"You are God's children whom he loves, so try to be like him. Live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave himself for us a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God." (NCV)
What is God saying?
Just as children reflect their parent's qualities, God's followers are to reflect His love. Self-sacrificing love should be the defining characteristic of their lives, just as it was of Jesus' life.
What is God saying to us today?
Living a life of sacrificial, other-centered love is one of those things that is much easier said than done. The world ingrains into us the idea that we need to put ourselves first. We have to look out for number one, because nobody else will - since they're so busy looking out for themselves. And that selfishness frequently creeps into our concept of love as well. The type of love the world promotes is a love based on what the other person can do for us. I love you...as long as you support me, provide for me, entertain me, attract me, love me. Unconditional, self-sacrificial love is so counter-cultural that it almost seems impossible. Yet as God's children, this is the single most important trait that He wants to pass on to us.
What is God inviting us to do?
What is the defining characteristic of the life you are currently living? God invites us to reflect Him by living lives of love, so that the world will know that He truly is our Father.