Created in God’s Image

The concept of identity, and finding it in God alone began in the garden with the creation of the first man and first woman. Back to the garden in which God saw that everything He made was good, but looking around something was still missing. Out of a pile of dust on the ground, God formed man. Still, that was not enough, the creation needed something special, something of more value, something that in the end was going to have him up the ante from good to very good. So, God made man just not another creature, but an image bearer of the Creator Himself. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27 Mankind was created to bear the image of God. It is part of our being and is what makes us human. This image given to Adam and his bride, Eve, gave them the capacity to accomplish their purpose to rule over the creatures and subdue the earth.   It is the image that gives us special value within the creation. How is a human different than a dolphin, cat, hamster or spider? People were crafted in the image of God, while the others were not.   The special gift of God’s image also gave special standing in the creation – united with God, having a relationship with Him and serving Him, while at the same time stewarding the creation.   Because of the untarnished image of God, there was perfect identity in God. The man and his wife had...

Image of the Invisible God

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. – Colossians 1:15 The second commandment says that we are not to create any images of God, nor are we to serve an idol of our own creation. For any representation that we, as broken image bearers, will create will fall short of the true image and also have inherent flaws. While our idols and images of wholeness are not necessarily a golden calf, they fall short just the same. Having no images does not just refer to physical objects, but the the images that we demand wholeness and significance from. For the church leader, an image may be size of the church. Or having a particular reputation and status within the community. Or an idea of excellence that should be achieved. Striving for these things becomes equated with serving God well and begin to form a foundation for justification. In all of us, there is the temptation to put body image, dietary lifestyle, relational status, or even kid’s behavior and education on a pedestal. An image of wholeness and what a life well lived should look like. So we serve these things, and many, many others. Yet, these idols we strive after, all they will do is demand. There is no rest in the quest for body image. If you eat a snickers bar then you will have to work that much harder. There is no freedom in trying to achieve a certain financial independence, for it becomes a precarious position to maintain. More will always be required. Idols never forgive; they relentlessly take and...

Shattering the Image

Hand crafted in the image of the Creator, experiencing no shame, the man and woman were left to tend the garden God had placed them in. For an unknown amount of time, the two of them lived in this idyllic state. Until the Lie. A serpent appears on the scene with the ability to talk. Myself, I hate snakes. Since I can never remember if it is “yellow on black, better step back” or “red on black, friend of Jack” or “red on yellow, you’re a dead fellow”, I just play it safe and avoid them all. Much more so a snake that could talk.   But that bit of wisdom was not available to our happy couple and they engage the crafty serpent in conversation. This serpent is intent on spreading a Lie; God held back on them, He really did not have their best interest at heart and could not be trusted. They were really less valuable then they were going around thinking. There was something they were still lacking if they were going to be complete.   The Lie was that there was something in addition to God that would make them whole.   Sound familiar? The enemy convinced God’s image bearers that they were incomplete and not fully acceptable. It is the same Lie that all of us at some point believe. It is the source of our false self and it comes in a million forms. “I am not wanted.” “I am not lovable.” “God is nowhere to be found.” “I am unnoticed.” “I am defective.” This list could go on and on.  ...

Why Do We Adopt an Identity?

Within us there is the craving for security, control, acceptance and wholeness. It is the remnant of the broken image of God resonating inside of us. Apart from Christ, we attempt to create our own covering for this brokenness. This covering, our identity, what we show the world, is our way to create the wholeness, significance, and acceptance that is our desire. Value is created for us by comparison. Identity is created by answering the questions: What do I do? What do I have? What do people think of me? Now there is a framework to measure ourselves in relation to others. Whether it is the type of car, shape of my body, parenting style, political party, nationality, race, neighborhood, or whatever – identity creates a hierarchy and hence value for my false self. Just like Adam and Eve, we fall prey to the lie that something more than God is necessary for what we crave. Because we must constantly satisfy our identity, it leads to idolatry. Sin. Separation from God. It can’t be helped. You can’t serve two masters. Unfortunately, when we become Christ followers, instead of an identity in Christ –  we adopt an identity of religiosity. Doing the things that look Christian. Works and self-effort. In that case, Christ is used to answer the questions of identity. Yet, Christ makes those questions moot. What do I do? God is not impressed by performance. He doesn’t need us, He loves us. Our righteousness is declared, not earned. You are free to do the works of service He has prepared for you in advance. What do I have? Everything, in Christ. He is the...

Gain Perspective. Live Well.

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