I Want To Be Like You Jesus

IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

Dedicated to helping you purposefully live the life God planned for you

I Want To Be Like You Jesus

When is the last time you heard a child say, “I can’t wait to grow up so I can [fill in the blank]?” No matter how old they are, kids are usually anxious to grow up. They always want to be able to do what the older kids do. 

Even adults want to be like someone they see as having a better life or someone whose achievements they admire.

From an early age, we strive to be like someone else or like our future selves.

Jesus wants us to know what it will be like when we leave this world and grow into our eternal selves. He said we will someday be like him. Not like little gods, but pure and righteous as he is. Jesus wants us to desire that life and pursue righteousness now. 

In the fourth Beatitude, he says we will be blessed if we “hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6 NIV).” He promised that, when we hunger and thirst for righteousness, our hunger will be filled. 

The “Life Application Bible Commentary for Matthew” says, “The words “hunger and thirst” picture intense longings that people desire to satisfy—necessities that they cannot live without.”

King David understood what it meant to hunger and thirst for righteousness. In Psalm 42:1-2, he compared it to a dear panting for water.

Our home is located at the edge of a heavily wooded area where deer and other animals are plentiful. My understanding is that dear pant like dogs to cool their bodies. They do not have sweat glands like humans to expel body heat. They pant for water because their body depends on water just like the human body needs water. The longer they are away from water, the more they pant as they struggle to cool their body.  

In the same way, when we are not in close fellowship with God, our souls yearn for Him. I had this experience earlier in my life. 

I was exposed to enough scripture to lead me to Jesus when I was young. I experienced the scripture’s living water. During my high school and college years, I usually kept a Bible next to my bed. However, I did not have anyone in my life who encouraged me to read the Bible. I was running through a torrid life, unable to see God even when God was looking down on me and protecting me the whole time. 

Since I no longer had the companionship of other people who followed Jesus or a daily Bible reading habit, I did not experience the relationship I once had with God. I had an unfulfilled thirst and didn’t know the cause. I tried to fill that thirst with worldly pursuits but my thirst was never fulfilled.

When David was exiled from his kingdom, he felt the same way. In Psalm 42, he said that he remembers the days when he poured out his heart to God (Psalm 42:4). At this time in his life, he was exiled from Jerusalem by his son Absolom and not able to go to the temple where he communicated deeply with God. He was not experiencing the same relationship he once had with God.

My thirst was quenched after college when I started spending time with God daily. I read scripture and listened to good bible teachers to hear God speak to me. I prayed to speak to Him. Like a dear who had been running for days, I finally found a stream of water that satisfied my thirst. 

When Jesus told us to “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6 NIV), he probably meant that if you are filled with God, you seek to completely live his will. Jesus was the only one to completely live God’s will. The only way to experience the blessings God promised for those who hunger and thirst for righteousness is to pursue the life and teachings of Jesus and live like Jesus.

What are you doing to pursue the life and teachings of Jesus? 

How can you develop a hunger and thirst for righteousness today?

Supernaturally Powered

Hands receiving the holy spirit

IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

Dedicated to helping you purposefully live the life God planned for you

Hands receiving the holy spirit

Supernaturally Powered

Our conservative Bible Church has been in a teaching series emphasizing the power of the Holy Spirit. So I thought I would share some of my own experiences where the Holy Spirit gave me supernatural power to complete the work that God orchestrated for me to do to glorify Him.

First, for much of the last decade my wife Jennifer and I have come to expect the Holy Spirit to work supernaturally through our lives and especially through my work and global travels. When it happens in undeniable ways, we just laugh and say, “what’d you expect.” 

In December 2018, I arrived in Dubai to speak at an 8 nation conference for project managers. To this day, I don’t know why the government of Dubai invited me and paid over $15,000 for me to travel there to speak. I arrived the night before I was to speak after 23 hours of travel. I was tired. I knew the only way I would make it through my speech was if the Holy Spirit supernaturally gave me strength. He did and I had a wonderful time speaking to and meeting people from 8 countries. 

I learned a year later why God orchestrated that event. The young man from Dubai who handled my travel arrangements turned out to be the son of a Christian preacher. The young man had fallen away from his father’s faith. When I learned this, I let him know that I was convinced God orchestrated our meeting for me to help him find his way back to God.

