IMAGE of God by John Stapleton

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
(Gen. 1:26-27)

1) God’s Image

What is the image of God? Whatever it is, it’s something mankind has that sets us apart from the rest of creation – the apex of all creatures. This question is important because it is a reality that Adam and Eve forgot when they were tempted in Genesis 3.

Satan’s lie was that they “will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). If you’re thinking, “But they already are like God,” you’re on the right track. What does it mean for them to be in God’s image?

This is what theologians call the imago dei – God’s image.

It means that they image him. God rules and so do they, God creates and so will they, God cultivates and so did they. Aside from what they were created to do, look at how they were created.

  • They have a soul – the full spectrum of emotions
  • The ability to communicate more intelligently than other creatures
  • Most importantly, the ability to relate to God as his very own children.

2) Mankind Rules

I’ve read over this phrase so many times, usually at the beginning of the year when I am determined to muscle through the new Bible reading plan. This year it jumped off the page.

God created mankind to rule!

Rule what though? In context, it sounds like God is telling them to be supreme zoo keepers, but this also implies the establishing of civilization.

People are supposed to start families, businesses, towns, cities, and countries. We should create art and build culture. Unlike what you may have thought, God actually loves big cities! Rather than hiding from the world, we need to influence the world.

3) God Created Mankind

This point brings us back to the basics. We already covered this last time: God created mankind. We are not a product of chance, not an after-thought, not a result of feuding deities – no! God loves us and created us for his enjoyment!

Now, I would be doing a disservice to the Bible and to you if I didn’t address gender. What I said last time was that God has rights over his creation since he is the Creator. So he has the right to define how life works.

A reality that we must accept is that “God created mankind in his own image… male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).

Yes, there are only two genders and they aren’t on a spectrum. I know this is offensive, so welcome to 2021 – we can’t get past the first chapter in the Bible without getting offended. But that’s ok. God is always right and we are often wrong, needing a change of perspective. When we first read the Bible, we don’t see things the way God sees them.

This is why the Christian life is marked every step of the way by repentance. Rather than embracing and celebrating the aspects of ourselves that are opposed to how God created us, we need to repent and accept reality.

Conclusion

The three points I want to leave you with is:

  • God created us in his image
  • He created us to rule
  • God has deliberately designed life to work the way he has architected it.

God is not like transcendentalists say – that he spun the world into orbit and then left. He isn’t like many of our fathers, cold and impersonal, distant and apathetic. He is loving and intentional.

That’s why the image of God should be a cherished doctrine to you personally.

Just like you can look in the mirror and see some of your mom and dad in you, God has put some of his “likeness” in you. To clarify, we are not God, but we are like him. This theme carries on in the New Testament when Paul talks about being like Jesus (Philippians 3:10).

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Dr. Mary Hancock Interview

Interview With Author, Podcaster and Inventor Doctor Mary Hancock.

Michael Furlonger sat down with author Dr. Mary Hancock. She opened up about her growing up in the country, going to church with her mom, the loss of her father and her call to write. She also shared on her call to invent.

(Video Below)

Dr. Mary Hancock In Her Own Words:

“I am a mother, and a wife. I’m a sister, and I’m a teacher. I’m an inventor. I’m a podcaster, but most importantly, I’m a believer. I was saved since high school, well over 30 years. During which time, my relationship with Christ has progressed and keeps progressing as I spend time in the word of God.

“I taught high school for 14 years. I receive my masters degree from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg South Carolina. Then I received my PhD in 2015 from South Carolina State University in Columbia South Carolina.

“I wrote two books. The first is called ‘What To Do When: From Spiritual Fulfillment To Self-Fulfillment, Nothing Missing‘. And the second book is called “I’m Screaming, Can You Hear Me?”.

I have created a mini course for the first book.

I’m a podcaster; The podcast is called real top by Dr. HANCOCK.”

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Kathleen Derbyshire Interview

Interview With Author, Christian Life Couch and Teacher Kathleen Derbyshire

Author Kathleen Derbyshire sat down to discuss her faith and writing with ChristianWritersBookstore. With a calling on her life to help women navigate life, she wrote The White Picket Fence: Crown for Life Pursues Biblical Boundaries. This book is part 1 in her Crown For Life Series. The book is based on the one verse from the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus says, “Let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no” (Matt. 5:37).

The book is a fiction book about five women who are unable to set their boundaries correctly.

Life is filled with decisions we must make. Are we saying yes when we should be saying no? Why do we find it so difficult to say no when it is warranted? When should we say yes?

