Mirror Image

If we are created in the image of God, then when he looks at us, what he sees is incorruptible. He sees us as whole. So those who believe on Jesus and look in the mirror and see the corruptible or a sinner, are not seeing Christ within them, and need to adjust their perspective. God does not see us as sinners, he sees us as redeemed. 

“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27 

“…being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God which liveth and abideth for ever;” – 1 Peter 1:23 

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 

“My old identity has been co-crucified with Christ and no longer lives. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives his life through me— we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that he gave himself for me, dispensing his life into mine ! So that is why I don’t view God’s grace as something peripheral. For if keeping the law could release God’s righteousness to us, then Christ would have died for nothing.” – Galatians 2:20-21 

So if we have been crucified with Christ when we are saved, are we not persecuting him when we call ourselves sinners and in effect rejecting his Grace, amazing Mercy, and our own salvation? Are we not saying his sacrifice was not good enough? If we cannot see him when we look in the mirror, it is only because our perspective is off, not because anything he has done. It is like a person who goes through a body transformation of some kind. If you get a haircut after years of long hair or dye your hair another color, you may not recognize yourself at first. It takes a while to accept your new image, but the image Christ gives us is a Holy one. If we have the the mindset that we aren’t worthy, then we need to reread the Bible and look up where it says we are a ‘royal priesthood’ and ‘a chosen generation!’ We are God’s heirs! We are his and nothing can separate us from his Love! (Romans 8:31-38) We need to remind ourselves that the person we were before is gone. For some people, it is easier to accept than for others. We each grow in different increments, but the more we understand the Word, the quicker we grow. So if you’re having trouble seeing yourself as redeemed, or if you’ve strayed from your faith, talk to Jesus just like you talk to a friend and read the word. If we immerse ourselves in the word, we easily recollect it and it becomes our sword, our companion, and our daily reminder of who we are.

“But you are God’s chosen treasure —priests who are kings, a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones. He called you out of darkness to experience his marvelous light, and now he claims you as his very own. He did this so that you would broadcast his glorious wonders throughout the world. For at one time you were not God’s people, but now you are. At one time you knew nothing of God’s mercy, because you hadn’t received it yet, but now you are drenched with it!” – 1 Peter 2:9-10 

Wow! I want to be drenched with the Word of God! What a blessing. But first we must study it and capture its meaning. If we know that we have freedom from the law because Christ fulfilled it and gave us a perfect law – one of liberty or freedom, which frees us from seeing ourselves as sinners. Yet, we still must guard our hearts to not sin in the future. We do this by renewing our minds with the word, loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind. And by loving others, even our enemies.

“For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” – James 1:23-25 

Prayer. Father, help me see  Christ when I look in the mirror. Help me to follow Jesus’ example Help me to love others.  

The Storm

When you’re trying to be the calm in the storm, when it’s raging around you, keep your focus on the calm, not the storm. When it seems all around you will not keep silence and are focusing on the storm raging, can you keep your focus on the calm, or do you react to their constant noise? Do you engage in peace or do you get distracted by the turmoil surrounding you? I’ve done both, I admit. That is when I become Peter. I want to take that step out on the water. I want to head toward what I know is the only peace that will calm.

wm 804 clouds still low ED

I step out and start walking, but then I hear the clap of thunder or see the bolt of lightning in my peripheral vision – at first I ignore it. I might notice the wave swell next to me and how close it is… then my mind starts to drift and my focus falters. All of a sudden, my eyes are not on the peace, but on the turmoil and I start slipping. The waters start to envelop me and I start sinking; I’m no longer walking on the water, but I’m submerging. No…! I’m going under… my head bobbles above and below the surface, I can’t see… Panic sets in. I can feel and taste the salty water in my mouth and I start to sputter and spit, my arms are flailing, and I realize… I’m drowning!! Where did I go wrong? What was I doing? I was in a storm… a million thoughts flash through my mind as I try to recall my surroundings and how I got here. How do I get out of this? Why am I drowning? Why is this storm killing me?! Why isn’t anyone helping me?!! Then I cry out, ‘Lord! Please help! Rescue me!! Get me out of here! Please! Save me!” Instantly, He reaches out and pulls me up out of the storm’s surge and I’m in the arms of my loving Savior. Relief! As I start to regain my senses and try to piece together what just happened, I ask him… “Lord, how did I get here?” He lovingly answers, “You were distracted by your surroundings and you took your eyes off me.”

That is the answer isn’t it? We get distracted by the things of life that trouble us, and we take our eyes off Jesus, who has the ability to save and rescue us. All the cares of this world will fade away, but He will always be there. What are we distracted by today? Where is our focus? Is it on the turmoil or is it on the answer? The peace.

Psalm 107:27-30 They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits’ end. “LORD, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor!

Comfort and New Life

Some of the reasons, it’s so hard to lose a parent, sibling, cousin, or close friend, are because they hold so many memories of us that nobody else does. 

In a perfect world, our parents were there the day we were born, if not both, at least our mother. They hold the memory of how we came into the world. Even adopted children wonder how they were conceived and why they were given up for adoption. Were they not wanted? Could their parents not afford them? Were there extenuating circumstances? Everyone wants someone to want them, to need them. Even a child who was unplanned can still be wanted and loved. Just because they may have been an “accidental pregnancy” doesn’t make them any less loved or wanted. It only means they weren’t part of the parents original plan at that time, but they were God’s. It’s how the parents’ choose to accept them that makes the difference. 

I’ve had two children that came into this world unexpectedly, but they were no less loved than their sibling I planned. Of course I was surprised at first, but I adjusted and was thrilled when they arrived!  Both their pregnancies were easier than the one that was planned, funny how that worked out. 
But we miss our parents so much when they’re gone, because they know things about us that nobody else does, like every scraped knee, every bike wreck, every time we thought there were monsters under our bed or in our closet, they knew all our fears and hopes, (which might change weekly or daily) and they still loved us, no matter how many sleepless nights or how many times we called out to them, because we saw a shadow in the middle of the night. They nurtured us through sicknesses of every kind, they may have missed work or sleep to help us feel better, but they didn’t complain, except about the grief they were given by their employers. Plus, our parents know our lineage, they remember the generations before us and who our grandparents are and who was who in the family tree. Some of them even remember our great or great-great grandparents, which is hard to fathom! They hold this treasure chest of information about our identity tucked away in their heads and when they’re gone, part of our identity is gone also. Who do we call when we want advice on certain things? For me it was usually my mother. I didn’t always take her advice, but I could bounce my ideas and troubles off her and knew I wouldn’t be judged or condemned. I would still be loved, now I rely on God, and he has even more unconditional love. He also knows things about me my mother never did. 

Luke 12:7 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

God knows those things my siblings, cousins, and friends knew… Some of those things your parents never knew, because you were either afraid or embarrassed to tell them. They knew your silly antics, your fears, your desires, your confessions, and some of your deepest secrets, that you couldn’t share with your parents. So when any of them pass from this earth, they take those secrets and memories, those crazy shenanigans you shared with them and nobody else. But God still knows those things too. That is why when we lose anyone in our lives, no matter the significance they had, the only one who can bring and give comfort is God. 

May God comfort all who have lost loved ones. May he wrap his loving arms around you today as you read this and envelop you with the happy memories and may he take away the painful ones you have. May he free you from any regrets you shared in your loved one’s life and may he replace it with joy for just knowing them. May he guide and comfort you, so that you may be the person you should be, to all those you meet in the future. May he help you be the best parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle to those in your life and a shining example of his love. God is always looking for new life, whether it’s an infant or an adult who turns their life to Him. May God… Let God.

Psalm 139:13-18 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!