Written in 2010 and moved up into 2012. We were created to become like Christ, to grow in the LIKENESS of our loving creator, our Father. To become strong and vigorous in His way, in His word, while we inhabit the truth. We are not to merely imitate purity, but we are to INHABIT His purity of intention, His holy motive to love us as we are, that we may love how He created us, so that we can embrace His love within us, and show His love to others, to touch others with a tender hug, to release the Spirit of His love into others with kindness in our eyes. As we reflect on our childhood, on our best days, and our foolish ways, we can admit some choices were to seek pleasure for ourselves instead of God's will ~ and in those times we can see some of our best imitations of what the world promotes as the way. Looking in the rear view mirror we may see how God has used people, events and His word to conform us as we inhabit the living Christ. "We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created." Col 1:15 (The Message) God's plan is to draw us into Him so that we become like His son Jesus. His intention to prosper us, not harm us is His master plan! WOW! Our Father gives us divine guidance into His purpose for our life. "Let us make human beings in our likeness." We are the priviledged creation. We have been set apart by God with dignity, to be like God. We are immortal spirit filled beings ~ and our souls will outlast our bodies. Like God, we are relational and we were designed to give and receive love. We were gifted the ability to think and solve problems with a moral compass that gives us His distinction between what is right and wrong. Even lost souls "feel" that murder is wrong. Jesus is the visible image of our invisible Father and the exact representation of His holy being. "Like Father like Son" God wants His children to bear His image. BELIEVING like children, we do not question our ancestors, and His story contained in the bible. Difficult events in our lives are His purpose packed GIFTS! His hope through our trials is that we will look UP and INSIDE to the One who created us for His purpose. According to His purpose, all things are permitted to build our character, to transform us from a catapillar to a butterfly. What happens to us in this fallen world gives us the choice to IMITATE the foolishness of the world, or to INHABIT the IMAGE of God. Becoming LIKE CHRIST does not mean losing our God given personality. He did not create us to become a mindless clone! Christ likeness is taking on His character traits and the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The BE attitudes in Matthew chapter five tells us the truth! We will be blessed when we become like Christ, when we INHABIT His teaching: Poor in spirit, mourning, and meek. When we hunger for His righteousness, when we show mercy to others, when our hearts are pure, as we make peace with others and ourselves, and when we are persecuted for our faith. We are not poor in spirit when we attempt to control our circumstances, or as we manipulate people to get our way. We do not see God in all creation when we proudly compare ourselves to the lost. Pride is a HUGE tree trunk that blinds our vision of God. When we nit pick the speck of error in those around us, His character is far from us. When we do NOT mourn the blight of our sight, when we boast that "our ways" are superior ~ we are not meek as we seek to position ourselves to obtain favor from man. When we hunger for more of what the world has to offer, we are not righteous. When we hold grudges, we do not show mercy. When we believe that our selfish intentions are justified, our hearts are not purely reflecting Christ. When we ban toxic people, we are not making peace with others. When we conform to the world so that we blend in, we are never persecuted. If we desire to become like the hero's on TV, or to imitate the rich and famous, we have lost sight of the Jesus who stripped himself to serve His disciples. Our Father's WILL for us is NOT that we become like Gods, but that we become Holy. To be holy is to INHABIT His character, His values. To inhabit means to be infused, to become one with a way of being, of doing. As we deny our selfish desires, we strip our pride and become naked before God. We choose to put on an entirely new way of life, a God fashioned life. As we renew our minds by the reading of God's word, we are changed into His likeness. We are renewed and restored as we INHABIT His will. With great graditude for His sacrifice, we humbly wear His garment of righteousness. Our Lord asks that we boldly approach His mercy seat with assurance that He inhabits all those who stand before Him. The truth is that we bring God pleasure and glory as we choose to conduct our lives in obedience to His living word. God is to be praised for accurately reproducing His character in us. Jesus said “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16 ~ Therefore, let us willingly INHABIT His grace and bring Him great pleasure as we engage in "real" relationships that welcome accountability through struggle.Life is grandest when we claim victory inside the difficult times! Growth bursts forth from a tiny seed only as it exerts effort against the hard shell. We must remember that Earth is NOT heaven. The abundant life does NOT mean perfect health, a comfortable life, constant happiness, the full realization of our best dreams, and instant relief and gratificaiton through prayer and faith. This self-absorbed fantasy makes God a genie who exists only to fulfill our will, not His. Many choose to live in denial and adopt the delusion of the world, that God does not care about us. It is a lie that God does not care about His creation. His care in the formation of LIFE within a mother's womb, His care in making a snowflake, a butterfly, a thunder storm, all creation exhibits His immense care and love! Let the lie that God does not care about YOU become His CALL for YOU to INHABIT this everlasting TRUTH: “For God loved the world so much that He gave His One and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 To be the utmost for His highest, through His sanctification: we are set apart for sacred use; we are in relationship and we are consecrated to God:
1. By Him we are made holy; His Holy Spirit purifies us
2. We give sanction to, we vow to obey and depend on His grace
3. To produce holiness or be a spiritual blessing to those He draws to the LIGHT in us. God moved His living and active LIGHT into our souls by giving us the wisdom, comfort and guidance of the Holy Spirit. He uses us for His purposes throughout the world as He used His Son for the purpose of our salvation. As long as we maintain our own personal interests and ambitions, we cannot be completely aligned or identified with God’s interests. By giving up or by our willing surrende of all of our personal plans, we then allow God to take us directly into His purpose for the world. Our understanding of what is best must also be surrendered, because our understanding must be filtered through His word. The truth is that we simply cannot know for certain how, exactly, God plans to use us. God might use us in exactly the way we expect… or His plans for our lives might be completely at odds with what we want or imagine. INHABITANTS of CHRIST must be prepared for the possibility that God, in His timing, might pull us out of our carefully planned routines and present us with challenges and unexpected opportunities. Thank You Lord for giving me hands to serve and the talent to write what You reveal in photo and word.