So I asked the Holy Spirit to speak to him through me as I composed an email to him. He said he read my letter explaining how much God loved him and wanted him back. He said he actually read it several times and solemnly contemplated the words. No one had ever said those kinds of things to him before. He could tell I was a man who loved God. He wasn’t ready to jump back into the Fathers arms. But, I’m convinced God isn’t through using me to speak to him. 

A few months later, I landed in Pune India after a 28 hour flight. Not even 8 hours later, I was being introduced as the instructor and agile coach to a group of Indian technical professionals. That morning, I was so exhausted from flying I almost couldn’t walk. I was so tired I was having trouble remembering the material I would be teaching. As I was being introduced I silently stood by praying for the Holy Spirit to give me power to teach and to love my students through my teaching.

Immediately, I got a rush of energy and began teaching with more enthusiasm than ever. When it was time for me to tell the class how I would coach them over the next few weeks, the words that came out were, “over the next few weeks, I’m going to love you through this transformation.” I’m sure the Indian folks didn’t know what to think because they are used to arrogant Americans treating them like they are indentured servants. 

The Holy Sport did take over and I taught several classes and about 120 people over the next 36 hours.

After the first night the vice president of operations for the Indian group informed the people in the United States who hired me that they had received the best training they’ve ever had. Over the next 6 weeks, I got to know some special new friends in India and shared Jesus with six young Hindu men. 

Last Friday, I had a similar experience while teaching here in Kansas City. I was scheduled to teach Friday morning. For some reason, I woke up at 2:00 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep. When I arrived at the door of the company where I was to teach, I was so tired, I had to prop myself up while waiting for someone to unlock the door. So I prayed to the Holy Spirit and said, “your going to need to teach today. How about you love these people the way you loved those people in India.”

A few minutes later, the guy who hired me to teach let me in the door and sat me down to brief me before I started to teach. He said, “I got to tell you these people are not anxious to be in training and hear what you have to say.” 

But, he didn’t know I came equipped will an unfair advantage. As followers of Jesus, we have an unfair advantage. We are indwelled with the Holy Spirit of God whose purpose is to counsel us and empower us to live beyond our natural self to glorify God.

The Holy Spirit gave me another supernatural training session. At the end of the day, the students said they didn’t expect to be convinced to try the methods I taught them. But I had convinced them that these new ways could work for them. The Spirit of God gave me confident humility to teach them in a way that won them over. I taught with confidence and humility. It was exhilarating.

One final example of the Holy Spirit’s immediate power taking action while I was training came while I was teaching in Dublin Ireland. In the middle of my training, while the students were working on an exercise, I started having a massive leg cramp and could not walk. I texted my wife who was in the United States and asked her for immediate prayer. She lifted me up in prayer on the other side of the globe and responded to my text. Within seconds, my leg cramp went away and I was able to resume my teaching even better than before the uncomfortable experience began.

I don’t know how unbelievers can deny the Spirit of God. I don’t know why followers of Jesus quench the Holy Spirit. There is so much power available for us to go beyond ourselves when we embrace the Spirit of God living inside of a true follower of Jesus. I encourage all followers of Jesus to make it their life’s mission to harness the power of God and live supernaturally through him to bring glory to God the Father through the power of God the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus the Son of God.

 

Too Close to Ignore

Orphans

Introduction

This is an except from a book I am writing called “Close Call: Living in the Image of God.”

The dictionary describes a close call as “a narrow escape from danger or disaster.” I’ve come to think of a close call in two ways. 

First I think of a close call like this: The Holy Spirit prompts me to share the good news of Jesus with someone at a time when I think I’m either too busy or I’m afraid of being rejected. Or, maybe they are already a follower of Jesus and I’m their messenger of hope. At times like these I sometimes look for any excuse to get out of the calling. It’s a close call when I give in to the Holy Spirit’s prompting and the person is either led to accept Jesus as their Savior or they are comforted because I listened to their heart ache and maybe shared a comforting message from the Holy Spirit. 

The second way I think of a close call comes from the verse of scripture that introduced me to the friendship I have with Jesus. It was a Saturday morning when I was a young boy in our church youth group. For some reason I felt depressed and lowly that day. We were studying the 15th chapter of the gospel of John. When we read verse 13, it’s as if Jesus came back to earth and was sitting next to me. I don’t recall the bible translation we were reading. I recall hearing these words, “there is no greater love that a man can have than to give up his life for a friend.” Jesus was telling me he loved me so much that he gave up his life for me. At that time, I accepted Jesus as my Savior. 

