IN THE IMAGE OF GOD
Dedicated to helping you purposefully live the life God planned for you
Whose Are You?
Would you believe it if I told you, you are privileged? How about if I told you, you are holy?
If you are a true follower of Jesus Christ, the bible says that, while you are still a sinner 1 John 1:8, you are holy in God’s eyes through Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:16-17). Because you are holy, out of His kindness, God called you to share in his eternal glory (1 Peter 5:10). Not just after you die, but now. This is The Privilege of Holiness.
However, most of us live in a state of confusion about who we really are. We are bombarded with messages in movies, TV, magazines, and from our so-called friends on social networking sites like Facebook. They tell us what we should look like, what we should believe, how we should act, and who we should love or not love. And, there is no shortage of advice from people telling us how to be a better person and live a better life if we only …
The sad thing is, our culture, including many of our friends are confused about what is right and what is wrong. Most people we know, are not qualified to give us advice about earthly things let alone heavenly things.
The unfortunate thing is that we measure ourselves by the confused and often contradicting standards of the messages we hear from those sources. We compare ourselves to the photoshopped images of others online, in magazines, or on billboards. We spend more time connecting to, reading about, and listening to the impersonal messages from people we don’t know than we do with the people who should matter most to us. We become disappointed or even depressed because our lives look unfulfilled. Then, we get so preoccupied with changing ourselves to be like these false images that we are blinded to the real image of whose we are and who we were created to be.
We seek out life-altering advice and counsel from people we don’t know and who don’t know us or care about us instead of getting advice and counsel from the Creator of the Universe who knows us (Jeremiah 1:5), considers us holy (1 John 1:8), called us to share in His eternal glory (1 Peter 5:10) and already has a perfect plan for our life (Jeremiah 29:11-13). That’s right, the best advice you can get on how to live the life of your dreams has already been written by the Creator of the Universe and is waiting for you to come and get it.
The heart of the reason why we search in all the wrong places for confirmation on our worth or advice for living the life we were meant to live, is that we do not realize “whose we are.” The result of not knowing whose we are is that most of us are confused as to who we are and who we were meant to be. We are like a child who was left at the doorstep of an orphanage at birth with no sense of identity and no one nurturing us through life.
Most of us don’t need statistical evidence to appreciate the importance of a parent’s love, nurturing, and guidance in our formative years. But, a true story in a Time Magazine article called, “Measure of a Mother’s Love: How Early Neglect Derails Child Development1,” can give us an idea of how important it is to experience the nurturing of your Heavenly Father and know that you belong to Him.
In 2012 the author wrote, “Despite early evidence that orphanage infants were far more likely to die than others, proponents (of orphanage policies) argued that it didn’t matter whether children had “parents” specially devoted to them at the orphanage claiming that simply feeding and changing them appropriately would be adequate until adoptive parents were found. Babies, they said, couldn’t remember anyway.” The article says the consequences of that belief became clear in Romania in the 1980’s and 1990’s when “a ban on abortion led to a surge in orphanage babies.”
“The longer these children were left in their cribs, simply being fed and changed without individualized affection, the more damage was seen, even if the orphanage was clean and well-run. Many children developed autistic-like behaviors, repetitively rocking or banging their heads. Some were cold and withdrawn or indiscriminately affectionate; some alternated between these extremes. And they simply didn’t grow like normal infants: their head circumferences were abnormally small and they had problems with attention and comprehension.”
Advocates of the policies doubted that the problems were a result of the fact that babies did not receive nurturing in their early years. They blamed it on a hunch that the babies had pre-existing conditions.
In the study, researchers were allowed to randomly place abandoned infants without clear birth defects to either usual orphanage care or foster care from birth. “The study showed that the children who were placed in foster care developed normally, with appropriate head sizes, and less distress, better attentional skills, and a 9-point higher IQ on average, compared with children sent to orphanages. Follow-up studies found that the orphanage-raised group was more than twice as likely to develop mental illness, compared with those who’d been in foster care. More than 50% of the orphanage group was diagnosed with at least one mental illness.
