Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
I have four children, three of whom are adopted. When my oldest son was about 4 years old people started commenting on how much he looked like me. Now mind you he is adopted so looking like me isn’t something that I would expect to hear. I remember bringing him to work one day and my coworkers commented how even his mannerisms were like mine. It isn’t because we share DNA, it’s because we had spent so much time together. Yes, my son resembles me.
Do you know something? We were made in the image of God. Now of course we don’t look like God – he isn’t a person with flesh and blood. We can’t resemble His greatness, but we can bear His image. He created each one of us with a purpose, and that purpose begins with resembling Him. He desires that we not only know Him, but shine for Him in this world. I wonder how much I resemble my Father in heaven. When I walk into a room, do people notice that I look like Him?
They won’t unless I spend time with Him. As I hang out with Him, I will start to pick up His mannerisms. I will start to say things that He would say. Most important, I will know His heart. For when I know His heart, I can begin to fully live for Him. I can align my steps, my plans, my dreams, with His. But I must be in His presence. I must search Him and know Him with all my heart. He created me in His own image. Will I live like He created me to be?
*I want to look like Daddy. Do you?
2 Thessalonians 3:5 May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.
Has anyone ever said these words to you before? “Hang on!” You’ve probably heard them as the car goes fast around a corner, the roller coaster is about to start, or you are about to be pulled behind a boat on an innertube . Yes, you better hang on tight, because things are about to get crazy. So we hang on. Our fingers wrap tightly around a handle and our knuckles turn white. We await impending adrenaline with sheer joy and terror. No matter what, we will hang on.
Sometimes life in general beckons us to hang on. We get tired, frazzled, discouraged, and overwhelmed. Things are thrown our way that are scarier than the wildest roller coaster or bumpier than the most insane innertube ride. So we must figure out what to do when it all comes our way. How will we respond? Because it’s not our hands that must take a firm grip, it is our hearts.
Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians that our hearts need to be directed into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. If we are going to weather this life, our hearts must hang on to those two things. Are we securely held by God’s love? Do we know how deeply He cares for us? Do we trust that, because of His love, He will carry us through? He cares for you and he wants you to know the richness of His great love! And it is that great love the sent Christ to persevere and lay down His life for you. He hung on that cross and calls out to you to hang on to Him! He is our rock, our anchor in the storm. Hang on today, friends!
*What do you need to hang on to God for?
2 Thessalonians 2:16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
I know a lot of people who are really going through some hard stuff right now. Sickness, heartache, financial struggles, identity, workload, and the like. Some of them are even going through more than one of those! These kinds of things can lead to anxiety, fear, and depression. They can lead to apathy and wanting just to give up altogether. It would be nice if someone would just come along with some encouragement. They really need that right now.
Encouragement is such a great thing, isn’t it? When our spirits our down, someone comes along and lifts us up. If you break down the word encourage, it literally means to fill with courage. That’s what we really need! We need to be filled with courage to face the heartache. We need to be overwhelmed with strength to take on an impossible workload. We need bravery to weather this financial struggle. Encouragement. That’s what we need.
The good news is that God is never short of encouragement. It says here in 2 Thessalonians that by his grace, he has given us eternal encouragement. That’s a lot, my friend. Eternal goes on forever; it doesn’t run out. So in the midst of whatever it is you are facing, ask him to encourage your soul. Ask him to pour out his grace in such a way that your spirits are lifted. He created you, knows you inside and out, and loves you! Let him infuse you today with a grace that will change your perspective and turn your situation around.
*Could you use some encouragement today?