John 15:13 became my life verse. It told me I could show Jesus’ love to others by giving up my life for them. I soon came to understand that I could give up my life to others by giving my time to them.  I started spending time with people who needed a friend or someone to listen to them. It started with older people on my paper route. An elderly couple sitting on their porch in the evening. An invalid lady in her last years of life. From there, I was called to volunteer to help mentally handicapped adults with fun activities like bowling. In all these instances, I was called to give up my time and just be their friend. 

I believe we are all called to give up some of our time and let down our defenses and get close to others. It’s a call to closeness. A “close call. “

The future book “Close Call: Living in the Image of God ” is a collection of close calls God has set before me and others. It is intended to encourage you to be on the look out for close calls in your life. Maybe you are the miracle someone is praying for. 

Book Excerpt

It is the later half of the year 2019. I am writing today conflicted by reason and a heartfelt desire.

For a couple of decades, I’ve led information technology teams in the United States, India, China and South America.  I’ve become close friends with a few of the people on my teams who have come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and some who remain committed to the gods of their Hindu and Muslim faiths. 

My current conflict is due to a Christian pastor named Salmon who contacted me through LinkedIn. Salmon is from a village called Nayakampalli in the East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh, India. 

Salmon told me how God revealed Himself to Salmon when he was about to enter school to become an Indian police officer. God told him he was going to plant churches in Salmon’s area and Salmon was going be God’s vessel to teach men who would lead those churches. 

Over the course of three weeks, Salmon wrote to me through LinkedIn. He told me that while planting churches he would come across homeless widows and orphans. He didn’t feel right ignoring them, so Salmon and his wife Priyanka started taking them in. Eventually, they started Our Father’s Home Ministries www.ofhm.in in 2010.

Our Father’s Home Ministries is a ministry with a three-fold purpose. First, it is a church planting ministry in a predominantly Hindu and Muslim area where Salmon trains and disciples people to plant Christian churches. They’ve planted over 100 small churches so far. Second it exists to help homeless widows. Third, they run an orphanage with 55 children. 

His plea was for friendship, prayer, and financial support to help him evangelize and minister to the Christian converts, widows, and orphans in his area. 

Every morning I received a message from Salmon. I responded politely that in America we get lots of requests from people from India and Africa who are looking for someone to scam. My heart wasn’t going to fall victim to a potential scam.

I also told Salmon my wife and I are supporting other ministries and not in a position to provide financial support to another ministry. For some reason, he thought I was someone he should continue to communicate with for friendship, prayer, and financial support.

He asked me to visit his ministry and consider being someone who would rally others in my area around their needs.

To ease my skepticism, Salmon offered to introduce me to several people in the United States who have visited him in order to prove his ministry is legitimate. But, like most Americans, I am skeptical of people who contact me online because of all the dishonest people trolling the Internet for handouts.

One day, I was about to tell him in a nice way that I’m not in a position to visit him and probably not the guy to rally the troops back home around him. But, as I was writing Salmon, the Lord reminded me of a scene a recent business trip I made to Pune, India. 

The scene is a view I had from my taxi every morning as I was being driven from my luxury hotel through the poorest areas of Pune to the nice office where I worked. Every day I saw the same old woman sitting on the ground like a little kid playing in the dirt. Some of the people around her were making bricks out of mud. The bricks were being used to make a wall to hide the desolate neighborhood from the view of the traffic on the busy street.   

The woman looked like she was either talking to herself like someone whose mind was not right or she was chanting to one of the thousands of Gods worshipped in that part of the world.  

Everyday we drove by, my heart hurt for that one woman. On my last day in Pune, I thought to myself, “Lord, why did you give me all I have and leave her with nothing?”  “I did not leave her with nothing,” He said, “I gave her you.” 

There wasn’t a convenient way for me to help her on that trip. I left Pune wishing there was something I could do to help her or others like her in India.

On this morning when I was contemplating my response to Salmon, I asked myself if Salmon could be God granting my wish. So I said, Lord, if Salmon’s ministry is legitimate and he contacted me because of Your divine guidance, please show Jennifer and me how you want us to help.

After a couple of weeks of Salmon’s persistence I asked God again to change my heart if Salmon was who he said he was. Then one morning Salmon asked me if we could have a video call. I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to giving Salmon that level of access to me. But God had been starting to change my heart.

