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BEARING HIS IMAGE

SERMON STARTER

HIS IMAGE IN TAMMY FAYETammy Fay Bakker was on Larry King Live last week. She was down to less than 65 pounds. Despite how she looked after colon cancer had ravaged her body, she was positive and hopeful. Who was she the wife of a televangelist who reached rock star status at the peak of her career? Was she the skilled promoter that sent perfumed pastel stationery to her generous contributors?  Was she the recording artist that recorded more 33 rpm albums than a lot of successful artists in their prime? Was she the victimized wife of a fallen televangelist?

I submit that Tammy Faye, after everything had been peeled away, was a first-century believer who at the edge of life’s end clung to the “Blessed Hope” of John 14, “Because I live, your shall live also.” “Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” She was in the image of Christ, who initially called her into His Kingdom and called her back to Himself as she closed her eyes in this life.

 POSITIVE IMAGE EVANGELISTS     Norman Vincent Peale, “The Power of Positive Thinking,” Robert Schuller, and Joel Osteen established their ministries on the assumption that people had a poor self-image. Robert Schuller believes that more than 60% of the people in our culture suffer from poor self-esteem. These men have capitalized on the growing problem our technically adept culture has with self-esteem and self-image. We’re a people who don’t know who we are and don’t know where we are going. We lost our ability to see ourselves clearly when Adam sinned in the Garden. Jesus Christ offers us a restored view of ourselves. He has granted us the ability to bear His Image to a lost and fallen generation. 

 

July 22, 2007

Sheepfold Ministries /  Pastor Phil Roland

BEARING HIS IMAGE

1 John 3:1-3

“God’s people often lose sight of who they really are and how they appear to God who loves them. When God looks at us he sees His precious Son.”    Pastor Phil  

 

 

Three ways to Bear His Image:

I.  R E L A T I O N S H I P – 1 John 3:1

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”

          A. Created to be Image Bearers – Genesis 1:27

     “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him.”

        B. Adam was Created for Relationship – Genesis 3:8a

     “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking

in the garden in the cool of the day,”

C. Their Relationship was Marred thru Adam’s Disobedience

D. Jesus, the 2nd Adam Restored Our Relationship – John. 1:12

“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right

to become children of God--children born not of natural descent, nor of human

decision or a husband's will, but born of God.”

II.  F E L L O W S H I P – 1 John 3:2a

“Dear friends, (Beloved) now we are children of God,”

          A. We Need One Another to Grow – Prov. 27:17

          “As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”

            B. Christ’s Great Commission commands to “Make Disciples”

                   1. Disciples are to be life-long learners

2. Disciples are made thru relationship and time

          C. Relationships can help you develop a Christ-like image

                   1. Family, Friends provide relational mirrors

                        2. He calls us “Beloved”

III.  T R A N S F O R M A T I O N – 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 John 3:2b

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

“we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”

          A. Changed thru Christ’s Resurrection Power

            B. Self-Help Methods don’t bring Transformation

                   1. Smoke Screen Method                4. Excuses

                        2. Sour Grapes Method                    5. Extremely Sensitive

                        3. Day Dreaming Method                 6. Highly Critical

            C. Three Correct Ways to Restore Fallen Self Image

                   1. Relationship with God

                        2. Fellowship with God’s People

                        3. Transformation

 

 

 

BEARING HIS IMAGE, Text:

1 John 3:1-3

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

2  Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

3  Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.

 

 

ILLUSTRATION #1

SELF ASSUMED POVERTY

In the early nineteen eighties a woman in W. Palm Beach, Fla. died alone at the age of 71. The coroner's report was tragic; "Cause of death: MALNUTRITION! "The dear old lady wasted away to 50 pounds. Investigators who found her said the place was a terrible pigpen, the biggest mess you can imagine! One seasoned inspector declared he'd never seen a residence in greater disarray!

The woman had begged food at her neighbors' back doors and gotten what clothes she had from the Salvation Army. From all outward appearances she was a penniless recluse, a pitiful and forgotten widow. But such was not the case!

Amid the jumble of her unclean, disheveled belongings, two keys were found which led officials to safe deposit boxes at two dif­ferent local banks. What they found was absolutely unbelievable! The first contained over 700 AT & T stock certificates, plus hundreds of other valuable certificates, bonds, and solid financial securities. . .not to mention a stack of cash amounting to nearly $200,000.  The second box had no certificates, only more currency —— lots of it —— $600,000 to be exact. Adding the net worth of both boxes, they found that the woman had in her possession well over a MILLION DOLLARS!!

