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Images

IMAGES…are a reflection or representation of an object. It could be of a person, animal or thing. The likeness can be displayed through photography, painting, sculpture or otherwise made visible. They are not the reality, but they are real. It can also be a constructed or created replica, not just a reflection. It is ‘like’ the original, maybe even empowered and designed to carry out a ‘like-kind’ procedure or work. This may be a bit of a stretch, but a computerized robot is an image of a human.   

An image can be an optical counterpart or Images - Mirrorappearance of an object. When looking into a mirror,one sees a true image reflection of oneself. There are mental representations such as ideas or concepts.  Teachers or speakers use mental images to make their points more clear. A parable can be one. Jesus used them well. It calls forth our ‘imagination’.

We have all used our hands and fingers to create shadow images on a white screen or wall by use of a projector or some form of spotlight. My favorite is the rabbit ears or dog’s head. What’s yours? There is instant recognition of the objects. That’s what images should do. 

We are told that Jesus “is the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation” (Col. 1:15). When we look at Him, we can see the character and personality of our Creator God. Jesus spoke this about Himself. “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (Jn. 14:9b).

Recently, as I was preparing material for Abiding Fathers a thought struck me about one of the original truths expressed by God and recorded for us. ‘Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness”‘ (Gen. 1:26a). For many years I imagined many things but no clarity seemed to come forth. God is Spirit and we are flesh, made from dust. But if image is a likeness, how are we His image? Then it hit me. God is triune (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). Yet, They are One. Right after the image statement, God goes on to say that we should have dominion over all living things, and to procreate. “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created Him; male and female He created them” (Gen. 1:27).

Right then is when I saw ‘the image’. It is the family. Father, mother, child(ren) are Images Chart the triune image of God. The two shall become one. Only God can do that. Marriage and the family are His witnesses on earth. Male, female, procreate, have dominion, rule! The father is the head, mother is the helpmeet and children are the fruit of the relationship. Love reigns in the Trinity, one for the other. Isn’t that what He wants for us? By doing so, we witness to our Creator’s love. We are commanded to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind; …and love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt. 22:37-39).

  

Marriage and family are holy institutions reflecting the image of the Godhead. When separation and divorce enter in, the image is marred and the world cannot see Him clearly. Does God abandon us in the midst of our problems, sinfulness and failures? Never! The age old marriage vow states-“to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish till death do us part. What God has joined together let no man put asunder.” A witness to a sinful, fallen world is what the family is to be about; loving one another, staying the course, no matter what. That’s simply an image of God’s love toward us. Have you noticed what He does during our bad times? He just pours on more grace and mercy. We are His image! Can we do any less? Do you think it is easy to daily love a creation that rebels at the drop of a hat, worships false images, our idols, even to be considered His enemy? We only have to view the cross to see how He feels about our sin, and how much He loves us. If Jesus had not died as God’s sacrificial Lamb, no one would ever enter into His presence and experience His eternal love.

To be this kind of image-reflecting family, we must undergo a spiritual transformation. Initially, we all reflect the natural man, Adam. By trusting Christ alone for our salvation, a transformation begins to take place. It is called sanctification. Marriage and family are great crucibles for this process, allowing us to become the likeness of our Savior and Lord. It’s a spiritual process worked out in a natural body.

‘There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man”‘ (I Cor.15:44-49).

What image are you projecting? Natural or spiritual? And if you are married, what is the image your family is demonstrating to the world around you?

Copyright 2013

Bill C. Dotson

www.lifespeakstous.com

bill@abidingfathers.org

Scripture taken from the New King James Version

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