I asked God to speak clearly to me about how He wanted me to interact with Salmon. Then I opened my morning devotional which spoke as clear as if God had written the answer on a Big Chief notebook tablet.

The first scripture verse in my devotional was Ecclesiastes 11:6, “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.”

God reminded me that when I am doing business with people in India or China, I speak to them in the morning and in the evening. If I can do this for the people God uses to bring me blessings, it makes sense that I should do the same for the people God wants to bless through me.

So, I started to communicate with Salmon every morning. Sometimes we use text and sometimes we use video. The first time we used video, he introduced me to the orphans. They don’t speak English but they were jumping up and down waving and saying hello Mr. Bollig. My heart was hooked. 

 

Salmon has the most beautiful smile. He and the people God put under his care are considered to be of a lower cast than the rich Hindus who surround their neighborhoods. They live in conditions far worse than what we call poverty in America. Yet, they are more in love with the Lord than anyone I’ve ever seen in our Western churches. The Lord Jesus is all they have.

After getting to know Salmon and the children through video calls, I am confident God has shown me what he wants me to do with Salmon. Now I am searching for God’s answer to how.  

Salmon and Kids at Our Father's Home Ministry

My prayers for these new friends go something like this, “Lord, thank you for showing me that Salmon’s ministry is legitimate and that he contacted me because of Your divine guidance. I can see that this is another close call. A call for me to develop a close relationship with Salmon, the widows, the orphans and the church leaders in Nayakampalli. Direct Jennifer and me and show us how you want us to help. If you want me to visit, provide a trip to India or a neighboring country through my work. If you want us to give financially, show us where the money should come from. If you are asking me to just pray for now, then wake me as often as You want and put the people of Our Father’s Home Ministries on my heart. We are willing to be a conduit between heaven and earth for Your love and providence to flow through as You give the people under Salmon’s care a glimpse of the kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.”

This is one of the biggest “close calls” I’ve had in my life. It is a close call because God called me to develop a closeness to Salmon as if he were my own brother. It is a close call because God is calling me to develop close relationships with people who have the means and the heart to provide support. And, it is a close call because I almost dismissed Salmon’s messages as just another person trying to scam me. 

Whew, what a “close call.”

In Whom I Am Well-pleased

Proud Father

IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

Dedicated to helping you purposefully live the life God planned for you

Proud Father

In Whom I Am Well-pleased

I don’t remember a time when my father ever told me he was proud of me, let alone “well-pleased” with me. I suspect he told his friends of my worldly success because I heard him brag to his friends about my other siblings. His seven kids were his bragging right. For some reason, he wasn’t comfortable letting us kids know directly that he was proud of us.

That could be why all seven of my siblings pursued music and attempted to be the best in the band. As we grew older, to some degree we became work-a-holics. When none of that worked, we attempted to drown our feelings of failure in one of a number unhealthy devices.

I can’t speak for my other siblings, but the feeling that I could not please my earthly father caused me to wonder if I could ever please my heavenly Father who I was convinced expected much more from me.

But, it is a mistake to compare our perfect Heavenly Father to our flawed earthly father or anyone else.

God is the perfect example of all of His attributes. God’s attribute of love is the perfect definition of love. Jesus apostle John wrote, “God is love [1]1 John 4:7-8.” The love of God is not an emotion, it is an action. God the Father demonstrated perfect love when He gave up His only Son to be crucified and die for us as we were still sinners. To learn how to love all you need to do is study the life of Jesus.

God’s love gives freely to the object of His affection. Those who choose to follow His son Jesus are the recipients of His perfect example of paternal love. When Jesus started his earthly ministry, before he taught large crowds and performed great miracles, God the Father’s heart overflowed with love, affirmation, and approval for him.

Luke records the Father’s affirmation in this Scene. “One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. As he was praying, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy (Luke 3:21-22 LASBNLT).”

The affirmation was not for what Jesus had done or what he was about to do. God’s affirmation was given to Jesus because Jesus is God’s beloved Son. That alone is pleasing to God.

If you have accepted the free gift of God’s grace through Jesus, you too are a dearly loved son or daughter of God the Father. That fact alone brings God great joy.

Let the Father speak those words to you. “You are my beloved son (or daughter), in whom I am well pleased.” He is pleased with you not for what you have done but for who you are in Christ Jesus. Let those words sink into your heart and embrace the joy of being a son or daughter of the Creator of the Universe.

