Ephesians 5:1 (NLT)
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.

Like children that imitate their parents, we too are to imitate God our Father. We are to be holy as God is holy. We are to love just as God loves us. We are to show mercy and grace towards others just as God has shown mercy and grace towards us. We are God�s children, therefore we should act accordingly.

Kim Shin Jo, a gentle pastor from South Korea, used to be a trained killer.

In January of 1968, Jo and a team of assassins descended from North Korean, slipping through the woods in a daring attempt to kill the president of South Korea. The team of 31 commandos made it to within a few hundred meters of the president's residence before they were intercepted. A fierce battle ensued, killing 30 South Koreans. All of the North Korean soldiers were killed, except one who escaped and Kim Shin Jo, who was captured.

After months of interrogation, and through a surprising friendship with a South Korean army general, Kim Shin Jo's hard heart started to soften. Later he would confess, "I tried to kill the president. I was the enemy. But the South Korean people showed me sympathy and forgiveness. I was touched and moved."

The South Korean government eventually released Kim Shin Jo. Over the next three decades he worked for the military, became a citizen, and then married and raised a family. Finally, he became a church minister.

Today Jo's life serves as a symbol of redemption for the entire country of South Korea. Reflecting on the day of his arrest, Kim Shin Jo commented, "On that day, Kim Shin Jo died. I was reborn. I got my second chance. And I'm thankful for that."

Kim Shin Jo found a new birth and God's grace through the power of Christ. But his encounter with Christ came through the unexpected, surprising love of other people. Despite his betrayals and sins, an army officer accepted him, befriended him, and believed in him. At one time he was the enemy of the South Korean people, but in the spirit of Jesus Christ, they surprised him with the startling gifts of belonging, forgiveness and even citizenship.

In the same way, the church is called to extend the gift of acceptance so others will find Christ's "second chance." God unleashes tremendous power for good when his people surprise the world, especially unlovable people and even our enemies, with unconditional love, friendship and forgiveness. [Matt Woodley, East Setauket, New York; source: "South Korean pastor is also a trained killer," CNN Religion blog (8-9-2010)}

When we imitate God in everything we do we reflect the presence of God to other people. For those who have never known God we are ambassadors of God�s love, grace and mercy. We can let them know they are loved just as God loves us and even help them to see how God loves them too. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.