Sunday 6 June 2019
The image of God is not tangible. One cannot simply take a photo of Him, show it to another person and say, “There He is! That’s what He looks like!” Being spirit, He has no physicality by which to reference features. So, when it says in Genesis that we are “made in the image of God and according to His likeness” it must be referring to something besides how we look to the world around us.
It is interesting, as well, that there is no record of how Jesus physically appeared. It is strange because in every biography and even in fiction written by humans there is always a description of how the person looked. When people see a man with longish brown hair and a beard to match they exclaim, “You look like Jesus!” Which is nonsense, because no one knows if that’s what He looked like.
I believe that there is a point to the exclusion, because we humans tend to emulate those that we admire. I remember a man from long ago who was a figure in the church. When he grew a goatee, many of his followers grew one, too. I resolved that I would not grow one, because I didn’t wish to become that man, and thought it sheep-like to try and look or dress like him, I just wanted to harvest what he knew because he was super intelligent and ultra articulate with what he knew.
God wants you to look like you, because He’s the one that made humans diverse. It is something to be celebrated. Jesus doesn’t need you to grow long brown hair and a beard in order for you to follow Him. In fact, such would be a vain distraction. Can you imagine if everyone in the church the entire world over did so? The world would perceive Christians to be even crazier than it normally does.
To be made in the image of God does not mean that you look like Him in this or that physical aspect, which is impossible. What it does mean is that you are like Him in other ways. The image of God is who He is. It is love, truth, and mercy. It is correct judgment. It is wanting the best for yourself and for others. It is to be a creative being. It is to be a lord of the earth under the basileia of heaven, as He is in heaven. As He bestowed all authority in heaven and on earth to Jesus, Jesus bestowed it to His disciples. If you are a disciple it is yours for the wielding.
How do you know that you are a disciple?
It is not how much you pray. It is not how much you read your Bible. It is not how many meetings you attend each week. It is not how much you sacrifice or even how much you serve. It is not your membership at this or that church, or one denomination over another.
It is that
- You are a child of God
- You have eternal life
- You are set apart from the world
- You deny yourself and pick up your cross
- You obey Christ as Lord
To be fathered by God is to become as a child and keep yourself as such. Become as a child of God, I say, because you have been deluded into thinking otherwise for so long and by the whole world that such a reality seems unthinkable. However,
“But to those who received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, even to those who believe in His (Jesus’) name.”
Do you see that it is your right, simply by receiving it? You do not have to become as a child of God after receiving Jesus, you are a child of God. It is your birthright. Yes, you accepted it once. Don’t forget to accept it in this moment also.
At no point did Jesus stop being God’s child. There was no heavenly “adulting” going on. This does not mean He didn’t mature, or didn’t wield power. He claimed authority when it was bestowed upon Him after displaying His worth in the most unmistakable, inarguable of ways. Your problem is that you are used to acting as your own little god of yourself. This is a folly – as you know full well because of the pain that it’s brought to you and others – that you should give up immediately.
Eternal life is to know God and to know Jesus Christ. Do you wonder why you don’t know Him better? It is exactly and only for the reason above. The reason is the same for the church on a macro level. To know God is to be Fathered by Him, not to be pastored by man. A pastor is one who guides when needed, and then gets out of the way.
To be Fathered by God is to pay careful attention to Him. He is with you always, so why stop listening to Him? Who better to tell you who you are and what wonders you may do in life? You can ask men, but their just guessing. They don’t even know themselves, and the ones who do will tell you to go to God for the answers. Go to Him. Spend time with Him. Demand time from life, else you’ll never get it.
To be set apart from the world is to know your place in heaven, child of God, and believe that truth above the lies that surround you. It is to meet the lies of the world with truth just as Jesus did at every turn. To not do so is to somewhere, deep down, agree with it and with its father – Satan. He originates the mindset that is the cause of sickness, disease, poverty, wars, death, and every thing that would keep mankind from God. To be set apart is your surety and protection against the lies and pain of the world.
A disciple must deny himself. It is the self that agrees with the world. It is the part that is deceived by it. It is the part that wants to stay god of the small self. But you do not see Christ this way. He defeated the possibility of the small self within him at every turn, and now He bid you to “Come, follow Me.”
The cross is the death the disciple must die along with Christ. If it does not die, you will spend your life half in the reality of the kingdom, and half in the world. The two do not mix, not even a little. Trust me, I know from experience. One way or another, the self must die for the you that was resurrected with Christ Jesus to be alive on earth in full form. Then the bliss that you knew at conversion – I remember it well because is experienced it with you! – will be your state of being. Isn’t that better than all that the world can offer you?
Finally, no soldier of the kingdom, nor ambassador on its behalf, may wield power without obedience. A tree is known by its fruit. Do you call yourself a follower of Jesus? Show Him. Show Him and see what happens – things that the common man of the world can’t even imagine. All this and more awaits the disciple of Christ, child of God. What are you waiting for?
All for now, my brother. Until next time, yours very sincerely,