Our God is an awesome Creator!
David, as a shepherd had lots of time to reflect on nature and the God who made it. In Psalm 8:2-4, he wrote, “when I consider your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what a man that you are mindful of Him, and the Son of man that you care for Him?”
As David meditated on God’s natural creation, it helped him to develop a healthy perspective on the sovereignty of God and the dignity and worth of man.
In Psalm 8:5 he wrote, “You (God) made him (us) a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him (us) with glory and honor.”
Don’t miss what David wrote in that verse – he has been reflecting on God’s natural creation but now he reflects on the significance that God places on human life. We are different from all of the rest of creation because we were made in the likeness and image of God. We are the special objects of His love. God wanted us – that’s why He made man. He loves us. God wants us – that’s why He sent Jesus to redeem us with His shed blood. In Revelation 1:5b, John wrote, “To Him (Christ) who loves us and has set us free from our sins by His blood.” In Hebrews 9:12 we read, “He (Christ) entered the most holy place once for all, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption (for us).”
Do you bear a family resemblance to either of your parents? It is quite common for a son or daughter to take on some of the character traits and talents of one of the parents.
In 2 Corinthians 5:17, we read, ”Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he/she is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.” The words “in Christ” speak of our being in union with Him. That union means that new life from Him and the indwelling Holy Spirit is springing up within us, so that we should be taking on a family likeness – His likeness. There is a literal transformation that is taking place as we “grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18).
Let me give you a first-rate example of someone who experienced transformation. In Timothy 1:12-16, the Apostle Paul gives the following testimony –
“And I thank Christ Jesus, our Lord, who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me in the ministry, and although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason, I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all long-suffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.”
Paul was an image-bearer. His life and ministry gave witness to his life-changing union with Christ. The Bible is full of examples of men and women whose lives were radically changed by their union with Christ.
In 1 Cor. 11:1, the Apostle wrote, ”Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” In the New Living Translation, it reads, “And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” Webster defines “imitate” – “to follow as a pattern, model, or example, to be or appear like.”
We used to sing a wonderful chorus that I think expresses what should be the desire of every true Christian – “My desire, to be like Jesus, my desire to be like Him. His Spirit fills me; His love o’erwhelm me; In word and deed to be like Him.”
Years ago, I was introduced to another wonderful song that I frequently consider – “Down in my heart there’s a deep desire to be like Jesus today. Purge me, my God, with holy fire; burn every hindrance away. O make my life a picture of Jesus, so that the whole wide world may see. O make my life a picture of Jesus. May His beauty be seen in me.”
I believe this is what Peter had in mind when he penned 1 Peter 2:9-10 – “But you are a chosen generation, a special people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people that you may proclaim (display, exhibit, manifest) the praises of Him (Christ) who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (talk about transformation); who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”
· Are you a born-again Christian?
· If you are, how has Christ changed your life since you came to know Him?
· Is it your heart’s desire to become more and more like Jesus?
· Are you growing in your union with Jesus?
· Do others see Jesus likeness developing in your life?
· Is it the desire of your heart to reveal Jesus to family and friends?
I close with the words of Jesus just before He left to go back to heaven – Acts 1:8
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me, in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
My precious brother and sister in Christ, that is why He saved us – to be image-bearers, witnesses of Him to the end of the earth!
Let’s rise and shine!