Ephesians 5:1-2: “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”

Ask any actor preparing for a character role: To deliver a great performance, actors immerse themselves in the life style, way of thinking, and mannerisms of the person they are impersonating. This is what sets apart good acting from bad acting.

The same is true when it comes to imitating God. We all need to take a good look at His ways to become His imitator. God is so many things, but one of His finest features is His untiring ability to love. His love never stops. Imitate that, and you have a lifelong assignment!

Here’s a problem: God is God, and we are not. How are we supposed to love like God? We’re only human! Well, God knows that, and He gave us His Son so that we have a hands-on example how to love as a human being. We have the great opportunity to study Jesus, look at His behavior and get inspired by just reading the gospels.

What I love about the gospels is that they were written by four different people: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Four different people, four different angles! Reading these four accounts is a great way to do a character study, don’t you think?

If our life stinks, here is a way to introduce a new perfume: Get closer to Jesus by studying His life. Jesus has a way of changing our hearts and spreading His perfume there.

Take new parents for instance. Ask them about their first child. How did that impact their life? Parents will tell you that having children has totally changed their lives. Their hearts got bigger with every child they added to the family. And just like a new son or daughter causes a parent’s heart to grow, that’s similar to how Jesus operates. We open our hearts and let Him in, and our hearts get bigger. We walk with Jesus, and our hearts keep growing. And as we learn to love the God-way, we’re getting more and more involved in the world around us.

How exhilarating it is to love … falling in love is a prominent part of it. Staying in love is the weightier part. People who have been married for 50 years talk about that kind of love. But love has many faces. Investing in people without expecting anything back is another expression of love. Then it hits you from behind. The lifestyle of loving generously is actually fun! Granted, we run into disappointments, our hearts get broken multiple times, but in hindsight everybody will say: better to love than not to love at all.

And guess what: as we spread the sweet perfume called “love”, our lives no longer stink!

Philippians 2:9-11: “Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Jesus is many things. Besides being Lord of the universe He is also a friend who sticks closer than a brother; He is a shepherd tending to His sheep; He is a high-priest forever; He is the rainbow in the clouds, the bright morning star, the hope for the nations, the King who goes to bat for His people, the sacrificial lamb, and the list goes on and on. The reason we write and talk about these truths is God’s tireless communication.

Have you ever tried to communicate with someone who does not speak your language? It can get very frustrating trying to communicate when words fail us. God has been in the business of translating His thoughts into human language ever since we left the Garden of Eden. God has become an expert interpreter because He yearns to connect with his beloved creatures, people He made in His image. We are His loved ones.

If you know somebody who lost a person to Alzheimer’s disease, you probably know how painful it is to lose connection with a loved one when communication ceases. In a manner of speaking we all are battling severe memory loss by forgetting where we came from. We all come from God. And God uses His finest efforts to communicate this particular truth to us. Understanding the truth is like the break of dawn with the Sun rising in our hearts; God will be happiest to know we have received His message. His highest hope is for us to understand that He loves us dearly.

“If you could read my mind love
What a tale my thoughts could tell”       Gordon Lightfoot

Titus 3:4-7: “When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”

We have a triune God!  This profound insight has been an open secret since the beginning of time, and it is a beautiful testimony that God is not operating as a “Lone Ranger”.  Instead, He chooses to work as a team.

We can discover divine teamwork in the realm of creation. The first chapter of the book of Genesis describes how the Holy Spirit was involved from the get-go:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.” 

Hovering over something that was initially formless, empty, and dark, the Holy Spirit went to town – and the magic of transformation began! As the Spirit of God proceeded to cut through dysfunctional chaos, the universe as we know it came into being, and with it our home planet Earth, filled with wonder, color, and beauty.

Reading up on the creation story, we can discern a repeating pattern – the pattern of God speaking and things happening. Following is an inconclusive list of examples, all from the first chapter of Genesis:

  • And God said, ‘Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.’ And it was so.
  • “Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.’ And it was so.
  • “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.’ And it was so.

