One morning as I was in my quiet space I noticed something on the wall that got my attention. In my quiet space I have a candle, my devotionals, notepad, and a Bible. I always light my candle as I start my devotions. I like the idea that God is my light and His Word lights my path. I sit and reflect on the candle. I also pray that God will use this time to speak to me, train me and when necessary discipline me.
This morning something else caught my eye. It was the reflection of the candle on the wall. It was flickering and moving just as the candle was. It was very visible, not hard to see. As I thought about this it dawned on me that is the way we are supposed to be…a reflection of God.
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” Ephesians 5:1-2
Just as the candle was a reflection of God we are to be imitators of God. We are to follow in His ways. So what does that mean for you and me?
As the scripture states above we are to walk in love. This doesn’t mean the emotional love that is here one minute and gone the next. The love He is talking about is the agape love. Agape is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love, the highest of the four types of love in the Bible. We are to think of others first placing their needs ahead of our own. We are to love one another without placing any conditions. It’s not easy to have that kind of love; we are to work at it. We are human it’s not easy to love everyone all the time, but if we allow God to work through us, love through us and if we see Christ in others it gets easier.
The next part says just as Christ also loved you. You know from scripture nothing can separate us from the love of God. “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:36-39) There is nothing that separates us from God’s love and nothing should separate us from loving one another. If God doesn’t turn His back on us then we should not keep our love from others.
God gave Himself up for us and we should be willing to do the same. I am sitting here thinking of the young family man of three this week that was willing to die to save people from being harmed by a gunman who was angry with his wife. He did not know this lady, yet because of God’s love in Him he willingly gave himself up to save others. God will not always call us to do that; that is a rare occasion when something like that happens, but we are to be ready to stand up and go the extra mile when we are called.
The next part says we are to be an offering. An offering can often mean stepping in to help others whether it’s taking a meal, or giving transportation, or giving material items when someone has lost everything or is in need, and an offering may mean offering your time to just stand in the trenches and be there for someone. I am thinking of a Ukrainian family who recently met another Ukrainian family that was in need. They had never met, but the first family offered help, advice, and is walking along with them to help them get settled. Christ may be asking you to be an offering to someone today.
Then finally we are to be a fragrant aroma. Fragrant in my Thesaurus is described as sweet-smelling, or sweet-scented. Go outside in the Spring when the flowers are blooming or stop by one of your flowers and stop and smell the scent. Remember how it makes you feel? It is such a pleasant aroma. It makes you feel good and can take your breath away. That is what we are to be to other people. We are to be sweet smelling. I am not talking about the perfume or deodorant kind of smell I am talking about the kind of scent that when you leave a person they can still feel you and smell your sweetness and they want to be a part of you. You take their breath away because you are a reflection of God.
As I am sitting here I look up and I can see the reflection of my light in a piece of glass which reminds me we all have a reflection. We all give off image or a reflection of some kind. It’s up to us what kind of image we will reflect. Will it be a Godly image; one that reflects God’s character or will it be a less than pleasant image that leaves others with a less than pleasant fragrant aroma?
We’ve all heard that children are a reflection of their parents. They imitate how their parents think, what they do and how they live. Galatians 3:26 says this, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith…” If we are all children of God through faith then shouldn’t we reflect the image of God?
I blew out the candle and went on about my daily business, but I couldn’t get the reflection of the candle on the wall out of my mind. It has reminded me that as I proclaim to be a child of God I need to also be concerned about who and what I am reflecting. Do others know who Christ is through my reflection or are they confused about who He is? Or do others not want to come to Christ because my reflection is not a fragrant aroma?
Light a candle, look at the reflection for a while and meditate on your reflection and how Christ calls us to be imitators of God. Let us move from being concerned about who we are and what we are and let’s begin to take on the reflection of God along with a fragrant aroma and bring others to Christ.
Dear God may I reflect your love and your sacrificial ways. May I be a fragrant aroma for others so that they may want to come to know you, walk with you and serve you. Amen