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 human beings. We can 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!

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.

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.

Love has many faces. Falling in love is a prominent part of it. Staying in love is the weightier part. Investing into 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 spreading 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)