Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Clear Image



Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
 Ephesians 5:1-2

We are made in the image of God at birth (meaning we are born with the potential of being  like our Creator in terms of being his children, and heirs to his kingdom in heaven), but as we grow closer to him through our relationship with Jesus, we are constantly being shaped into the image of Jesus.
But how does that happen?

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18


For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.
Colossians 1:9-15




Seek Him...

 

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Hebrews 11:6 (emphasis mine)
 
Draw near to Him...
 
 


 

 




I recently watched a 'Nature' episode on PBS about orangutans. At the same time I was doing a study on what the word 'image'  means to me.
In the program, I noticed how the young orangutans would get in real close to the parent in order to learn how to do the things the parent did, like how to use a stick to get seeds out of a plant. It was actually comical to watch the youngster get within inches of the grown-up so that their focus was intent upon them and nothing else.
 And then it struck me...
That is the way we should be with our Lord!
In order to learn of him and imitate the way he does things, we need to get in closer...our focus should be zeroed in on him and him alone.
I honestly need to follow this advice myself...I can sense the Lord speaking into my own spirit as I write out this blog post. In fact, just as I began writing, a friend called asking for advice on choosing a camera. I told her which one I use, and how it has a good zoom capability, but the image stabilizer was something that seemed to take too long for me to be able to get that final shot sometimes.
 
I haven't written anything on this blog for a couple of months and was struggling with what to write today when I remembered how God used a TV program to teach me something...and when I wasn't quite sure where to begin this essay, The Lord further directed me using a phone call from a friend.
Honestly, what are the chances of getting a random call about photography while creating a post about 'image' ?
This was no mere coincidence, and what it told me was that God is interested in what I'm doing here on this blog; in fact, he is able to use me in this way...but only if I pay close attention.

So what does an image stabilizer do anyway?
The short answer to that question is it is a technology built into many cameras that helps reduce the blur caused by the operator being shaky when trying to hold the camera steady...It does a job similar to what a tripod does.

Now I will attempt to make a comparison to this technology, and what I believe The Lord is trying to teach me concerning learning to watch him in order to be able to imitate his ways...
In order to be able to get a clear picture of who Jesus is...We need to use the Word of God. We need to read his Word closely in order to discover him, who he is, and how he does things.
 I believe The Bible is our image stabilizer...and Jesus is the image we are focusing on.
And yes, just like the image stabilizer on my camera takes some time before the image comes into focus...so does studying the Bible take time in order to reveal a clear picture of The Lord to me.

If you Google "Image of Jesus" you will get a million different images..

The Shroud of Turin
 Although for the sake of this study, we are not focusing on the physical, bodily image ...but the personality, the attributes of Jesus. Which are so plentiful in scripture that there is no room to list them all here.


The Father Revealed

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
John 146-11
Notice in vs. 8 how even though he had known and seen Jesus with his own eyes, Philip wanted to see more.
Even Job in the old testament longed to see God with his own eyes...

                    For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
  
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That  in my flesh I shall see God,
 
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
Job 19:25-27


So it is understanding that we also long to look upon the face of our Redeemer.

But we Christians have been given the Spirit of God, and not only will we see him, but we will be like him when we enter into eternity.

 Until we see Him face to face, we can catch a glimpse of Him in a true Believer, a true Christian right here on planet earth.
(Remember this the next time you are tempted to talk badly about a fellow believer.) *Oh-Oh! :o

 Or maybe we can see him when we look in the mirror..
Then one of the elders said to me “Do not weep! See, the LION of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed..
Revelation 5: 5

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
*And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

1 Corinthians 13:12-13
*(I included vs.13 because the subject of LOVE seems to be the main context of the chapter)

So if we LOVE God and others the way Jesus demonstrated in the Bible, then God sees Jesus when he looks at us.

which makes perfect sense because Jesus gave us the command:

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
This commandment may sound simple, but it is not easy.
In fact, I would be lying if I said I found it easy to truly and always love God, let alone myself or anyone else!
Only through Jesus can we experience that kind of love towards anyone.

