God Created In Our Image

28 Jan

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him.

We were created in the IMAGE of God.  My question is what is YOUR image of God?  Let me ask that questions again, What is YOUR image of God?

What I am finding out in the Bible, what I’m finding out in the life of people I know and what I’m finding out in my own life is WE have CREATED GOD IN OUR IMAGE!

All throughout the Bible people created God in their image.  The children of Israel had an image of God that He brought them out into the wilderness to kill them.  God created in our image!

I once had someone tell me that I needed to fear God.  I had this sense that what they meant  was I better be careful because God may “zap” me any minute if I don’t fall in line with what they believed to be God’s will.  I later found out my intuition was right. God created in our image.

If I were to be honest with myself  the image I had of God in the Old Testament was a mean old man.  Kind of like the man behind the curtain on the Wizard of Oz. Or the kind of God that huffs and puffs and blows your house down. God created in our image.

God is loooong suffering!  God is patient!  God is kind.  On our best day God is good.  On our worst day God is good!  That doesn’t mean we get a “get out of jail free” card.  There are still consequences of our disobedience.

I have learned one thing is that God is constantly pursuing us even we we drift away from  Him.  That hit home  more recently when I read the book of Hosea.  Hosea was a prophet  who God told him to marry a prostitute.

Yep!  That’s what I said.  God told Hosea to marry a prostitute AND have a baby with her.

Why would God tell Hosea to do that?  Cause he wanted to use Hosea as an object lesson.  He married her, had a baby with her and then she would go out and have physical relations with other men.  After she did this for awhile God told Hosea to pursue his wife, bring her home and love her.  That takes a whole lot of unconditional love.  (I’m not sure I could handle that one!  Anyway it’s not about me.)

Israel (as well as us) is like that prostitute.  We go around giving away our intimacy to the world yet God still passionately pursues us.

That is the kind of God we serve.  A God who passionately pursues us on our worst day and on our biggest failure.  If God was so mean why would He give His son to die on the cross for us.

Let me end by asking that question again.  What is your image of God?

A Daily Word From God

6 Jan

I came across a daily devotional that I’m adding to my “Reading the Bible Through in a Year….or two!”

The first day’s devotion was called “Daily Bread.”  Jesus said in teaching the disciples to pray “Give us this day our daily bread.”  He is talking about our daily physical and natural provisions, but He is talking about much more.

Scriptures refer to the Word of God as bread.  Jesus was the Word made flesh.  He was born in Bethlehem which means house of bread. So when Jesus tells us to pray for our daily bread the devotion encourages us to pray for a daily word from God.  So I asked God after the devotion time “God, what do you want to say to me?”  My daily bread (word) was “trust me.”  It was encouraging throughout the day how when a thought or concern came to me I would hear “trust me.”

I encourage you as well to pray for a daily word from God.  Here is the link to the devotional.  I hope you find time to use it for the first 31 days of the New Year.

http://gatewaydevotions.com

Read The Bible Through In a Year….OR two?

2 Jan

I’ve never been a proponent of reading the bible through in a year although I have done it over the years.  I think it is because it seemed like something I would check off my task list for the day.  I’m not sure I got the most out of it.  I did learn some things, but it seemed more of a duty than a desire.

2014 arrives and I sense a nudge from God to read the bible through in a year.  I plan to do some things differently.

I’m reading the New Living Translation Chronological Bible.  The Chronological Bible puts all the stories in order of occurrence. Do you realize the book of Job actually occurred right after the death of Joseph (the one with the coat of many colors)?  The Book of Psalms is sprinkled all through out the life of David.  You capture the emotion behind the Psalms David wrote based on what he was facing at the moment.

I’m not reading it just so I can check it off my task list. I’m underlining things that the Holy Spirit causes to jump off the page at me.  At the end of my reading I journal what seems to be the theme for that day.  Here’s what I’ve received so far:

Day 1:  Be fruitful and multiply.  This doesn’t only mean my physical family, but my spiritual family.  Jesus said it differently in the NT, “go make disciples.”

Day 2: It was the time when people began to first worship the Lord by name.  Some of the men (Enoch, Noah) walked in “close fellowship” while others it  said lived life.  Cain had to leave the presence of the Lord. I would love for it to be said that I walked in close fellowship with God and I certainly don’t want to live life without His presence.

Is it possible that I get off track and miss some days?  Absolutely!  This is not a religious exercise.  I recently read a tweet by Steven Furtick:

“At the beginning of 2013 I set out to read the Bible in a year. One year later, I’m a little behind. But I’m still making progress, & intend to finish. Sometimes you don’t get things done like you thought you would, or like you know you should have/could have. Still, you can reset your expectation & keep on coming. Arriving a little late, maybe, but if you don’t give up on yourself, you’ll be surprised what you can accomplish; better late than never.”