Biblical Life Skills teacher Kathleen Derbyshire introduces a new way to illuminate this issue in our lives. then eliminate it. Her masterful use of fictional stories that intertwine with real life lead us through a process of discovery that is unique and encouraging. Her white picket fence analogy for boundaries gives women a visual they won’t soon forget.

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Happy New Year!!! 2020-2021

As we ended 2020 and entered 2021, we go in with hope of a better year, right? I saw two “news” videos over the New Years weekend and it made me sad.

  1. A neighbour called the police because someone was having a celebration and broke the isolation rules. The video, which I will not show, was a family fighting with police officers while they drag out the visitors.
  2. I saw a girl (late teens to early twenties) freak out in an elevator because the person getting on wasn’t wearing a mask properly. Whether that’s true or not, I really don’t know.

Same Song, Second Verse

I wonder how many people thought that they could bring in the new year with joy and laughter. I wonder how many churches thought 2020 was going to be a year of prosperity. I wonder…. What the right answer is to all of this?

At least we can say, “Hinde sight’s 20/20.”

Maybe you think the neighbour who called the police was right. Maybe the neighbour was freaking out like the girl on the elevator. Maybe, like me, you work from home, hide in your house and are grateful for Uber-eats.

Whatever will come, let’s be prepared for round 2. As the children’s camp song goes:

“Same Song. Second Verse.
A little bit louder. A little bit worse.”

The song ends with children “singing” so fast and loud that they don’t even know what their saying.

Why Are We So Afraid?

I read a lot of rude comments about the girl freaking out on the elevator. But is she not reacting the way we are being told to react? Living in absolute terror that we’re all going to die.

I feel for this girl and the thousands of others. But news flash, we are all going to die.

This is not a Left VS. Right, Liberal VS. Conservative, Democrat VS. Republican thing. This is a “Who is your god?” thing. And the church has made each member of the congregation think that they are ‘god’. And God of scripture is only the one with all the power. And we go to church, sing, read, and tithe to force God to work. Like some vending machine.

Someone comes up to you and says, “I believe in God. What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 2:38) Peter’s reply with “Repent” wouldn’t fit most churches these days.

Enough With Your Meme Sized Faith

I’ve seen people share the memes on Facebook. I’ve seen the picture of someone kneeling at their bed in prayer, asking God to heel the land though it is full of sin. I’ve heard people use the words “worship” and “adore” and “honour” in a prayer service.

But do we really? Do we worship God with our sex lives? Do we honour God with the shows and movies we watch? Do we adore God for who He is? Or do we just say, “Well, I don’t think the Bible should be taken literally in the 21st century.”

People are ready and willing to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, praise God. But the church is too scared to tell them about Him. We fill our churches with, “God loves you. God loves you,” but ignore, “God is angry with the wicked every day” (Psalm 7:11).

When Prophets Are Wrong

The visions of your prophets
    were false and worthless;
they did not expose your sin
    to ward off your captivity.
The prophecies they gave you
    were false and misleading. (Lamentations 2:14)

I’m not trying to disregard prophets or the gift of prophecy. What I am saying is that if your “prophets” are not in line with the Gospel of repentance, what are you?

Now Is The Time

To that girl in the elevator, to the neighbour who called the cops, I get it. You are being told to be afraid and you are. And I am struggling once a week to go down to the buildings shared laundry room to clean my clothes.

What I am saying to Christian and non-Christian is that God is sovereign. Romans 8:38-39 tells us that neither life nor death, neither angels nor demons, (neither common cold nor Coronavirus) can separate us from the love of of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.

To the church: In September 2001, a great tragedy happened when two airplanes struck the Twin Towers in New York. The following week, our church was FILLED with unconverted souls desperately searching for answers. The opportunity to preach the message of eternal worth had come.

Please, take advantage of the time given to you.

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The Wrath of God (Part 5 of Advent Series)

Many have wondered if God sees, cares, and will do something about evil – evil in the world as well as personal sins that we have suffered at the hands of other people. This is Part five of the Advent series.

Today’s passage wraps up a stand-alone unit in Revelation (chapter 12-14) that cover the birth of Jesus up to the final judgment. The hope of Christmas culminates in God judging his enemies and establishing his kingdom.

We don’t like to think about the wrath of God.

It seems old or out of step with God’s character. Yet, in order to love, one must hate. In order to love, one must have the capacity for violence.

I love my wife (for example) and any threat to her must be nullified by me because I won’t let anything happen to her. In a more perfect way, God has a family that has been persecuted and killed. The saints have asked him when he was going to avenge their blood (Rev 6:9). It is now time for God to act.

In this series, we’ve traced history from the birth of Christ to the final judgment.