References

References
1 1 John 4:7-8

Tender Commandments Introduction

When you marvel at all of creation and study even a little science or physics, it is easy to see there had to be a creator of the universe with far more knowledge than even the most intelligent human. One of the most amazing of God’s attributes is His omniscience. This means He is all-knowing. He not only understands all the complexities of science and physics, He created them. The same applies to every other discipline of study and activity. In speaking of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, Paul says, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).”

And, the Creator of the Universe knows all about each of us individually. King David said, “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways (Psalm 139:1-3, NIV).”

Wouldn’t it also make sense that the infinitely knowledgeable Creator would know the best way for us to live? Continue reading “Tender Commandments Introduction”

Everything Is For His Glory

God's Glory

IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

Dedicated to helping you purposefully live the life God planned for you

God's Glory

Everything Is For His Glory

This morning I was praying through a list of God’s attributes. I was led to write these thoughts to encourage anyone who is facing potentially new directions in life. Whether it be an exciting new venture or dreadful uncertainty,  He uses all of His attributes to bring Glory to Himself through us.

God’s blessedness always delights thoroughly in Himself and all that reflects His character and brings Him glory. The created brightness in mankind and all the universe that reveals God’s attributes to other creations glorifies God and brings Him pleasure.

He is the final standard of goodness, and everything He causes to be is worthy of His approval.

He fully knows all actual and possible things and acts with purpose using His knowledge to bring Himself glory. God, in His being and in His actions are void of confusion and disorder. All that He wills to be are caused with intent which should bring us peace.

God’s vision is perfect. He has the best goals and crafts the ultimate plans to achieve those goals.

So fear not what tomorrow will bring. Begin each day and each new opportunity knowing that His blessedness, His glory, His goodness, His knowledge and His vision of the future are on your side at all times and in all things.

Know that, “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them (Romans 8:28).”

 

In The Image of God

Image of God

IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

Dedicated to helping you purposefully live the life God planned for you

Image of God

In The Image of God

When I entered high school the first thing several of my teachers said when they found out my last name, was, “Oh my, you must be Mick Bollig’s brother.  You are the spitting image of him.”  In case you haven’t heard the phrase spitting image, it means exact double.  God made me to have bodily features that were similar to my older brother.

On the last day of creation, God said, “Let us make man in our image (Genesis 1:26).”  When He was done, He stepped back and looked at His creative work and said, “Now that is good. Very good (author’s embellishment of Genesis 1:31).”

What does it mean to be made in the image of God? It doesn’t mean we are the spitting image of God. It does not mean that we share His DNA or that God has a body confined by space and time.  The Bible says “God is Spirit (John 4:24)” and does not exist within a body.   God is omnipotent meaning He has no external limitations that a body can create.  The Bible says, He can “do all things” and that nothing can restrain him (Job 42:2).  We also know God is omnipresent meaning He is present in all places at all times.  The Bible says, “His eyes are in every place (Proverbs 15:3).”  The writer of Psalm 139 says “we can never be out of the sight of God (Psalm 139:7-12).”

Being made in the image of God means we were made to resemble the spiritual aspects of God.  Mankind has a spirit like God.  When God created Adam, He first formed Adam’s lifeless body out of dust.  Adam’s body did not become alive until God breathed life into Adam. The life God breathed into Adam included an everlasting spirit or soul. Having a spirit is one of the things that makes humanity different that the rest of creation. And, while our spirit is not fully eternal like God’s because we had a beginning and He did not, it is clear from biblical teaching that our spirit, like His will live forever.  See Psalm 22:26; 23:6; 49:7-9; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 25:46; and 1 Corinthians 15:12-19.    

Our spirit gives us the ability to be like God mentally, morally and socially. He wants us to use that ability to love Him with all our heart, mind and soul and to love others as we love ourselves.

Mentally, we are able to reason and choose.  This is a reflection of God’s intellect and freedom to choose.  Whenever we do anything that requires thought, we have the option of considering how God would do it or do it our own way.  This could include all work, inventing, painting, playing an instrument, writing, or anything else that requires thought.  When we do anything that requires forethought and we think about it in the way God would think about it, we reflect the image of God to the recipients of our doing. When our reasoning causes us to make a choice that would be pleasing to God, we reflect the image of God.

