May 20, 2015

Image of God

Written by Wisdom Hunters

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 20, 2015

In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Genesis 1:27-28

I feel disappointed, angry and hopeful by the debate in our country over the definition of marriage. Disappointed in Christian marriages (mine included) the last 40 years for not being a better example of a Christ honoring relationship. Angry with the majority of our citizens (many Christians) who are repurposing God’s purpose for marriage. Hopeful for the opportunity Jesus followers have to love like Jesus in the middle of opposition to His moral code while living what we believe by modeling grace filled marriages that men and women would aspire to.

Our heavenly Father’s heart of love desires to bless male and female—both created in His image. However, if we redefine marriage other than a wife and a husband in holy matrimony—we create an unholy ritual, expedient for selfish personal gain. Marriage without the distinctive of one man and one woman is not marriage at all. Call it a civil union approved by the state, but do not call it a marriage blessed by Almighty God. Marriage is a covenant before God, between a man and a woman. The marriage of a man and woman is built on the image of holy God.

Christ used the imagery of a man and woman leaving their parents and cleaving to one another in marriage. Marriage defined as a man or woman was never in question for our Lord. He attended a wedding and blessed it with His presence and His present of abundant wine. Marriage for Jesus was the timeless, divinely ordained institution of a man and woman exclusively committed to each other for a lifetime of growing deeper in love with one other. Just as we are faithful to Christ throughout our life, we seek to be faithful to our husband or wife. Marriage is a picture of the oneness of God’s love and an opportunity for a man and woman to become one in Christ’s love.

“He [Jesus] replied, Have you never read that He Who made them from the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be united firmly (joined inseparably) to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder (separate)” (Matthew 19:4-6, Amplified Bible).

Paul’s challenge (Ephesians 5:21-33) for a husband to “give himself up” for his wife, is exactly the sacrificial love Jesus had for the church when He gave up His life on the cross. God knows the humility of a man and woman in an unselfish monogamous relationship makes marriage work. They serve each other and their unique temperaments are God’s design for one another. Children deserve a male dad and a female mom. They need parents who love them, Jesus and each other. Marriage for Paul is mutual submission between husband and wife for Christ’s sake.

John uses the imagery of bride and bridegroom to illustrate our personal relationship with Jesus (John 3:28-30, The Voice). We dishonor our Savior and mock marriage when we change his word picture of how holy matrimony reflects our salvation and perfect union with Christ. Just as we fall in love with Christ, so we love our wife or husband. Marriage is a journey with Jesus.

Most of all, in the middle of the marriage debate, let’s model our marriages under Christ’s authority—full of humility and love. Let’s ask God’s mercy and forgiveness for misrepresenting His marriage plan. Let’s hope and pray God’s marriage purpose becomes so real in our marriages it is held and revered as the standard for all marriages to become image bearers of God.

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, have mercy on us for seeking to repurpose Your purpose for marriage.

Related Readings: Isaiah 54:5; Mark 2:19-20; 1 Corinthians 7:1-40; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 21:2

Post/Tweet this today: Marriage is a covenant before God, between a man and a woman. #marriagedefined #wisdomhunters