The judgment here is ultimately against “Babylon.” That’s in quotes because Babylon is code for any beast empire that oppresses God’s people, especially Rome (1 Peter 5:13). They are judged for sexual immorality. This was most likely tied to pagan worship. God’s judgment essentially is that those who drink Babylon’s cup- adultery- will drink God’s cup of wrath.

The idea of suffering being portrayed as a cup is in many biblical places. Perhaps the most common is Jesus when he is asking the Father to remove the suffering of the cross from him. However, praise be to God, Jesus drank the cup for us. This is not divine child abuse. This is Father agreeing with the Son to redeem the world. God has an outlet for his wrath in Jesus.

Some people wonder why God can’t just overlook sin.

If he did, he would be wicked. People who have suffered a great deal in life find it hard, if not impossible, to worship a permissive God. He essentially, lets all the criminals run free with no threat of prison. What kind of world would that be? That would be a world without God’s grace, which is hell. So, God punishing evil is gracious – not for evildoers, but for everyone else. God punishes evil for the same reason you lock your door at night.

The final image here is the saints being gathered together. That’s the harvest. The wicked are also gathered – like grapes to be crushed. The point is this: Surrender to Jesus. You don’t want to be his enemy!

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You Better Get Moving!

boats on calm sea water against mountains

“Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan…” (Joshua 1;2)

While on their way to the Promised Land, the Israelites encountered a tragedy–Moses, their leader, died! It was a sad time; it was a difficult time. Sometimes you will find yourself in difficult circumstances that are beyond your control. Here are two lessons we learn from this.

LESSON #1: GOD STILL SPEAKS IN DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES.

Joshua 1:1 says, “Now after the death of Moses…the LORD spake unto Joshua.” Your difficult circumstances cannot prevent God from speaking to you. The question is are you listening to Him? Stay in His Word and listen to His voice.

LESSON #2: WE MUST KEEP MOVING FORWARD.

When Moses died, God didn’t say, “Alright, Joshua, tell everyone the deal is off. I am no longer going to keep my word and give you the Promised Land.” No! No sooner had Moses died, the LORD said to Joshua, “..arise, go over this Jordan.” In other words, “Joshua, this is no time to sit down. I still have a plan for you. Arise and go!”

Listen, your difficult circumstances cannot stop God and God does not want them to stop YOU, either! God is STILL speaking and He expects you to keep following.

So, if you want to see what God can do, even in your bad circumstances…you better get moving!

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Will You Have A MARY Christmas?

WILL YOU HAVE A MARY CHRISTMAS?

“But Martha was cumbered about much serving…and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone?” (Luke 10:40)

Mary and Martha had invited Jesus into their home. The problem was, by the time Jesus arrived, Martha was stressed out! There was so much work to be done:

  • the house had to be cleaned
  • the meal had to be cooked
  • the table had to be set.

Everything had to be just right because Jesus was coming.

Sometimes we can be as bad as Martha, especially as writers. We can let the stress of writing, or the pressure of trying to complete our book by a certain deadline, to create undue stress in our lives. The problem is when we allow ourselves to be stressed out, the gift of writing (which God intended to be a blessing) soon becomes a burden.

Two Lessons The Lord Taught Me About Martha’s Stress

LESSON #1: Serving the Lord should not become stressful.
Martha was stressed out, but Mary wasn’t stressed out at all. I don’t think Mary was lazy, she just thought it was more important to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to His Word, first.

The reason many people end up stressed out isn’t because they don’t love the Lord. It is because they are trying to do the work of the ministry in the flesh without preparing their heart first. Our flesh will fail us.

It is imperative that we take time, like Mary, to sit at the feet of Jesus in order to prepare ourselves.

LESSON #2: Our WORSHIP is more important than our WORK.
I am not saying our work isn’t important; it is. I am simply saying that our work will not be all it should be if it is not done from a heart of worship. A manuscript that is written while under stress will sound much different than one written from the overflow of a heart filled with worship. The end result will be as different as a book written by Martha, versus one written by Mary.

Have A Mary Christmas!!

So, let’s spend the necessary time making sure our heart is prepared in a spirit of worship. When it is, it will transform our MARTHA Christmas into a MARY Christmas!

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Color By Design by Jessie Lee Perez

In Color By Design, author Jessie Lee Perez explains how everyone fits into one of four different temperament categories. Each category has an associated color—and provides a simple code to decipher each color’s thought processes.

Color By Design:
Why You Do What You Do, Think What You Think, and Care about What You Care About

It’s easy for relationships with friends, colleagues, and loved ones to go wrong. Despite your best efforts, you don’t always get how they think, or why they do the things they do. Sometimes you have to admit that you don’t even understand yourself. But it doesn’t have to be that hard.

