“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and
hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” – Ephesians 5:1-
Driving behind a truck, I saw a logo that read, “What do you want on your Tombstone?” It was
obvious that the question was about what I wanted on my Tombstone pizza, but it caused me to think.
My husband and I enjoy going to old cemeteries and looking at the tombstones. We see history written on
those stones: men who fought for our freedom; whole families that were lost to an illness for which there
was yet no cure; believers gone to be with the Lord. They all have the dates showing how long they lived,
and the epitaphs that some have are exceptionally interesting. However, most important is the life they
lived between the two dates on the stone.
In our focus verses, we are encouraged to be “followers of God.” Doesn’t that sounds like a good
epitaph? “She was a follower of God.” It is simple, but also profound. Actually, that epitaph may be more
profound than we realize. The Greek translation of follower is one who is an “imitator” of God. That
means we are not just meant to be friends of God or to believe in God; in everything we do, we are to
In the next verse, Paul goes on to say, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given
himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God.” Paul did not waste any time in getting to the heart of
our duty: we must imitate Christ’s love for the Church, a love great enough to cause Him to sacrifice His
life for us. So to be justified in bearing the title “follower of God,” our love for God must take priority
over everything else in our lives. Placing Him first is not something that we can do for just a while, but it
requires a commitment for the rest of our lives.
Would we be worthy to have “follower of God” written on our tombstone? The way we treat
others—especially “difficult” people—will be the proof of our Christ-like love. It will be evident in
our deportment and conversation. We need to love God and His Church enough to put Him above our personal desires, so others will see only Jesus in our lives. And like Christ, our sacrifice will also be received as a “sweetsmelling savour” to God.
No matter what is written on our tombstones, only Heaven will know the souls who found their way
to God because of our decision to follow Jesus.