Morally, we are able to choose righteousness and perfect innocence.  This is a reflection of God’s holiness.  In the beginning, when God saw all that He created and said it was “very good (Genesis 1:31),” He was observing our moral compass in its original state.  Whenever we recoil from an evil temptation that is threatening our moral compass, praise good behavior or feel guilty and repent for doing wrong, we reflect the image of God’s morality or holiness.

Socially, we were created to desire fellowship with others. This is a reflection of the perfect love relationship between God The Father, God The Son and God The Holy Spirit.  It is also a reflection of the personal two-way love relationship God wants to have with all of us.  In the Garden of Eden, Adam’s primary relationship was with God.  God soon created Eve because He said “it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18).”  Whenever we demonstrate an act of loving kindness and community toward another human being, we reflect the image of God’s love in a social relationship to them.

Unfortunately, one of the aspects of being made in the image of God is that we have the freewill to make choices that do not reflect the image of God.  Adam and Eve were given a righteous nature but made a catastrophic choice to rebel against God.  Because of their choice, while we bear the potential to reflect the image of God, we also bear the scars of our sinful nature that we inherited from Adam and Eve.

So, how do we live a life that glorifies God when, like the apostle Paul, our sinful nature causes us to do the things we don’t want to do and not do the things we do want to do (author’s paraphrase of Romans 7:15)?

The apostle Peter said “God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have receive all of this when we begin a relationship with Jesus, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires (2 Peter 1:3-4, LASBNLT).”

Jesus’ whole earthly ministry centered around glorifying The Father.  In Jesus’ final hours when he was about to give up his life for our sins, Jesus said, it was for the Father’s glory that he came to die for us (John 12:27-28).  If Jesus knows what it means to glorify the Father, we should follow his teachings to learn to also glorify the Father.  Jesus’ apostle John wrote, “if anyone obeys his (Jesus’) word, love for God is truly made complete in them (1 John 2:5).”  John continues by saying, “Whoever claims to live in him (meaning Jesus) must live as Jesus did (1 John 2:6).”

Living like Jesus did does not mean choosing 12 disciples, performing miracles and physically diing for others. To live like Jesus today means to obey Jesus’ teachings, follow his complete obedience to God and to give up our life for others.

Jesus gave us a short list of commands and attitudes that, when we act in obedience to them, will reflect the image of God. And, when a follower of Jesus understands their purpose in God’s perfect plan and applies these commands and attitudes as they live out their purpose, the original blueprint of God’s image on their life will be visible to all like “a town built on a hill (that) cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14).”

God did not leave us on our own to figure out how to live a life that reflects His image. Like the scene in the Garden of Eden, when God pursued the first man and woman after they sinned (Genesis 3:9), God made the first move toward us when He sent His son Jesus to rescue us from the affects of this corrupt world. Then, God sent the Holy Spirit to live inside anyone who follows Jesus. Through the Holy Spirit, He granted us His power, revealed to us His knowledge and spoke to us promises of hope for the future. He did all of this so that we might reflect His nature. He did this so that we can live “In The Image of God.”

As God’s image bearers, we must become active participants in God’s plan to redeem the fallen world. We must first receive His free gift of grace. Then, we must grow in the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ and join them to draw others to Jesus and to help others grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).

As we grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, our values will be transformed. Our values will become more like the values of Jesus. Since our wants and actions are guided by what we value, our wants, our actions, the way we treat others and the legacy we leave when we depart from this world will be the purpose God had for us when we were created.

Throughout this site, I will provide you with resources to help you seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance to help you applyJesus’ commands and attitudes to the blueprint God has for your life. 

Whose Are You?

Hand in hand with her Saviour

IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

Dedicated to helping you purposefully live the life God planned for you

Hand in hand with her Saviour

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.”

Ref: https://bible.org/seriespage/8-privileges-believers-1-peter-24-8

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.

Register to our blog to be notified when the book an app are released.

If You Confess Your Sins

Confess your sins

IN THE IMAGE OF GOD

Dedicated to helping you purposefully live the life God planned for you

Confess your sins

If You Confess Your Sins

I recently had a conversation with some men regarding the value of confessing sins to God.  If God already knows all things and about you, could why do we need to confess our sins to Him?  The opinions of the men, who were all Christians, varied from no it isn’t necessary or valuable to yes you have to confess your sins to be forgiven.  This prompted me to scan the scriptures to see what God’s Word says about confessing sins to God and to one another.  

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