Grace and peace be unto you.
The journey continues…
Are we conformed to the Image of Christ or the world? We are living in an era where worldly image is admired. Worldly image is acting in ways that give the impression that your life is perfect and you are always happy. Have you noticed the pictures that are posted on social media? Most of them show happy smiling faces and people seem to be in perpetual bliss. If you are not being led by the Holy Spirit and wisdom you would believe that the pictures are a true reflection of their life. Consequently, you would desire to have this “happy life” and engage in undesirable behaviors such as having multiple relationships, taking drugs, or stealing to attain this goal. Nonetheless, Scripture says, “…Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!” (Psalm 144:15).
Sadly, this worldly image has crept into the minds of some believers and displayed in their lifestyle. Scripture says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2). We are called to display Christ’s Image and not that of the world. Christ’s Image is one of truth and his work and associations reflect this noble virtue (John 14:6). During his earthly ministry, there was no discrepancy between his personal and public life. Furthermore, he was focused on doing his Father’s will and accomplishing his purpose rather than creating an image for public display (John 4:34).
The Christlike Image
Although Jesus did not manufacture a public image, his words and deeds created an image of someone who is blameless and righteous. Similarly, our words and deeds, that is, the things we do in private and public create our true image. Scripture says, “…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Christ’s Image is evident in his character, the relationships he formed, and the work he did during his earthly sojourn.
1. His close inner circle were his disciples. They shared his values and mission. Do your close friends share your values and mission?
2. He walked in integrity before God and man, “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2:22).
3. He expressed anger but did not sin, “So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables” (John 2:15).
4. He showed compassion, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).
5. He sympathized with people who were crying when Lazarus died (John 11:35).
6. His life displayed the Fruit of the Spirit, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23).
7. He discussed biblical principles with wisdom and authority, “Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers” (Luke 2:47).
8. He went about doing good (Acts 10:38).
God desires that we use words and do deeds that please him. This behavior reflects the Image of his Son, Jesus Christ. Our Christlike Image testifies about his goodness, love, mercy, and draws people to him. Before Jesus’s ascension, he prayed this prayer for us, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it” (John 17:16).