We walk in many places…
...our places of employment,
and many other places.
Wherever walk, we are encouraged to walk in love.
Ephesians 5:1-2 says,
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children, and WALK IN LOVE, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant sacrificial offering to God.”
To walk in love means to relate to people, wherever they are and whoever they are, in patience, kindness, gentleness, peace, forgiveness, compassion, sacrifice, serving, etc...
So how are we to walk in love?
Where does the power to walk in love originate?
The power to love comes from God...a love relationship with God.
We have no power to love others apart from God’s love for us.
Notice what Ephesians 5:1 says, “Be imitators of God, therefore, AS BELOVED CHILDREN…”
Ephesians 5:1 follows Ephesians 4:20-31 which speak of the ways we relate to others that we are to put off and the ways we are to put on.
Ephesians 4:31-32 says we are to be kind and compassionate (full of grace in the Greek) to one another just as God has been kind and compassionate (full of grace in the Greek) to us in Christ.
So we see the power to be graceful to others comes from experiencing grace for ourselves.
This same thought continues in Ephesians 5:1-2.
Those who have come to faith in Jesus are beloved children of God.
This means we are loved tenderly, gently, and dearly by God.
He is patient and kind to us, full of compassion...full of grace...full of love...in the middle of our sins, shortcomings, flaws, and failures.
According to Ephesians 5:1, this is the love we are to imitate in our relationship with others.
We are to allow his love for us to flow into our relationships.
In doing this, we imitate his love.
Ephesians 5:2 says we are to walk in love just as Jesus walked in love toward us.
The love-walk of Jesus included him giving himself up for us...for our sins.
This was the greatest act of service and sacrifice the world has ever known.
We are to love others as Jesus has loved us...acts of service and sacrifice.
Before we can express this kind of love, we must first experience it for ourselves.
See yourself as one who is loved tenderly, gently, and dearly by God, who is loved patiently, kindly, and compassionately by God.
See yourself as one who Jesus loves, demonstrated by his act of service when he sacrificed himself for your sins.
As you see yourself in this way, love will fill your heart and mind and will overflow into your relationships.
So often in our relationships we are focused on how people are not loving us and how they should be loving us.
Relationships will never work this way.
This is because our focus is wrong.
For our relationships to change, our focus must change from how others aren’t loving us to how much we are loved by God...by Jesus.
As we focus on God’s love for us and how Jesus loved us when he gave himself up for us, in light of all of our sin, shortcomings, failures and flaws, we will be filled with love so that we are empowered to love others the way God loved us and the way Jesus loved us.