Image is everything

          

Which image do you think she wants portrayed in public?

(I did not tell Navy I was putting these up here.)

 

Dear image bearers,

 

I was studying on image today.   As I was searching up some data on how we as a culture are consumed with how we look, my wife asked me a question.  In answering her I was not paying close attention to her and one of my answers came across rather short.  When she mentioned something about it I realized that the way I answered came across totally differently than I wanted.  I did not want to appear unloving.

 

It is interesting to me, that this happened during the time I was studying on what it meant to be created in the image of God.  I was enjoying the study, but did not practice what I was learning.  Being made in the image of God has very little if anything to do with our physical appearance, but a lot with what comes out of our mouth and in our actions.  My words did not image God well at all.

 

As a society we are consumed with looking a certain way.  Billions of dollars are spent on advertising as well the purchasing of products and the procedures that are meant to have us get the right “image”.  How far off track have we gotten!  We spend so much time and effort on creating and keeping a right image, and we forget why we were created.  We were created for the glory of God.  Put another way, we were created to image God in this world!

 

The only one that can properly image God is God Himself showing Himself through you and me.  To me that is a big way in how we were created in the image of God.  Since God is Spirit, the physical has nothing to do with it, but I believe it was God placing His Spirit within you and me, to guide my mind, will and emotions, so that His attributes, His person, would be seen.   Animals have instinct to guide them.  We were given God Himself to guide us.  But when sin entered, man rebelled, and we lost that ability to image God correctly, we lost the Spirit within.  We “died”.  Ephesians 2 tells us that we were dead in our trespasses and sin.  We were made alive by Christ again, when we repent and receive Him.  It is only in faith that we are restored to a position where we are again indwelt by God and can be led by His Spirit and image Him again.

 

How are you trying to present yourself today?  What image are you trying to portray?  Is it through your clothes, your hair, your job, your “manliness” (those commercials crack me up with the men not being very “manly”, and what are they trying to tell us as men to do anyway?) your walk, your tattoos, your jewelry, your resume, your humanitarianism, your………….

 

Maybe we need to get back to the beginning and realize what we were created for, and maybe realize that because of sin we need to be recreated.  Once we are born anew in Christ, we are then able to image our God as we were meant to do, being led by His Spirit.  The basis for all we do can then be centered in Him. Whose image are you working on right now?  Yours or God’s?

 

John the Baptist said, “Less of me and more of Him(Jesus).

 

Paul speaking about women said, 1 Timothy 2:9-10 (NIV)


9 I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes,
10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

More important than the outward dress was what came from the heart.  It was about actions how they would image God.

 

Ephesians 5:1-4 (NIV)
1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children
2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.
4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

Imitators of God, letting Him be seen, living a life of love.  Not even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed.  We as a people are better at imaging the devil than God.  But when we are in Christ we have the One that is able to image Himself in and through us. 

 

Galatians 2:20 (NASB95)
20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Romans 12:1-2 (NASB95)
1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Be transformed rather than conformed.

 

Offer Him your body today.  Let Him be seen in us today.  We were created and recreated to be in His image. 

 

May my speech to my wife be His Words today, with His tone, and His love!  May she see Christ rather than some unloving husband.

 

Learning the hard way,

 

Steve

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