our parents, our households, from those around us, and we learn other things, too. But when it comes to sharing divine love, we must learn that love, and that means that we must find ourselves in a divine relationship, where we learn heavenly love from a heavenly Parent, Who has a heavenly household and heavenly company.
Our issues stem from us failing to use the right love. Our love, our human-love, says, “I love you, but…,” and has a catch at the end of it every time. We love with commas and conditions. Then there’s the love of God, a love without commas and conditions, a love without a “but” at the end. At the end of God’s statement of love is simply a period, signifying to us the conclusion of the matter. There’s nothing more satisfying than to hear the words, “I love you,” with no strings attached.
Thinking back to how we learn and the importance of learning divine love from a divine source, it brings us back to the scripture for today. In the letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul focus’ on the differences between the people of the world and the children of God. As we arrive at our particular text today, we see St. Paul pushing us to make everything he has instructed us in a reality by imitating God. Paul knows that the key to the divine life is divine living.
Only when we witness the love of God can we be transformed by the love of God. And we as the children of God are called to be witnesses to God’s love. As we love with the Father’s love, so the world sees that love. And when we are successful at witnessing, the world is invited into a divine love whereby they can receive it and experience as children of God.
The question is there: What would the world look like if we loved with a period instead of a comma, as if there wasn’t a condition? We’ll never know until we imitate God. Throughout the pages of Scripture, God has been careful to be sure we have what we need to understand Him, to know how to live, how to behave as children of God, and to have salvation. But we must imitate.
There are many questions to answer with your life as you go from here. Am I growing and learning in a divine household? Am I loving with my love or God’s love? Does the world see God through me and the ways that I re-present Him in my life? Do I love with a period or do I have conditions that accompany my care for others? All important questions, with all the answers found in God.
Will you imitate God today? I invite you to see God in the pages of Scripture as the Holy Spirit instructs your heart. I invite you to see God loving His children as we fellowship together at church. Leave today knowing that God loves you, with the prefect love of a Father unlike any we’ve known. He loves us. Period.