In other words…no pressure!  Plow ahead and don’t give up! Read the bible through in a year….or two!

Quote of the Week!

31 Dec

I know people who were born right, but died wrong.  I know people who were born wrong, but died right.  It all came down to the choices they made. – John Maxwell

Hearing God

31 Dec

One of the most common questions from Christians is how can I hear God’s voice better.  Here is an exert from Alan Smith on hearing God’s voice.

1. Read the Bible. I know this sounds amazingly obvious. But if you want to learn to hear the voice of God, reading the Bible will really help. First of all, God speaks to us through scripture. In fact, this is a primary way he speaks. Secondly, in learning to hear God speak through scripture, we learn to hear what his voice sounds like. Third, increasing familiarity with scripture allows us to rightly judge what we are subjectively hearing to distinguish between God’s voice, our own, and other voices. Don’t just read it to learn. Read it to hear. Allow God’s word to read you. Breathe it in. Connect to the Tree of Life not the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Allow scripture to point you toward divine encounter. Don’t just study the menu, eat the meal. Read it. Study it. Memorize it. Meditate.

I love the comment…connect to the Tree of Life not the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  The very thing that will transform our own life and the lives of those we come in contact is allowing the Life of God to flow out of us.  What a great beginning to the year 2014!!!

Need of Repair?

28 Dec

I wanted to share this from a blog by Bob Hamp.  Behavior is the fruit of the condition of our soul.  Jesus didn’t come so that we could try harder to do better.  If we allow God to heal our unhealed scars then behavior would automatically change.

The Human Soul is Broken and in Need of Repair: 

The thing that Jesus came to fix was not human inability to abide by moral codes. Jesus came to rescue captives and heal the broken. He often made it clear that one of the worst ways to be broken was to be unaware that you are broken, or even worse, to proclaim that you are not in need of repair.

Both “good” and “bad” behavior can emanate from the brokenness of the human soul. When we perceive sin as primarily about behavior, we fall prey to the destructive trap of unconsciously trying to re-define the mission of Jesus.

It is a sure sign that our focus is wrong, when our discussions center on who is right and who is wrong about which behaviors are good and which behaviors are bad

When we understand that ALL behavior that comes from man-as-source is the fruit of our condition, we can focus on condition instead of behavior.

When we, the church, turn our focus to our sinful condition instead of sinful behaviors we will make two very key shifts.

The first is, we will find ourselves all on equal footing. Rather than compare whose behavior is better or worse, we will be able to approach the Lord recognizing that we are all in equal need of His repair. Regardless of the particular symptoms we display, we all suffer from the exact same condition. Self-as-source.

The second result of turning our focus to the human condition, instead of behavior, is that we will all begin to see the mission of the church as allowing God to work through us to restore the broken, and to heal captives. Without this view we become experts in diagnosis, with no treatment available.

This coming year 2014 allow His life to flow to you, indwell in you and be broadcast through you!

Life Complicated?

20 Dec

Were there things that happened this year  that made life more complicated?  Did someone pass away in your family?  Was there a layoff at work?  Did you experience some kind of financial crisis? Did you receive bad news from the doctor?

If life didn’t get complicated for you this year MAYBE you know someone whose life did get more complicated.   I know a friend who lost their job.  I know a teenager who lost their dad. One of my high school friend’s wife found out she had some rare disease.

Maybe one of those people whose life became more complicated was an unchurched person.   What is our response when we see their life get complicated? “You need Jesus!”  As if to say that turning to Jesus will make life uncomplicated.

Jesus didn’t come to make life uncomplicated.

If anything KNOWING JESUS makes life more complicated.  When Mary conceived in her womb the baby Jesus life got more complicated.  For Joseph his fiancé carrying the Son of God life got more complicated.  For the disciples who followed Jesus life got more complicated.

Facebook is going crazy when A&E network suspended Phil Robertson for answering a question about gay people.  Whenever they prayed on the show and said, “in Jesus name, amen” …they would bleep out the word Jesus as if it were a cuss word. They wanted him to say, “thank you, Lord for the food.”  Knowing Jesus has made life more complicated for Phil Robertson.

Jesus didn’t come to make life uncomplicated, but He came that through all the complications of life we might have joy…that we might have peace…that we might have strength.

KNOWING JESUS….not just knowing about Him is the key to having joy and peace in the middle of life’s complications.

Until each of us PERSONALLY experiences HIS PRESENCE…until each of us has a PERSONAL ENCOUNTER with HIS PRESENCE  we will never experience the joy and the peace in the middle of life’s complications.

My prayer is that we all push in deeper to our relationship with God and experience HIS PRESENCE like never before.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.