As people of God and believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, we have been given the wonderful and extraordinary privilege of representing Him in the world today. We have many opportunities to reflect and exemplify His love, which is not a feeling, but a result of the manifestation of God's Holy Spirit, along with the rest of the fruit of the spirit, in our hearts. Love is defined by the word "agape" in the Greek language. It is a virtue that is characterized as "fruit" in contrast to "works" of the flesh. In fact, love can also be described in terms of "cause and affect." When we allow the fruit of God's love to manifest through us towards others it causes incredible things such as healing and restoration of relationships, recovery from physical ailments, and inner peace of mind to occur. The resulting affect is that lives are changed for the better. As Christians we have been ordained by God to share the fruit of the spirit as we live, work and interact with others every day. (Galatians 5:22)
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
It is very important for us to recognize that the world is looking for answers and solutions to its issues and problems, and they are looking for that which is real and genuine. God has released His Church, the ecclesia, as a part of His heavenly kingdom and governmental organization, into the earth to express the "fullness of the stature of Christ" before people as we live among them daily. (Ephesians 4:13) You and I have been chosen by God to be change agents, kingdom ambassadors, emmisaries and diplomats in this world. In doing so, we must utilize all of our gifts, talents, abilities and expertise to share the gospel of the kingdom with them, but not without the fruit of the spirit. When we aim at doing this we will inevitably fulfill and maximize our own potential. Contributing to the well-being of others is the highest and most commendable way to personal fulfillment and self actualiza-tion.
In order to effectively communicate with the people of our generation we must reflect the image of Jesus Christ with authenticity. In doing so, an important question to answer is, "What does the image of Christ look like, and how do I acquire it?" First of all, Jesus Christ was the "brightness" or reflection and embodiment of God in the flesh. He was the "express image" of God as seen in Hebrews 1:3, which is derived from the Greek word "charakter", representing the "exact expression, or impression as when metal is pressed into a die, or as a seal upon wax." In fact the Scriptures tell us that in our Lord and King Jesus Christ "dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." (Colossians 2:9)
Hebrews 1:3, "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."
Our primary aim and desire should be to exemplify and emulate the same kind of character that Christ did while He was here on earth understanding that God is love, and God is holy. (1 John 4:16; 1 Peter 1:16) Love is not simply what God does, but expression of who He is. Likewise, holiness is not what God does either. Holiness is who God is. It is His nature.
In the book of 2 Corinthians 3:18, it helps us to understand much more about the process that occurs when we devote and commit ourselves to being transformed into the "image" of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:18, "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
First of all, no one who is born again by the Spirit of God is exempt from the process of being changed "into the same image" of our Lord. However, there are stipulations on how this amazing transformation process is to occur. There must be an "open face" on the part of every individual in order for it to take place. What this means is that everyone, without exemption, has to come to God with his or her heart and mind open to receive exactly what God wants to do in our lives, without pre-conceived ideas, barriers of our past religious experiences, forms of internal resistance, or anything else that would hinder and even stop the process of transformation from occurring. We must simply allow the Holy Spirit to do His job as we pier and look into the mirror of God's word ever day. Oh what a glorious change that occurs in the hearts and lives of anyone who would dare to trust God and allow Holy Spirit to perform a complete make-over in our inner man, hearts and minds. It will take us from "glory to glory" into a realm and dimension or place in God that we only dreamed about before.
James 1:25, "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed."
In response to the question asked in the beginning of this week's blog, "What does the image of Christ look like, and how do I acquire it?" The image of God is His character. It is the reflection of His attributes, manner of life, and way of doing things as expressed through the life of His Son Jesus Christ while He lived on in this world. You see, Jesus came to restore us back to the Father, and to redeem, deliver, and set us free from sin, satan's stronghold, and all evil. Our Lord and King Jesus Christ came that we "might have life, and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) The way to ensure that you acquire the image of God is through the transformational process that happens when you meditate upon the word of God every day, allowing the Holy Spirit to illuminate your heart and mind. This brings the believer into proper alignment with God in character and holiness as we are "washed by the water of the word." (Ephesians 5:26) It is the word of God that cleanses us and rids us of our old ways, belief systems, manner of doing things, and expressing ourselves that is contrary and hostile to the Spirit and nature of God Himself. The word of God is the "perfect law of liberty." It sets us free, not to live carnal, fleshly, irresponsible, reckless or self-centered lives that are void of responsibility and purpose, but to be able to serve God freely and to do His will pursue His purpose, plans and Kingdom in such a way that we become an authentic reflection of the Master of our souls, Jesus Christ the King of kings and Lord of Lords.
I want to encourage you to allow Holy Spirit to minister in your heart and life today. Allow Him to continue the incredible work and process of transforming you into the "image" of our Lord and King as you study the word of God and hunger and thirst for His righteous every day. Remember, the most important meal you can eat every day is the word of God. Thank you for joining this week's blog conversation.
We welcome you to post your comments on this week's blog. Thank you for joining this faith-filled community. Also, feel free to leave your prayer request on our "Prayer Request" page so that we can agree with you for your breakthrough and the manifestation of God's will for your life. You can also share your testimony on our "Testimonials" page. We want to rejoice with you!
At MPowering Lives, it is our desire to encourage and sharpen you spiritually and professionally.
© Copyright 2011 MPowering Lives International. All Rights Reserved.