Asbury United Methodist Church
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August 1, 2017

So, even after all these years of reading the Bible, it still can rock my world. This morning I was re-reading a text from Genesis, one that I have probably read hundreds of times; and, it spoke to me in a brand new way that made my jaw drop.

            No wonder they call it God’s Living Word! God’s Word can speak to us in new ways each and every day.

            But this morning, seven little words changed how I see much of life. So, I will not keep you in suspense any longer!   God said:

            “Let us make man in our image…(Genesis 1:26a NIV).”

            First of all, this is before time so what’s going on with this us and our business? Who is God speaking with?

Bear in mind, we are talking about the fifth day of the creation story; and, Adam has not even been created yet.

            The answer is the Shekinah glory! This is the Glory Cloud, the indwelling spirit of God, the Holy Trinity and the heavenly hosts.

Mortals would be allowed to see Glory first hand as they were led from Egypt to The Promised Land by the Pillar of Fire by night and the Glory Cloud by day (Exodus 13:21-22).

Second, this is not the show-stopper! The show-stopper is that make man in our image part.

Where the ground shook for me this morning was in realizing that God’s promise to make us in His image is not merely a promise. It is also our destiny!

God’s promise before time began to make us in His image is still running! It’s still on the move! It did not end with the Fall of humanity!  (That whole Garden of Eden fiasco.)

Check out what John the Revelator has to say:

                “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God (John 1:12-13 NIV).”

            Look one more time! Not born of natural descent…but born of God.

            I will refine this further!   By receiving Christ, by welcoming him, by making the decision to become one of his disciples, we then move on to become the image of God!

  Have you ever noticed that frequently in the Bible, Jesus is called the Son of Man (John 5:27)?

            I know…this is kind of unclear. And, at first glance it doesn’t seem to make much since.

  But what if…what if Jesus was/is/will be, a new kind of man?

            What if Jesus was the first of a brand new breed of person? What if…what if God sent Jesus to model this brand new kind of person; and, if we receive him we too become brand new people?

            Well now…I think we’re getting the hang of it. Now the lights are starting to come on.

            It has been God’s plan and vision since before time began for you and for me to be made in His image! And, God will pursue this vision until we have drawn our last breath.

            God made a loophole, a backdoor for you and me! We are melded, molded and squeezed into the Son of Man; and, we become a new bred. God squeezes us into Jesus like squeezing Play-Doh on to a stick!

            Even Paul chimes in on the act:

            “…if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again (Romans 11:23 NIV).” They and them are us!

            Grafted in is our ticket in!

            You might say that you and I are upwardly mobile. Recovery, reconciliation, redemption, second chances and do-overs are what God is all about. And, the end game is to make us into God’s image!

            The new Son of Man is blazing the trail:

The Son of God
High and lifted up
The Father’s love
Came pouring down for us
He has overcome
The spotless lamb
For every sinner slain
Our victory
Our hope beyond the grave
He has overcome

There is a place for all who will come
His arms open our sins are washed white in his blood
The lost and unworthy come find your home
The broken and hurting his love will never let go

(Son of God, Cory Asbury, 2016)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVKdzGBVdwU

            The ground shook on me because I did indeed know that Christ has saved us in all ways. We are not only living out God’s promise but we are also moving onward to claim our destiny as well.

 

            “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2 KJV).”

            Cling to this good news! Our souls depend upon it!

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