Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Whose Image is on you?

New Ministry! As I begin to pack after 9 years of life and ministry in Virginia a lot of things have changed. Sometimes it takes a major change to realize the implications of changes around us. For instance when I moved here I had 4 children all under age 8. Now I have 5 children under age 17 and the youngest is 6. My youngest 2 children do not know what moving is yet. The other day when I brought a bunches of boxes home, my six year old daughter said, why do we need so many boxes? Great question huh? I said, "because when you move you have to put ALL your stuff in boxes to get it on the truck". I've been down that road enough, but she never has. So moving with a six year old is actaully pretty fun. I can't wait to see her face when she sees her new home and bedroom. She has always had the same room for six years. Should be interesting! I am Not real crazy about moving the dog though. He can barely survive a trip to the vet let alonge 700 miles. :(

However, this Church called Emmanuel in Madison Heights will always be home to our kids as the majority of their childhoods were lived out here. As I tried to comfort my teens toward the adjustment I am reminding them of the things they have now that teens did not have 9 years ago when families moved. Even though they are getting excited about a new home, new church, new community, they are also realizing they will still miss their current friends and I do understand that indeed as I am sure we all would.

I reminding them that now they have cell phones, text messaging, facebook, video email and video instant messaging to stay close to their family and friends lives. I have not even told them about twitter yet, and how with twitter you can stay on top on the passing minutes each day with multiple friends with instant messaging.

Anyway, lots of changes are happening. Even moving has changed since 9 years ago. We just so happen to have the same moving guy and the same moving truck which itself is a miracle, but now when it comes to getting rid of stuff instead of just yard sales and Goodwill, there is E-Bay, Amazon, Craigslist and now FreeCycle. So now the idea of a crummy yard sale or Goodwill is not the only options. To me the yardsale is history this time around. If you just want to sell it or give it away then the internet is the way to go in web savvy opinion. Freecycle is a yahoo group, but it is a great way to give away stuff verses filling the landfill.

I've got 28 days to the load um up and move it out. With the internet now it makes life easier to review the community you are moving to as well. I have already looked at the streets, the government, the neighborhood, the schools and the area churches to varying degrees. I already joined about 3 yahoo groups with affinity groups that we indentify with like autism and home schooling and I have already started building some internet based relationships by email with families and people who live in the area outside of our new local church family. It is prĂȘtty amazing how much the internet and technology can shape differences in our lives. The list I am sure could go on and on from just these few things.

There is however a number of things that are staying the same. Boxes still need to be packed and furniture still has to be lifted and moved. Grunt work still exists! I still have to haul my family 700 miles south with a cat and a dog. I still have to forward my mail to another address. I still have to transfer my tags, get new car insurance, drivers licenses and a few other licenses I am sure. I think there is a license to get sun tanned now! :)

Well, all this reminds me of our relationship with God. Technology allows a lot of changes in the way we deal with our spiritual journey as well, We can look up ministries online before we talk or meet anyone. (Not sure that is always so good, but it is what it is). We can now research tons of information about the word of God without having to buy a ton of books. The bible is even at our finger tips online. But spiritual disciplines still remain the same and of course the Savior is still the same. We still need time alone with the Savior in prayer, we still need to listen or read the Word of God and let it transform our minds and hearts. We still need to gather together to worship Him in community. We still need to preach the gospel in person and as well of course transmit to those who cannot come.

In the midst of moving and change I was reminded by God's Word today whose I am and why I am moving. It is because of His image and inscription on my life and hopefully yours as well that we go and do the will of God.

I would like to close this entry today with a scripture lesson and a point of view I had not seen before today. When Jesus was teaching in the temple he was questions by pretenders trying to trip him up so they could GET HIM.

Luke 20:20-26 [ Read Chapter

20 Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be honest. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. 21 So the spies questioned him: "Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. 22 Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" 23 He saw through their duplicity and said to them, 24 "Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription are on it?" 25 "Caesar's," they replied. He said to them, "Then give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." 26 They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.

I was thinking about this verse as it relates to whose we are. They were trying to trick Jesus assuming he would say something either yes or no to their question. But instead of answering their question, He took their question and returned it with another question from that question. Brilliant huh? The answer was Caesar's picture , portrait or image was on the government’s coin (creation of currency). So if that is the image and inscription then whose is it? It's belongs to Caesar. But what about giving to God what is God's? I thought about his double question. Whose image and inscription is impressed on man? It's God's Image!

Ge 1:27 - Read Chapter So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

So even to this today we are His creation with His image created on us or in us. Which means, regardless of changes in technology or modern day inventions we will always be God's creation and will always have His image and inscription pressed into our being and therefore each human creation should be rendering unto God what is His. ( ourselves in faithful servant hood) We may always be required to pay taxes back to governments, but it is equally expected of us to render or give back to the creator what is His and we should render unto God ourselves in service and loyalty as Him creations.

In our move to Florida to minister to another church and community we are rendering the call upon our lives to Him and the inscription He writes upon our hearts. Even though it is difficult at times to makes changes and adjust to the changes in society we must be reminded that we are not our own, but are purchased with a price (the Blood of Jesus) and we are His creation made in His image and for His purposes. He is forever inscribing a new direction, a new word, a new call into our lives as He sees fit as our creator to give him the honor and glory He is worthy of.

Col 3:10 - Read Chapter and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

2Co 3:18 - Read Chapter And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

If only those spies could had caught that truth that day. They were looking into the face of their creator when he was saying render me your lives as my image is inscribed on your very being and render back to Caesar his coinage. What a great God we serve and what a great day we live in. Will you render your lives a living sacrifice back unto to God?

Pastor Peter