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  • Pastor Linda Settles

Image Bearers


“You’re a chip off the old block!” “The spitting image of your mother.” “You act just like your daddy!” Maybe you’ve heard some of these terms. As a child, people at church would come up to me and say, “You must be Rose’s daughter. You look just like her.” At the age of 15 or 16 you can’t quite appreciate the impact of that comment. But in the last 5 years, and especially after my mother’s death, I can see where they were coming from.


Every day, when I look in the mirror, I can see the image of my mother. At first it made me cry, then I began to cherish the fact that I look so much like my mother. My father is in my reflection too – I have his nose. But for the most part, I bear the image of my mother.


Image is important to us. We care about how others see us. The movie Imitation of Life (1959 with Lana Turner) featured a young woman who wanted to be what she was not. She followed a false image of popularity that ultimately destroyed her, and her mother’s lives. Image makes us do things that are great, but it can also make us do things that are ugly. There’s a phrase: If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas! Be careful who you hang with because their image may rub off on you! The Bible says it this way:


Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

1 Corinthians 15:33


Image does matter. We have a physical image, but we also have a spiritual image. And most times we don’t think about our spiritual image. In fact, we can take it for granted. But the Apostle Paul had something to say about our spiritual image:


Just as we have borne the image of the one of dust [Adam],

we will also bear the image of the one of heaven [ Christ].

1 Corinthians 15:49


In other words, you may look like your earthly parent, but there is another image we should be bearing. The image of Jesus Himself! Adam was from earth, but Jesus is from Heaven. Adam became a living being, but Jesus became a life-giving Spirit! And while we may physically resemble someone, our aim in life should be to look like Jesus to the world!


The story of the Refiner’s Fire illustrates this point beautifully. As far as I can tell, the author is unknown. A woman read Malachi 3:3 which says: ‘He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.’ She wondered how that related to Jesus, so she went to see a silversmith in action. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.


The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about Malachi 3:3. She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, ‘How do you know when the silver is fully refined?’ He smiled at her and answered, ‘Oh, that’s easy — when I see my image in it.’


And all who have this hope in Him purify themselves, just as He is pure.

1 John 3:3


Join us for worship this Sunday for the beginning of a sermon series called: Consecrated! This week we’ll preach on being Image Bearers: The Consecrated Life, and what it means to bear the image of Jesus. We hope to see you in-house at 10:00am (masks optional), or you can also join us online. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.


Month of Consecration! We’re taking the month of October to see the ways in which we can consecrate ourselves to the Lord. To consecrate something simply means to dedicate it for a sacred purpose. This is our time to do some Fall cleaning, spiritually, to allow Jesus to purify us and make us more like Him. And it is our time to consecrate ourselves to Jesus by looking at our time, our talent, and our treasure, and dedicating them for a sacred purpose.


Consecration Sunday will be on October 23. Our District Superintendent, Rev. Robin Bell, will be our guest preacher! During worship we will have a time of consecration, complete our pledge to the Lord during worship, and bring it to the altar as a sign of consecrating our giving to the Lord. Then after worship, we’ll go downstairs for a Celebration Luncheon, catered by a local chef! You will have a chance to RSVP for the luncheon for the next two Sundays during worship, or you can call the church office if you won’t be in attendance. Remember our last sermon series and don’t miss your RSVP!


Wedding Bells will ring for Sam Heyl, the son of Dr. Jeffrey Heyl! Sam is a beloved son of the church, and we’re going to honor him and his bride, Brittany Crocker, with a wedding shower! It will take place on October 16, at 2:00pm, at the church. Let’s celebrate with them!


Blessings!

Pastor Linda

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