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Summary: An uplifting message for all of us to become "extra-ordinary" Christians who are purposely striving to be authentic imitators of God.

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IF YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD, YOU ARE UNLIKE ANY OTHER PERSON. YOU ARE A UNIQUE CHILD. WHETHER A SON OR A DAUGHTER, YOU ARE, INDEED, UNIQUE AND SPECIAL.

BY LIVING YOUR LIFE AS A CHILD OF GOD YOU HAVE A UNIQUE AND VERY SPECIAL STATEMENT TO MAKE AND I ENCOURAGE YOU TODAY TO MAKE THAT STATEMENT.

IF YOU WOULD RATHER STAY SILENT AND ALLOW YOUR LIFE TO PASS BY WITHOUT SAYING ANYTHING WHATSOEVER, YOU LET THE WORLD DEFINE YOU AS AN ORDINARY PERSON.

BUT THE LAST THING THE WORLD NEEDS TODAY IS MORE ORDINARY PEOPLE! THE WORLD NEEDS WITNESSES, PROPHETS, TEACHERS, AND THOSE WHO ARE WILLING TO LOVE AND MAKE SACRIFICES AT ALL COSTS. PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT ORDINARY.

THE PEOPLE IN THE HUMAN FAMILY NEED TO SEE AND HEAR PEOPLE WHO CAN NOT ONLY CLAIM GOD WITHIN THEM, BUT SPEAK OUT BY THEIR LIVES OF THE HOPE, COMPASSION, FORGIVENESS AND HEALING THAT IS FOUND THROUGH CHRIST.

OUR PASSAGE IN EPHESIANS CHALLENGES US TO DO JUST THAT! THIS IS WHY VERSE ONE SAYS, "BE" IMITATORS OF GOD. THIS GREEK VERB "BE" ACTUALLY MEANS "TO BECOME." IT IS A PROCESS OF LIVING OUR LIVES IN SUCH A WAY THAT WE LITERALLY PATTERN OUR LIVES AFTER GOD.

IN OTHER WORDS, OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, THROUGH CHRIST, BECOMES SO DEEP AND SO INTIMATE THAT WE JUST NATURALLY BECOME A DUPLICATE COPY OF GOD’S LOVE, FORGIVENESS, AND MERCY TO OTHERS.

THIS IS WHY WE WANT TO LIVE OUT WHO GOD IS, BY BECOMING EXTRA ORDINARY PEOPLE. EXTRA ORDINARY PEOPLE WHO ARE PURPOSELY STRIVING TO BECOME AUTHENTIC IMITATORS OF GOD.

OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD SHOULD BE SO CLOSE THAT, THROUGH CHRIST AND EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, WE DEVELOP GODLIKE CHARACTERISTICS AND ADHERE TO CHRISTLIKE OBEDIENCE AS A WAY OF LIFE.

THIS IS WHY IT IS SO CRUCIAL FOR US TO BE HEAVILY INVOLVED IN BIBLE STUDY, PRAYER, FELLOWSHIP, AND EVANGELISM, SO THAT WE WILL ALWAYS BE IN THE POSITION TO BE TRANSFORMED INTO GOD’S IMAGE.

WE SHOULD BE WALKING SO CLOSELY TO JESUS THAT WE TAKE UPON OURSELVES HIS NATURE BY BECOMING LOVING, SERVING, SACRIFICING, AND CARING PEOPLE WHO ARE PLEASING DISCIPLES IN THE SIGHT OF GOD THE FATHER.

PAUL TOLD US THIS IN VERSE 8, "YOU ARE LIGHT IN THE LORD." PAUL MEANT THAT WHEN WE ALLOW THE LIGHT OF CHRIST TO SHINE ON US WE ARE TRANSFORMED INTO WHAT HE IS. IT IS DEVELOPING THE UNDERSTANDING THAT, TO BE "IN" CHRIST IS TO TAKE ON THE NATURE OF CHRIST.

YES, SUCH A HIGH UNDERSTANDING REQUIRES A HIGH STATE OF OBEDIENCE AND MORALITY. WE ARE TO LIVE AS CHILDREN OF THE LIGHT AND AS ORPHANS OF DARKNESS.

ROMANS 13:12, TELLS US "THE NIGHT IS ALMOST GONE; THE DAY OF SALVATION WILL SOON BE HERE. SO DON’T LIVE IN DARKNESS. GET RID OF YOUR EVIL DEEDS. SHED THEM LIKE DIRTY CLOTHES. CLOTHE YOURSELVES WITH THE ARMOR OF RIGHT LIVING, AS THOSE WHO LIVE IN THE LIGHT."

THE CHURCH AND HER PEOPLE ARE CALLED TO SEPARATE THEMSELVES FROM THE WORLD AND LIVE LIVES ACCORDING TO GOD’S ETERNAL VALUES THAT ARE SO RADICALLY OPPOSED TO THE DARK VALUES OF SOCIETY.

THE INTERESTING THING TO NOTE HERE IS THAT THIS CALL FOR "RADICAL LIVING" AND BEING DIFFERENT FROM THE WORLD IS NOT A CALL TO ISOLATE OURSELVES OR BREAK OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THOSE STILL LOST IN DARKNESS.


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