Charles Osgood, reporting on CBSradio, announced that the estate would probably fall into the hands of a distant niece and nephew, neither of whom dreamed she had a thin dime to her name! She was, however, a millionaire who died a stark victim of starvation in a humble hovel many miles away!

THIS WOMAN LIVED WITH MILLIONS, YET DIED A

PAUPER! SHE IS A GOOD PICTURE Of THOSE PEOPLE IN THE BODY OP CHRIST, AND IN THE WORLD, WHO SUFFER FROM A POOR OR MISSING SELF IMAGE!

Christianity offers its spiritual wealth to a spiritually poverty stricken world, who literally live and die, and never open the lock box to enjoy the wealth that’s within!

 

  

SELF-IMAGE PREACHER FUNNY:

A PASTOR'S SELF-ESTEEM SUFFERED A GREAT BLOW when he was in the hospital.  Things looked quite serious for a while. The Chair­man of his Official Board visited him with these remarks:

"Cheer up, pastor, we don't want you to worry about a thing! Last night at the Official Board meeting, we voted 10-9 to pray for your recovery!"

 

MISSING SELF IMAGE THWARTS LOVE

I read a story about a passive man with low self-esteem in Wales. He was a timid soul who sought to win the affection of a certain lady for 42 years before she finally said, "Yes!" The couple, both 74, recently became "Mr. and Mrs."

For more than 40 years, the persistent, but shy man slipped a weekly love letter under his neighbor's door. But she continually refused to speak and mend the spat that had parted them many years before. After writing 2,184 love letters without ever getting a spoken word or a written answ­er, the old man eventually summoned up enough courage to present himself in person. He knocked on the door of the reluctant lady and asked for her hand. To his delight and surprise, SHE ACCEPTED!!!

THE LORD GOD IS LIKE THAT IN HIS DEALINGS WITH US CONCERNING OUR MISSING SELF-IMAGE! He has written His Love Letter to us through His written word. He’s been knocking at the door of your heart for a long, long time. It’s time to open the door and let Him into your heart and life.

 

 

CLOSING ILLUSTRATION:

THE TEMPLE OF THE GOLDEN BUDDHA

Things are not always as they seem to be!

 

In 1957 a group of Buddhist monks from a monastery were asked to relocate a clay Buddha from their temple to a new location. The monastery was to be relocated to make room for the development of a new highway through Bangkok, Thailand. When the crane began to lift the giant idol, the weight of it was so tremendous that it began to crack. What's more the rain began to fall. The head monk, who was con­cerned about the damage to the sacred Buddha, decided to lower the statue back to the ground and cover it with a large canvas tarp to protect it from the rain.

LATER THAT EVENING, the head monk went to check on the Buddha. He shined his flashlight under the tarp to see if the Buddha was staying dry. As the light reached the crack, he noticed a little gleam shining back and thought it strange. As he took a closer look at this thing underneath the clay, he wondered if something might be inside the clay. He went to fetch a hammer and chisel from the monastery and began to chip away at the clay. As he knocked off chards of clay, the little gleam grew brighter and bigger. Many hours of labor went by before the monk stood face to face with the extraordinary SOLID-GOLD BUDDHA!

Historians believe that several hundred years before 1 the head monk's discovery, the Burmese army was about to invade Thailand (then called Siam). The Siamese monks, realizing that their country would soon be attacked, covered their precious golden Buddha with an outer coating of clay in order to keep the nation­al treasure from bring looted by the Burmese. UNFORTUNATELY, it appears the Burmese slaughtered ALL THE SIAMESE MONKS and the well-kept secret of the golden Buddha remained intact until that fateful day in 1957. Imagine

a ten and a half foot tall Buddha, weighing 5,000 lbs!! It was valued at 196 million dollars!!! (Today, with inflation, that’s more than half a billion!)

 

YOU BEAR HIS IMAGE

 

YOUR LIFE is Jesus to someone,
Though tattered and torn it may be.
Though often times weak and unstable,
You're all of God someone will see.
 
YOUR TONGUE is Jesus to someone.
That idle, insensitive word
Reflects to at least one searching heart
An idle, insensitive Lord.
 
YOUR GOALS are Jesus to someone.
What you put first, they believe,
Are the goals of God for the Christian.
Your life is all they receive.
 
YOUR FAITHFULNESS... that's Jesus to someone.
Their judgment of how God is true,
Rests unquestionably in the faithfulness
They see day by day in you.
 
YOUR LOVE is Jesus to someone--
That someone who is seeking to know
That Jesus will follow and guide and
Befriend wherever in life they might go.
 
SO BEWARE lest others blaspheme
God by what you say or do,
For the only Jesus that someone knows
Is the Jesus they see in you.
 
    Author Unknown