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Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    Thank you so much for writing about the ‘redefining’ of marriage (man to man or woman to woman). As a former lesbian, I no longer speak with my ‘ex’ because I realized in the last few years that even JESUS quoted the scripture (just like Wisdom Hunters correctly pointed out) about “God made Man & Woman, and for this PURPOSE, to be joined in MARRIAGE” blessed by almighty God! I have been so much happier (and healthier spiritually) since I decided that God & Jesus’ COMMANDMENTS & THE VERY WORD OF GOD are MORE IMPORTANT THAN “it doesn’t matter who you love” excuses. I LOVE JESUS & GOD MORE!! I would rather be right with God and strive to follow his Word. than my own sin. Some people make more excuses and say ‘well, nobody is perfect, we all sin’, HOWEVER, that does NOT mean we casually and knowingly CONTINUE TO SIN! That would be like saying that a thief tells himself he can continue to steal because he was “born that way”. If gay people are ‘born that way’, then why is it that I changed?! I’ve know a few others who went back to being heterosexual… and all of the many lesbians I’ve known have angry issues, been raped by a man, or frankly do not feel attractive in the ‘feminine’ way, so they do the opposite by trying to look like a man. What is sad to me is that in schools (even elementary and middle) I see rainbows ‘tolerate differences’ and signs that say ‘transgender’ is welcome. People can do what they want, but they are acting against what Jesus specifically said!!
    I will not ‘tolerate’ anything that goes AGAINST GOD. We are supposed to have freedom have religion, and I certainly have “RIGHTS” to follow my own RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, no matter how corrupt this society becomes. That makes me proud to be a real Christian by obeying Jesus’ and God’s commandments. I am also very happy that I am making them happy by having corrected a false course of ‘lifestyle’. Now my lifestyle is to honor God & Jesus, and I have never been happier!! 🙂

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Michelle~
      WOW! I read your comments a few different times and I am awestruck by your transparency, your sincerity, your courage, and most importantly, your love of God! Your testimony speaks volumes to many of our fellow wisdom hunters that may be “walking the fence” on this issue.
      We are so thankful for you, Michelle, for standing firm in your convictions as you tell your amazing story. And I loved how you finished your story with “Now my lifestyle is to honor God and Jesus, and I have never been happier!!” Praise God!
      You are shining God’s Light on others with your story and only God knows how many will be touched by it.
      Please let us hear from you again. You are indeed a blessing!
      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne
      “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
      1 Corinthians 15:58

  2. Gay Boston says:

    “Angry with the majority of our citizens (many Christians) who are repurposing God’s purpose for marriage. ”
    I’m angry, too, but I don’t believe it is the majority of our citizens who are doing this. It is a small but vocal minority with full support of the media. It makes me angry, but also sad to see what is happening. Praying to be the example you speak of, and for God to move on the hearts of our leaders to show this country the way back to our Christian heritage.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear fellow wisdom hunter,
      Thank you so much for reaching out to us after reading the devotional, “Image of God”. We appreciate your sincere and thought-provoking comments regarding ” re-purposing God’s purpose for marriage”.
      I rejoice in the fact you are a praying believer and that you are going to the Throne of God with your anger and sadness, as well as praying for guidance and discernment for yourself and our country. Praise God!
      “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for those who believe.” Ephesians 1:18-19

      We are thankful for you, friend, and look forward to hearing from you again.

      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne

      “Righteousness exalts a nation,
      but sin is a disgrace to any people.” Proverbs 14:34

  3. Tracy says:

    I lead a group of High school girls at our church. This topic has come up recently and feel like the timing of this devotional is perfect. My question is do you think Jesus would attend a Gay wedding? Or union so to speak.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Tracy~
      First, let me thank you for “leading” a group of high school girls at your church. What an important time of life for these girls to be influenced by believers and wise role models. Thank you, Tracy, for being a faithful servant!
      And to answer your question (which is a great question, by the way) I think the answer is YES!! I believe Jesus would attend a gay wedding. I “dove into scripture” to form this answer:
      Clearly, the Bible states that marriage is between a man and woman. (Genesis 1:27-28)
      However, the New Testament tells us about many different events when Jesus surrounded Himself with sinners (and befriended them).

      Matthew 9:10-12 states “While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and ‘sinners’ came and ate with Him and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked the disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?
      On hearing this Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means:
      ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners’.”

      Also, I think the “bottom line” here is that Jesus is Love. Period. He commands us to love. (John 15:9-17)
      Again, Tracy thank you for reaching out to us and THANK YOU for serving God by serving those precious young ladies.
      We are so thankful for you and look forward to hearing from you again.
      Believing and trusting~
      Gwynne
      “This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:17


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