By Jeff Cloeter
Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:2 ESV).
After the call from Ephesians 5:1 to imitate God, Paul pivots immediately to Christ. In Jesus, you see the God you are to imitate. “Walk in love,” Paul instructs in the next verse. It sounds so innocent, even harmless. The phrase could find its way into a fluffy pop song. It could be a bumper-sticker slogan or a rally call in a political speech. “Walk in love” would be unoffensive, were it not for the phrases that follow:
. . . as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:2 ESV).
This is not a sappy or sentimental love. It’s as if Paul says, “Let me show you what love looks like.” Then he points to Christ, his selfless giving, his sacrificial posture. Paul points and says, “Love like this.”
This is love, bold to the point of reckless endangerment. Give yourself up for someone else. Stay with someone when they are in pain or struggling. Set your own comfort aside so that someone else might benefit. Look to the blood-stained wood and nails. See the innocent man in agony on the hill. This is love.
“Walk in love.” What will you give up for others? What will you lose that someone else might gain? It is a colossal calling. We might tremble in fear at the prospect of suffering. But then we find that we don’t walk alone. The path is already paved. We tread in the footprints of the One who loved us first, even unto death. Onward we go.
Prayer: Jesus, teach us the way of true love. It’s your way. We can only walk in love because you walk with us. Amen.
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion comes from one of CTA’s latest resources, Together: Living as Christ's Church. This devotion book and digital teaching tools come together to form a five-week experience that will encourage your worshipers to see how God is bringing everything in this world together. God sent Jesus for us, and he sends Jesus into the world through us, living as Christ’s Church!
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