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Part 1 of 3
A father opens the front door one cold morning and looks out into his snow covered yard. Everything was coated with a fresh lower of snow. His attention quickly was diverted to something interesting right near the front door. He called his young son to come look at the discovery. There is the snow was footprints. The little boy came to his daddy’s side as the dad told him that a rabbit had been around the front door while they slept. The young boy asked his dad how he knew. The father pointed down at the footprints and described to his son how you can tell a rabbit print from other animals. Later that day, father and son adventured out into the yard identifying other footprints and which animals it belonged to. The footprints that impressed the boy the most were that of his father and every time the father would walk, the boy would try as hard as he could to walk in the footprints of his father.
There are two truths I want to bring out from this simple illustration. During this 3 part series on footprints, we will take Ephesians 5:1-21 and relate it back to these two truths
#1. We are known by our footprints (just like the animals were known by theirs).
Everything we do and say and anything that people can observe about our lives leaves some form of impression. People can detect what we are about by what kind of footprint we leave.
#2. We should desire to follow the footprints of our Heavenly Father.
Just like that little boy loved to walk in the footprints of his father, we should desire to walk in the footprints of Jesus. What is it that made the little boy want to walk in the footprints of his father? Because he loves his father and wants to be like him in every way he can.
Eph.5 V.1-2 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 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.
It is only natural for a Christian (Child of God) to want to imitate our Heavenly Father.
We love Him because he loved us first. We love others because he loves us.
1 John 4:7-11
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
V.19-21 We love Him because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
YOU CANNOT SAY YOU LOVE GOD IF YOU DON’T LOVE OTHER CHRISTIANS! Sure we can say that Christians are hard to love sometime, but aren’t we hard to love sometimes to yet God still loves us? God loves us in two ways. First he loves us because he created us. A father and mother look at their newborn baby in so much love that it brings them to tears and changes their life. Now why do they love the baby? The baby has not done anything for them, has not been good to them, has not bought things for them, and has not shown them any respect or honor. The parents love the baby because they created it. God loves us first because he created us. Then He not only loves us as His creation but also as Children who have placed their faith and trust in Him. Do you love God enough to want to follow Him and do others see His love and your devotion to follow Him in your life?
Eph.5 V.3-6 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
What would happen if you were looking for a rabbit and began following its tracks and then found an elephant!? That obviously is not what you were expecting. It is confusing when someone says they are one thing, but their footprints tell a different story. There are things a Christian should not be doing because it is things Jesus has commanded against and He Himself would never do. Of course it is wrong to commit the obviously bad sins mentioned here, but what about the ones we see as not so bad? Filthiness in speech and actions, foolish talking, inappropriate and hurtful joking leaves footprints that don’t match a Christian and confuse anyone who observes. The world has a pretty good idea of what God would and would not approve of even if they do not believe in God. We cannot really fool the world, we don’t fool as many Christians as we think, and we certainly do not fool God. Sure you can be a Christian and not follow God’s footprints, but how can you say you love God, and don’t expect to have many rewards once you arrive through those pearly gates.
Eph.5 V.6-7 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them.
Lastly, don’t be thrown off and stray from God footprints by the deceitful speaking of others. I am not just talking about lost people but even Christians out of the will of God will try to pull other Christians down with them. God will punish them for their sins; don’t get punished to because you go along with them. God’s footprints are your path.
Paul, the author of Ephesians also said,” Follow me as I follow Christ.” The only time you should follow the footprints of another Christian is when you see that they are following the Lord’s. In this way, you have not ceased to follow God’s footprints; you are merely walking them with someone else.
Pray for me as I pray for you that we follow Gods footprints and leave our own that point people to Christ.