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Through engaging stories and practical examples, Jessie teaches you how to:

-Determine which “color” somebody is

-Discover who you are

-Comprehend the perspectives of others who aren’t like you

-Learn more effective ways of interacting People aren’t as confusing as you think.

Color By Design will enable you to see them through a sharper lens, leading to success in your personal and professional life.

Relationships can be some of the best things in our lives or some of the most challenging. The sway of relationships in our lives can effectually lift up or drag down our world regardless of what else may be going on around us. But God built us for relationship – both relationship with Him and relationship with others – so it’s time we push reset on some of those relationships and start moving them towards what God wants for us.

It’s easy for relationships with friends, colleagues, and loved ones to go wrong. Despite your best efforts, you don’t always get how they think, or why they do the things they do. Sometimes you have to admit that you don’t even understand yourself. But it doesn’t have to be that hard.

About Jessie Lee Perez

Jessie Lee Perez is an internationally certified business analyst, published author, the founder of We Speak Color and a missionary for the kingdom of God, in love with Jesus Christ. She equips people to fulfill the calling on their lives with clarity and confidence, with a passion for working with women and youth.

Jessie Lee Perez has worked or served in sixteen foreign nations. She is a seasoned business analyst with a strategic mindset and a flare for adventure. She has operated in such industries as international logistics, NASA atmospheric sciences, and cancer services.

Jessie loves to help others grow both spiritually and practically. She makes stories come alive while bringing home valuable content and practical application that changes lives and brings clarity.

Jessie holds a degree in global business from Regent University, is a certified facilitator of True Colours workshops and training, and is passionate about driving transformation in individuals and communities through the ability to speak color. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her family.

We are all created with a purpose in mind, and when we understand ourselves through the temperament God created us with, we can better understand tangibly that we aren’t alone, and that much of what we do and how we think is beautifully created for the calling and purpose God has for us. Even better still, that “we” are called to function together in awesome ways, much like a puzzle, that requires all of the pieces to create the full picture. Each and every one of us is an indispensable part of the picture. 

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Deuteronomy 22:11- Wool and Linen

Bible Study Video

Do you ever read the Old Testament Law and wonder, “What? Why?”? One of the things that comes to mind is the clothing laws.

Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together. (Deut. 22:11)

Now, I’m not huge on watching TikTok videos because by what I have seen is about wives laughing at their husband or the other way around. But my wife loses hours watching videos and she shared this one on an Old Testament law that made me want to look deeper into it.

From LifeGivingLinen.com/Linen-Study, we can read more about what this woman on TikTok shares. From the website:

“According to this study, the human body has a signature frequency of 100, and organic cotton is the same – 100.  The study showed that if the number is lower than 100, it puts a strain on the body.  A diseased, nearly dead person has a frequency of about 15, and that is where polyester, rayon, and silk register. Nonorganic cotton registers a signature frequency of about 70. However, if the fabric has a higher frequency, it gives energy to the body.  This is where linen comes in as a super-fabric. Its frequency is 5,000. Wool is also 5,000, but when mixed together with linen, the frequencies cancel each other out and fall to zero. Even wearing a wool sweater on top of a linen outfit in a study collapsed the electrical field. The reason for this could be that the energy field of wool flows from left to right, while that of linen flows in the opposite direction, from right to left. “

What’s a Hz (Hertz)?

I know very little when it comes to this science topic. As I listened to the video and the woman talks about hertz, I have to look that up. Fortunately, the link above shares on this topic.

A man named Dr. Rife did studied “specific vibrational ‘kill’ frequencies” of organisms in the 1920s (not specifying in clothing). He believed that if “disease-causing microorganisms” were better understood, they could be “eliminated by an opposing rate of vibration.”

Rife believed that the ideal frequency of a human being is between 62 and 72 Hz. Anything lower than that could compromise a person’s immune system.

Dr. Callahan

Back to Dr. Yellen’s study, she shares about a physician and researcher named Dr. Phillip Callahan. Dr. Callahan “discovered that flax cloth, as suggested in the Books of Moses …, acts as an antenna for the energy. He found that when the pure flax cloth was put over a wound or local pain, it greatly accelerated the healing process.”

Modern Christianity

I don’t want to get in a discussion on Apostle Paul quotes on the Law. Thanks be to God who sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to bring us back to Himself. We are not eternally saved because we wear certain clothing or avoid eating certain foods. But isn’t this fascinating?

Let’s not abandon the Old Testament law for the sake of the New. Remember that Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” Let’s be fascinated and amazed at the greatness of our God.

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