Have you ever heard or said, "He looks just like his father," or "She has her mother's eyes." Usually we are referring only to a person's physical image/likeness.
Although we have never seen God the Father, how do we know what He is like?
- He [Jesus Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.- Colossians 1:15 ESV
Photo courtesy of Flickr user mujitra(FYI: not our girl and me.)
The Greek for "image" is "eikοn" and in Col. 1:15 refers to "his divine nature and absolute moral excellence."* It goes beyond the external to who Christ is in His nature/character.
When we look at Jesus' life, we get a glimpse into Father God's character (i.e., who He really is). We see Jesus invited to parties, and we see a God, who enjoys celebrating with friends.
We see a God, who is more concerned about motivation and thoughts than only external image. He holds us to a higher standard than mere outward piety.
- "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY'; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." -Jesus, Matt. 5:27-28 NASB
When Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery, and told her to sin no more, we see a God who forgives and gives second chances. So grateful.
When Jesus wept at Lazarus' tomb with Mary although he would soon raise Lazarus from the dead, we see God's compassion (John 11:28-44). We see a God so moved by our tears that He wept.
Whenever I read this passage, I am so touched at God's very present-in-the-moment-empathy with our suffering. It gives me the courage to go to Him just as I am.
We don't need to put on a mask, and create an image to please Him.
But we live in a time where one's "image" is often composed of carefully curated images on Facebook, magazine covers, and/or other media outlets.
But I wonder how much of one's public image matches up with who one is internally (i.e., the real unadorned self)?
It is one of the issues I struggle with as a blogger. I cannot share all of my life with you; it would not be wise nor would it inspire any reality TV shows (maybe I should be thankful for that ). But I desire to be as honest as I can while respecting the privacy of my loved ones and friends, and my own heart.
Only God knows all of me (Psalm 139), and He still loves me...anyway. Amazing!
I am well aware of my failures, but I am learning to not condemn myself, because God doesn't (Romans 8:1). His Spirit convicts, so I can ask forgiveness, and change.
This is the slow process of letting Christ's image become formed inside of me so that it can be seen on the outside.
- Paul uses the same Greek word for "image" in Col. 3:10 when he tells the Colossian believers to "put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him."
When one becomes spiritually reborn as God's child, we receive Christ's image; we have the possibility of being like Christ for the first time.
But we must make a daily choice: do we put on our old self (addicted to pleasing only self), or do we put on the new self, and like Christ, seek to obey God the Father above all else.
I give thanks that God sees Christ's image of righteousness in us even when we say, and do what we wish we had not. We are not our mistakes. We are God's beloved. (Repeating this to myself.)
And He is shaping us, and changing us one second, one decision at a time. He sees our yearning to be like Christ even as we stumble, fall, and begin anew.
We become more like Christ, as we look at Him, spend time with Him, and let Him transform us from the inside out.
This song, "Restless," resonates with where I am...restless apart from God.
Subscribers click here to hear Audrey Assad sing with lyrics.
What helps you to rest in the truth of being formed in Christ's image?
* Source is http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?strongs=G1504
Also linking today with sweet and gifted friend Laura,
and the amazing Jen
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