4/3/2009 - Reflecting God's Image

Quiet Time 4-3-09:  Reflecting God’s Image

We have all been created in God’s image (Gen 1:26-27) and God created us to bring glory to Him (Isaiah 43:7). The attributes of God are such that we do not have words to explain them; great and wonderful fall short of the praise and glory He deserves.  So being created in His image is an amazing thing.
An image is something that so closely resembles the real thing that it is hard to tell the difference.   We usually think of the truest “image” as the reflection seen a mirror, every detail is the same and every movement is replicated at the exact same time.  If someone looks at us and looks at our image reflected in a mirror they can’t tell the two apart until we walk away from the mirror and then our image or reflection disappears from the mirror.  Since God is God and we are an image of God that makes us the mirror.  We are what others should be able to look at to see an image of God.  The problem is that our sins cloud the image.  Trying to reflect God’s image is like a dirty and cracked mirror or one that completely distorts the image like those seen at a carnival.  Because of our sins we only resemble God at best.  If we turn away from God it is like walking away from a mirror, there is no image of God at all.

God gave Moses laws to follow in order to be holy – to reflect His image.  (Exodus 19:5-7, Leviticus 19:2, Leviticus 20:7)  But the people of Israel could not obey the commands and were cast out of the land and away from His presence.  That is the same fate we faced until God showed grace and mercy and sent His son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins so that we can have eternal life.  Christ came in our “likeness” to save us from the world (Philippians 2:7).  Christ came in human form, faced human temptations and suffered crucifixion.  Christ came to give us a visible image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15).
By accepting Christ as our savior we receive the Holy Spirit and thereby have the ability to reflect the image of our Lord (2 Corinthians 3:16-18).  We can’t be perfect but we are to strive to become Christ-like individually and together as one body.  That is what brings glory to God.  Trying to be good and do good is not a requirement for salvation, but it is a requirement to bring glory to God (Matthew 5:16, 1 Corinthians 10:31).  I believe that that the free gift of salvation can not be received without the Holy Spirit being received.  Where the Holy Spirit is there will be a desire to bring glory to God.  This desire will grow and become more obvious to others, hence a clearer reflection.  Reflecting Christ to others is only possible by the work of the Holy Spirit through prayer and being in God’s Word.  Prayer and the Bible are the Windex that the Holy Spirit uses to clean us.  Without it we are dirty mirrors that only get dirtier.

. . . make smart choices, love everybody, be a blessing, I love you and have a great day.

Genesis 1:26-27 (New Living Translation)
26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings[a] in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”
27 So God created human beings[b] in his own image.
      In the image of God he created them;
      male and female he created them.
Isaiah 43:7 (New Living Translation)
7 Bring all who claim me as their God,
      for I have made them for my glory.
      It was I who created them
Exodus 19:5-7 (New Living Translation)
5 Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. 6 And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.”
7 So Moses returned from the mountain and called together the elders of the people and told them everything the LORD had commanded him.
Leviticus 19:2 (New Living Translation)
2 “Give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel. You must be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.
Leviticus 20:7 (New Living Translation)
7 So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I am the LORD your God.
Philippians 2:7 (King James Version)
7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Colossians 1:15 (New Living Translation)
15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (New Living Translation)
16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
Matthew 5:16 (New Living Translation)
16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (New Living Translation)
31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Galatians 4:19 (New Living Translation)
19 Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives.
Philippians 3:20-21 (New Living Translation)
20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.
1 John 3:2 (New Living Translation)
2 Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (New Living Translation)
12 Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[a] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.