A Thirty Day Devotional adapted from the NEW book: Identity: The Distinctiveness of You – Day 12
Christ is being formed in me. Galatians 4:19
I am being conformed into the likeness of His Son. Romans 8:29
When my younger son was living at home with us as an older teenager, he was frequently told by others that he sounded like, looked like and walked like his father. While that was not pleasing to him at the time, it was true. Marc, without trying to, bore the image of his biological father. Truthfully, it’s not something that we, as sons and daughters, can control due to the fact that God created us to be image bearers.
In Genesis chapter one, it is revealed that God created man in “…his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” David, the Psalmist, wrote, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalms 139:14) We were made, created, breathed into to bear the image of God, our creator.
Perhaps you have lived life long enough to realize that you did something, said something or thought something that reminded you of one of your parents. You told yourself at that moment, “Wow, did that ever sound like my dad.” You might have been reminded by a sibling that a certain look, raised eyebrow, laugh or gesticulation reminded them of your mother. It’s inescapable actually. We were created to be image bearers.
For those of you who are fortunate enough to now have children of your own, you may already see images in your children that remind you of yourself. It’s uncanny how it happens, but it happens for one reason only. When God first created man, he created him to bear an image and the first image that we are to bear is the image of our heavenly Father. Make no mistake, our created self has the DNA of our family, but traced back to the book of beginnings, Genesis, it is one image and one image only that we were fashioned after–the image of God.
It is not an option to be an image bearer, but it is an option as to whose image we bear.
We carry within us the things that that have helped to shape us. We can choose to bear the image of a “mere human” or we can choose to move toward that which we were created to be. In I Corinthians chapter three, Paul is sharing with the Corinthian church that they too had a choice. He wrote that who they were acting like, the image they were bearing/reflecting was challenging his desire for them to be persons who “live by the Spirit.” He revealed to them they were still acting worldly (or of this world) with petty jealousies and the like. His admonishment to them was to stop acting like “mere humans” and start acting like God’s temple.
How often have we acted as mere humans with our petty differences, jealousies, offenses, snarky replies and the like? Mere human thoughts are thoughts connected to our earthly existence only and do not reflect God’s kingdom on earth. Mere human thoughts are self-centered, self-absorbed and self-protecting. These thoughts stem from our minds and not our spirits. They are full of earthly wisdom and bear the fruit of that wisdom. (See James 3:13-16.) A key verse concerning the foundation of our identity is this truth, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (I Corinthians 3:16)
You are being conformed into the likeness of the Son of God, because you were created to bear His image.
Question for reflection:
How are you an image bearer of your earthly family, of Jesus?
You can purchase the Identity book here. Use it for yourself, your family or study the book with a small group.