It may seem obvious that parental attachment, and particularly the attachment of a child to its mother plays a fundamental role in shaping who the child becomes. Without parental attachment the harm to the child is great. What’s not obvious, according to the research is that “without devoted, repeated acts of love, a child’s brain doesn’t make the growth hormone needed for proper mental and physical development and numerous other imbalances are also created.”
The same is true for our spiritual life. When a person does not know “whose they are”, when they do not identify as a child of God, they are like an orphanage infant left to be fed by the confusing messages of the world. Their spiritual life will either remain undeveloped or they develop a spiritual illness. Their resulting life as a whole is not what it was meant to be because there is no one to nurture them spiritually. And, the longer they are left as spiritual orphans the harder it is for them to become the person God created them to be.
In the gospel of John, referring to Jesus, the apostle John says “12 … to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12 (LASBNLT – Bible Text).” That is to say, all who believe Jesus is the Son of God who was born of a virgin, lived a perfect sinless life, gave his life as a sacrifice for our sins, then conquered death by rising to new life, and receive him as their Lord and Savior have the privilege to be sons and daughters of God.
Throughout scripture, God tells those who are His sons and daughters that they are privileged. Below are just a few of the privileges of being a son or daughter of God.
The privilege of Honor – Peter says those who believe in Jesus Christ are honored. “So the honor is for you who believe (1 Peter 2:7, English Standard Version (ESV)).”
The privilege of Personal Relationship – When speaking about Jesus as the living cornerstone of God’s temple, Peter says, “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him (1 Peter 2:4 NIV). This means we no longer need to come to the Father through a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15-16).” Believers have the Privilege of an ongoing active personal relationship with Jesus Christ and to God The Father through Jesus. And, we can “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
The privilege of Heavenly Blessings – We have every spiritual blessing in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3).
The privilege of being Co-Heirs with Jesus Christ – We are co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).
The privilege to Possess the Kingdom of Heaven – In the beatitudes taught by Jesus, he tells us the Kingdom of Heaven is ours (Matthew 5:3-11).
The privilege to be Salt and Light – We are salt and light to the world (Matthew 5:13-14).
God wants us to know “whose we are”, how special we are because we are His, so we can live out the high calling He planned for us and so we can enjoy the privileges of being His sons and daughters.
Jesus is referred to as a “cornerstone chosen and precious (1 Peter 2:6 ESV),” set in the place of honor (1 Peter 2:6 MSG) as the foundation of the house of God. You have become living building-stones for God’s use in building the rest of his house (1 Peter 2:5 NLT). In the first half of 2020, I will be releasing a book titled, “In The Image Of God” and an app to help people like you identify where they fit in the architecture of the house of God and how to pursue your life’s calling with purpose and clarity. When it is released, you will have the tools to not only align your life mission and goals to the plan God has for you, but you will have the tools to support you along your journey. With these tools, you will be able to predict the successful outcome of your goals because our tools will guide you using resources tailored to the way God made you.
Like a stone mason shapes each stone as he combines many stones to build a wall, God is actively shaping you to fit perfectly in the walls of the house He is building. Through our personal mission encounter and tools, you will chisel through your outer surface to expose the polished stone within. This Personal mission encounter will help you see yourself as a child of God and give you the tools to grow progressively into the likeness of your brother Jesus as you define and achieve a life lived on purpose for the glory of God.
In the personal mission encounter, you will identify your Mission, sometimes referred to as purpose. You will identify your Values, Strengths and Life Roles. You will use your Mission, Values, Strengths and Life Roles to create a Vision for your life that aligns with God’s will. Then, you will create Goals and a plan to live your God inspired Vision. To help you stay the course, you will learn to continually renew your mind to recognize what God has done for you and what He wants for your future. Through this encounter, you will come to understand your true worth in a world that does not understand God’s plan and cannot properly evaluate your worth.
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