In John’s gospel Jesus is introduced as the One who made things happen, the One who is ultimately responsible for the resulting: “And it was so” each time God spoke.  God forms a thought, communicates it, and Jesus chips in saying: “Consider it done!” So much so, that Jesus is nick-named “The Word” – because whichever Word comes out of the Father’s mouth, Jesus does it, and He does it very well! Incidentally, we read how Jesus, the Word, was successfully involved in the creation process (John 1:1-3):

“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.” 

When it comes to saving humans we see the same kind of intricate teamwork between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Paul describes the Trinity’s teamwork to a man named Titus (Titus 3:4-7):

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

We can see a circle of transformation happening, with:

  • The Holy Spirit hovering over humankind creating a new heart within us
  • While the Father graciously extends His welcome by giving us His Son
  • While Jesus advertises the Father’s kindness and love by sacrificing His life to save us.

As a happy result, spiritually dead humans rise up to be spiritually alive humans, ready to do God’s work – if they are so inclined. We are not saved without our consent, but if we believe, wonderful things are bound to happen.

God’s activities are ongoing, and He is inviting us to join His interesting projects. God’s nature is to be productive; and we know that a lot of great things happen when the Trinity is at work. So, here’s to divine team work – taking care of business! Would you like to get involved?

 “And we’ll be taking care of business – every day! Takin’ care of business – every way! We be takin’ care of business – it’s all mine! Takin’care of business and working overtime.” (Randy Bachman)

 

Exodus 39:2-3: “He [Bezalel, a craftsman] made gold thread by hammering out thin sheets of gold and cutting it into fine strands. With great skill and care, he worked it into the fine linen with the blue, purple, and scarlet thread.”

During Israel’s formation as a nation, the people gathered at Mount Sinai to receive the Law of Moses, which included instructions how to set up their first tabernacle. Craftsmen were working on beautiful garments of blue, purple, and scarlet cloth, interwoven with gold; these garments meant for the priesthood were touching on the entire color spectrum visible to the human eye: from purple (violet), blue, gold, all the way to red. Apparently, priesthood representing God’s presence here on Earth was designed to wear a coat of many colors!

We associate the color “red” most often with love; and red has the farthest reaching wavelength still visible to the human eye, about 650 nm. Incidentally, love always reaches out, so the color “red” suits the love-theme very well.

Radio waves are about 100 meters in length, extremely long, and completely invisible to the human eye; radio waves are able to reach around the world and far into space. So is God’s love – invisible but far-reaching. His innate being reaches out, day and night. His love is an ongoing flow overcoming short and long distances. God will always find a way to reach out to His creation. That’s just who He is.

Blue has the shortest wavelength visible to the human eye: The visible blue light has a wavelength of about 475 nm. Because the blue wavelengths are shorter in the visible spectrum, they are scattered more efficiently by the molecules in the atmosphere. This causes the sky to appear blue during the main part of the day, no matter which direction we look. Similarly, God is both near and everywhere; He is scattered throughout the entire universe – so much so that we have the opportunity to meet Him anywhere we go.

We have a God of many colors! God’s spectrum of His being is wide, from red, to blue, to invisible. He is able to tune into any wavelength and get in touch with all of His creation. That is why He understands our hearts so well. Even when we feel a million miles away from Heaven, God is still near. We might not feel Him, but He is closer to us than our best friend.

Daily He reaches out to us. Our hearts have sensors to notice Him; however, our sensors are in need of repair. The human condition is such that we commonly won’t recognize God’s voice, unless the Holy Spirit steps in.

The Holy Spirit is a cherished member of the Trinity, just as Jesus is. The nature of the Trinity is to share. Jesus was given to us because the Father loved the world so much that He gave His Son; the Holy Spirit was given to us so that we can tune into God’s wavelength and hear His voice.

Our Heavenly Father has given us many good gifts – gifts of life; He is an ear- and eye-opener, healer of broken hearts, stimulator of the human spirit. He puts His gifts out there, waiting for the moment when we are ready to receive. God knows that timing is crucial, especially when it comes to a complicated, multi-layered human heart. So, God waits for a slightest signal, a green light, a “go ahead” from anybody who sincerely asks Him.

God is ready to bless you and me with His finest gifts; why? Because He is a good Father!

“You’re a good, good Father, it’s who You are; and I’m loved by You – it’s who I am.” (Pat Barrett and Tony Brown)