Blog

Filter By:

In the Image of My Father

main image

In the image of my Father

So it has been a while since I have posted a blog.  So here we go again.  I started writing yesterday and it was really good, I mean really good.  Got in this morning and went to finish up and guess what?  I forgot to save it.  So I hope the Lord will give me recall on what I had already written.  I also want to thank those of you have encouraged me on my past posts.  I believe you were being honest when you said it was good and not just being nice.  With that said, here we go.

Some of you know that Mt. Pleasant has started a year long journey through the bible.  We started at the beginning, which is always a great place to start.  We will work our way through the Word for the next 12 months.  It has been refreshing for me as I go back, read, and study the bible.  I have asked God to give me fresh eyes especially on the passages that are familiar.As I was reading the first chapter of Genesis and came to verse 27, I really spent some time thinking about the fact that I am created in the image of God.  Wow!  That sounds great but what does that mean because I know it does not mean physical image.  So after digging a little deeper, I discovered I am made in the image of God physiologically.  (Yes, I looked up that word.)  What that big word means is that God created me to function like Him.  HMM!  God gave us three characteristics that make us like Him. First, God created us with the ability to reason and choose.  This is the image of God’s intellect and free will. Second, God created man in righteousness and perfect innocence.  Now we know that is not the case these days.  You see when sin entered into the world, innocence and righteousness was contaminated.  However, there is a remnant of that in all of us.  That is why,even as children, we know when we are doing something wrong.  Without this moral remnant in men we would have full-blown lawlessness, would not have any laws, and would not be outraged at the evil actions of others.  Finally, God made us to have fellowship with Him and each other.  God revealed this at the very beginning of time.  God looked at Adam and said it is not good for man to be alone.  Adam was new to this thing called life, he didn’t know he was lonely but God did.  Whenever we make a new friend, hug our children, get married, or even attend church, we are a reflection of being made in the image of God.  WOW!!!  This all adds up to the fact that I am very special to God. Because I have been created in His image I need to live up to that image. 

Here is the other side of thatand where Genesis 1:27 reminded me of my earthly father, Hayne Sandifer.  You see God did not just create me in His image; everyone has been created in His image.  Red, yellow, black, and white everyone is precious in His site. He created us all to be like Him.  So not only am I special but so are you, and you, and you and even you, yes you.  So if you are special to God then I should treat you special.  When I meet you for the first time, I must treat you as a dignitary.  When you ask me for help, I should help you as someone of great importance.  When you tell me you don’t believe like I do, I must respect and honor you.  Why?  The reason you are special outweighs the reasons that makes us different.  Each of us has been created by the same creator, whether you believe it or not.  Creation was not a freak accident, the clockmaker precision of our solar system and universe could have only happened with an Omniscient (all knowing) Creator.  I know Him as Father, God, Jehovah,the Great I AM.  Each of us has been created in His image.

I mentioned my earthly father earlier in this post.  Here is why Genesis 1:27 reminds me of my father.  I saw through his actions that he knew that everyone was special and created in the image of God.  What I saw in him was whether he was talking to an old friend, a new acquaintance, a non-believer, really anyone, he treated them with respect and honor.  He would make people feel as though they were the most important person in the world to him.  I never saw him condemn anyone for their sin, however he would encourage them and let them know that God loved them and so did he.  He was genuinely interested in the other person.  I believe this is what God intended for each of us when he chose to create us in His image.  What would this world be like if each of us looked at others red, yellow, black, and white as coming from the same creator for the same purpose?  There might be more peace and less chaos, more love less hatred, more happiness less hunger, more healing less hurting.  My earthly father showed me what our heavenly Father desired when He chose to create us in his own image.  What image of God are we reflecting to the world in which we live?

God created man in His own image.

We are all, every one of us special!

 

 

WHAT IF WE DID IT LIKE THEY USED TO?

I like to think of myself as a forward thinker someone who operates out of the box.  Operating out of the box only creates a new box which is used to keep up with the times.  That means in the not too distant future my box will be looked on as the old box.  Then someone will come along and say “I am going to think outside the box” “SHAZAAM”, now we have another new box.  I think you get the picture.  Nothing is wrong with new ways of thinking in the Kingdom of God as long as the message is not compromised.  The new boxes may not compromise the message but  have the potential to weaken the result of the message on God’s children.  I am not sure where the church got misdirected  but  it has veered off the path Christ blazed.  Being a Christian today does not resemble the first century Follower of Christ.  In the first century Christ Followers were increasing in numbers daily and  the growth was unstoppable  Even though  Followers of Christ were being persecuted everywhere they were.

 How did the church of the first century thrive and survive such a tough beginning?

You only have to look to  Jesus and those first followers of Christ to see the box we need to reopen.  Jesus was a Rabbi (teacher) who did not teach theory, philosophy. No was he a man who taught to pass along knowledge.  Jesus taught in a way to pass along a way of living. Jesus would preach to the multitudes, He taught the 12 but He poured into Peter, James, and John.  Throughout the gospels you see where Jesus took Peter, James, and John pouring His life into their lives.  As a result of Jesus pouring into them they would pour their lives into others.  Those that the three poured into would pour into others and so it went for many years, and the disciple (Christians) multiplied greatly.  This model of teaching was the primary way of teaching for years.  Farmers taught their children how to farm, blacksmiths taught their children how to blacksmith, store owners taught their children to run the store and so it went for many years. You rarely hear the statement "this farm has been in my family for many generations" or "this is the family business that my great-grandfather started" and here I am still running the family business.  We have lost the art of passing on knowledge through shared lives and experiences.  This is why there is a shortage of men and women who actually know a trade.  It is also why the church in America is declining.

The Bible Belt is not currently experiencing the decline many other areas in our nation are experiencing.  We must not bury our heads in the sand and think it will not happen here.  That attitude breeds complacency in the local church which creates the perfect storm.  What I mean by this is if we are not proactive now in making a change in how we pass on Biblical knowledge before decline begins, it might be too late once decline is actually happening.  For years I have operated out of a reactionary mind set which can be tiring, burdensome, and prone for mistakes.  Jesus was very intentional with His time while on earth. As Christ followers, disciples, Christians, terms that are interchangeable, we should be intentional in our passing on the Christian faith as a lifestyle not just belief in a set of principles.  Moving forward my vision is to create a practice that resembles the process that Jesus used.  This means we must go back to the original box, the Jesus box to grow the church the way “they used to do it”.   Hmm?  If it worked for Jesus it just might work for us. 

Stay tuned. More to come! 

Posted by Glenn Sandifer with 0 Comments

Previous123