While it's true that "by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear," it is also true that God is revealed most completely in the person of Jesus Christ.

The Amazing Hope of Transformation

Sunday Scripture

Last night, a full moon lit up the sky here on the hill as a three-dimensional bank of stars drew my eye upward into cold darkness. When daylight comes, evidence for a lavishly generous Creator arrives in living color. Even on a bleak February day, the evergreens stand out against a field of downed meadow grass, and a blue sky presides over it all.

There’s hardly a person anywhere–no matter how uncatechized–who will deny that nature’s beauty points to something greater. This is the stuff of safe conversations over appetizers, a topic that might fall under the umbrella of “spirituality.” And while it’s true that “by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear,” it is also true that God is revealed most completely in the person of Jesus Christ.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” (Colossians 1:15)

When Paul wrote that Christ imaged the invisible God, he used the Greek word from which we have derived the word icon. Jesus displayed the likeness of God, not merely so flannelgraph could be invented, nor to give Renaissance painters the bright idea of a blue-eyed Messiah. Christ, in every way, shows us what God is like. That’s what an image is for. Statues of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow here in Maine are intended to make us think about The Village Blacksmith and Paul Revere’s ride, not to draw attention to the wonders of marble or someone’s sculpting techniques.

Christ’s human nature became the blue print for all other human natures. We are intended to image forth the nature of God,  and it is God’s intention to transform us until, one day, we reflect that image more faithfully than we do today. Amazing, right? One day we will reflect the image of God, the radiance of his glory, undeterred by sin or the Fall.

In the meantime, it’s easy (and trendy, even) to exult over the iridescent beauty of a hummingbird.
But how do we respond to the image of God, expressed in a howling, over-tired toddler?
The people who stand beside you in the pews today, your fellow hymn-singers and sermon amen-ers–even the ones who are hard for you to enjoy!–are all fellow image bearers. Jesus, the Word who made us, put feet to God’s intention to transform them (and us!) until we reflect his image, the likeness of the invisible God.

Rejoicing in the amazing hope of transformation,

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Photo by Akhil Lincoln on Unsplash

41 thoughts on “The Amazing Hope of Transformation”

  1. Michele, I have spent the last two day with a howling, tired and sick little one the last two days. Her preciousness was so evident to me as it was so unlike her usually happy self. How wonderful to be reminded that the person I see in front of me today is not what they will always be. God will work, He will transform, and they will one day reflect the likeness of our invisible God. Have a blessed Sunday!

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  2. I am ever thanking God for his beauty, but more so for his ongoing work that he does in me daily….even when I’m not paying attention. Your scripture and post is a great reminder of the true beauty of God.

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  3. Michele,
    It is difficult, at times, to look at others and be able to see the likeness of Christ. I’m certain that if you look at me on bad days, and even on a good day, the resemblance to Christ is fuzzy at best. So thankful that we are works in process, continually being transformed into His likeness. Thankful for that hope!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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  4. Yes, yes, yes! We are all formed in the image of God. It makes it difficult to hate others who may seem unappealing. Our goal always should be to reflect the image of Christ.

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  5. Yes, it makes a big difference to think of others as made in God’s image. Sometimes it’s easier to see than others but it’s definitely helpful to remember!

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  6. Michele, what a beautiful post! It is easy to see God’s fingerprints in His creation. But how much more amazing is it that He has called us to be His image-bearers? How far beyond comprehension to understand that Jesus was the first One who displayed God with skin on, so to speak.

    What you said here really has me thinking:
    “We are intended to image forth the nature of God, and it is God’s intention to transform us until, one day, we reflect that image more faithfully than we do today.”

    Thank you for this thought to take into my day and the rest of my week.

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  7. I remember years ago reading Philippians 1:6 and being overcome with gratitude that He who began a good work in me would continue working on me until Jesus returns. I knew transformation into the godly woman I wanted to be was impossible to accomplish on my own. But he has been patient, persevering, and oh so faithful through the decades, growing me slowly but surely toward maturity. A secondary blessing? I am more contented and joyful now than in my twenties!

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  8. Great post, Michele! We are all created in the image of God and should be emulating His likeness. Thanks for this thought-provoking post. Love your use of Scripture here.

    Thank you for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

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  9. I’m constantly amazed at how nature’s beauty reflects God and His amazing glory. I cannot even fathom how more beautiful life will be one day abiding in His eternal presence. Thanks for this great reminder, Michele!

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  10. Great thoughts. Sometimes the bird outside my window feasting on sun flower seeds gets more appreciation than my teen asking what’s for a snack 30 minutes after the dinner that took an hour to cook has been devoured. 🙂 Need to remember we are all made in his likeness and in a process of transformation.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love knowing I am an image-bearer of Jesus. There is a responsibility that comes with this that I didn’t always understand. It’s good to check our hearts often to determine if we are reflecting the light of Jesus or being carried away by our emotions.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

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  13. Beautiful thoughts! I’ve been mulling over this passage for several weeks now so it was fun to stop in and see you thinking about it too! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com!
    Tina

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