  • John 3:16- For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
  • 1 John 3:16- This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
 I don't think its by accident that both of these verses are located in separate books of the Bible, yet are numbered exactly the same verse and chapter. They sure do seem to connect one to the other!
We ought to be willing to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters in Christ...I believe this means not only our mortal life, but also to lay aside time and energy for one another.
*This is just my opinion, not to imply this as the meaning of what Jesus is saying here

I hope this essay has in some way helped you to want to get to know God better...The Bible tells us that the only way to get to the Father is through his son, Jesus Christ.
So please understand that all you need to do is to read of him in scripture, and to fully understand his Word is to know the person himself who is called 'The Word'.

 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

How can I really get to know Jesus?
If you repent of your sins, ask Jesus into your heart today, believing that he died for your sins  so that you will live with him in eternity instead of going to hell as a payment for your own sin...You will receive the Holy Spirit who will reside within you, which will guide you into understanding scripture, and that will enable you to change into a new creation in Christ..
 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,..  Ephesians 3:16
 
~Blessings & Love~
and always remember, we are...

~NEVER FORSAKEN~


 

19 comments:

Reformed rebel said...

Lisa ~ Get to know God better...focus...that is what I have been doing recently. I have been getting to know Him better...reading His word and talking to Him more...and through knowing Him better actually understanding myself and others better. The Lord is good! This is a great post!! Love...Hugs and blessings to you...Chelle

Anonymous said...

Oh Lisa! I was so happy to come and read this today. It's been a bit of a rough day - and I had already been reminded to keep my focus on Jesus - and then I came here and read your post and was so blessed! Thanks so much~ May God continue to bless you and keep you strong and thriving! Lisa in Texas :O)
Some reason it's giving me problems posting - so will have to go with anonymous.

Sandi said...

This was just wonderful. Thank you!

Jane said...

Another wonderful thought-provoking post! Thank you!

Hugs
Jane

Susie Swanson said...

I really needed this today and it is so beautiful. Thank you sweet friend.

Sharon said...

What a wonderful post, my friend! I love the interplay between image and cameras and looking like Jesus. Great word picture! I thought about how in the old days people would use chemicals and trays to develop photos. It was a time-consuming process. But isn't that just what the Lord does with us? He takes His time, developing in us the very image of Himself. I hope my life reflects Him well!

GOD BLESS!

Never Forsaken said...

That's how it works, isn't it...Once you are centered on the Lord, everything else becomes clearer! I have to remember this, as I tend to forget until I find myself in the middle of the fog sometimes.
((hugs)) ~Lisa

Never Forsaken said...

I'm so glad my post helped you, Lisa!
I don't know what went wrong with Blogger not letting you sign in...Did you check if your username was in the reply as area? I pray you are doing well also, my friend. ((hugs))

Connie Arnold said...

Thank you for the wonderful, beautiful post. It is truly a blessing and inspiration!

Never Forsaken said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
Thanks for commenting!

Never Forsaken said...

You are so welcome, and thank you for your comment!

Never Forsaken said...

I'm so glad this post was helpful to you, Susie... I pray you are doing well, my dear friend.

Never Forsaken said...

That's an excellent analogy, Sharon!
As far as I can tell, you are showing The Lord through your writing on your blogs...and that is a good way to reflect His love and wisdom to the world and encourage other believers too!

Never Forsaken said...

Thank you so much, Connie, for such an encouraging comment! To inspire and Bless someone is the whole reason I write this blog.

Linda said...

This is such a beautiful and inspiring post, God bless you! And the image with the cat seeing a lion in the mirror has been my profile pic for years now, I really like it. Thank you so much for sharing, and warm greetings from Montreal, Canada.

Never Forsaken said...

Hello, Linda!
Thank you for such a nice comment.
That picture is one of my favorites too!

Brenda said...

Hi Lisa,
Lovely post. I always love the way that the Lord uses every day things and happenings in our lives to speak to us. It all begins with us seeking to be changed into His image, and we are changed gradually - line upon line, precept upon precept.
The main thing I have found in my life is to take every thought captive and bring it into obedience to Christ (that Word spoken to me). I often have my earthly father's words come into my mind 'Let's see what the Lord says', when I check to see if what is happening in my life is in line with scripture.

Crown of Beauty said...

Thank you for this post. It is a timely read for me. Image stabilizers... the way you connected it to God's Word is beautiful. How true indeed that when we focus on the Word, we get a clearer understanding (image) of what He wants of us. Glad I dropped by this morning. Love, Lidia

Jedidja said...

Thank you! How's it now with you?

So do not fear,  for I am with you;      do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen  you and help  you;      I will uphold ...