Ephesians 5:1 in the Message Bible offers the Verse of the Day for September 17, 2016:
[Wake Up from Your Sleep] Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.
The New Living Translation offers this rendering of Ephesians 5:1-2:
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 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.
As believers we are to be imitators or mimics of God, our Father. In a similar manner to a young boy who wants to walk in his father’s shoes and wear his father’s hat, we are to be followers of God. Our lives are to be filled to overflowing with love. Our lives should be a reflection of the saying, “Like father, like son.”
This passage from Ephesians also brings to mind 1 John 4:16, expressed in the Amplified Bible this way:
16 And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.
In 1 John 4:8 we find an expression of who God is:
He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love.
For Christian believers nothing is more satisfying than to know that God is love and that God loves us. We can thus, follow Christ’s example as we offer our lives as sacrificial expression of our devotion to God.
The idea of being followers or imitators of God is established in verse 1, and verse 2 provides a notable example of such a faithful follower, as displayed in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, the ultimate illustration of “Like father, like son.”
Here is a poetic expression related to our discussion of walking in love inspired by verse 2 of Ephesians 5:
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us,
an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
Ephesians 5:2 (NKJV)
We must exercise authority and know who we are.
We must then walk in the fullness of that authority
We must also recognize that our hands were made to war,
As we demonstrate the power within that all might see.
We must walk in love, for love is the more excellent way.
We know love alone is the standard by which we measure.
We seek to please God and pour love upon all we do and say.
We must love as Christ loved, for love is a priceless treasure.
We also learn that our lives should reflect our stewardship.
We know each steward shall be called to give a full account,
God, our Father, evaluates our life-long fellowship,
And assesses our service and then totals the amount.
Even more than sacrifice, God seeks our obedience,
As we too seek to fulfill the Father’s deepest desire.
We learn that to obey is the highest form of reverence:
To be like Christ is the model toward which we all aspire.
Once more God tempers authority with love; this we know:
As dear children, we learn to steward and obey also.
Integrity Music offers this scripture memory song for Ephesians 5:1-2: