In His Image

Posted on 11/13/2016 by Rev. Jennifer L. Faust

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


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GREAT IS THE LORD

Great is the lord, He is holy and just
By his power we trust In his love
Great is the lord, He is faithful and true
By his mercy he proves He is love

Chorus:
Great is the lord
And worthy of glory
Great is the lord
  And worthy of praise
Great is the lord

Now lift up your voice
Now lift up your voice
Great is the lord
Great is the lord

Chorus 2:
Great are you lord
  And worthy of glory
Great are you lord
  And worthy of praise
Great are you lord

I lift up my voice
I lift up my voice
Great are you lord
Great are you lord


THE STEADFAST LOVE

The steadfast love
of the Lord never ceases
His mercies
never come to an end

They are new every morning
New every morning.
Great is Thy faithfulness, O Lord.
Great is Thy faithfulness.


WELCOME IN THIS PLACE

Holy Spirit
Holy Spirit
Comforter, Counselor, here

Holy Spirit
sent from Heaven
The God of all glory is here

Rise up within me
Living Water
Spirit of God in me

You are welcome in this place
You are welcome in this place
God of power, love, and grace
Saturate my soul


GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS

Great is Thy faithfulness,
O God my Father;
There is no shadow
of turning with Thee;

Thou changest not,
Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been,
Thou forever will be.

Summer and winter
and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars
in their courses above

Join with all nature
in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness,
mercy and love.

Pardon for sin
and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence
to cheer and to guide;

Strength for today
and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine,
with ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning
new mercies I see.

All I have needed
Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness,
Lord, unto me!


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Father God, thank You for always being with us no matter what is going on. You are our shelter and our refuge in the storm. You are our fortress when we need a place of protection and a place where we can defend ourselves. You have show us great mercy and love through the many things you have done for us. We love you not only for what you have done, but for who You are. You are our everything. And we worship You! Thank You for bring us all here. I ask that You would do only what You can do. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

You may be seated.

I'm going to be sharing a different kind of fire side chat. I'm going to share some of my experiences.

When I was growing up, there were some people in my life that would say some very mean and hurtful things. They would call me names. They would tell me I was ugly. They would say these things right to my face. To my face! And my little girl heart would hurt so much. And I started to believe them.

Words are powerful things. They can't be taken back once spoken. They are hard to cover up or make go away. It is like our brains remember EVERY word that was spoken to us. That's why it is so very important to be careful what we say.

You know I still have problems with those words that people spoke to me. I still can remember a lot of them. They hurt to this day! To this day! It's been over 25 years for a lot of those words. But you know...there is something that I have learned.

Shall I tell you my secret? Secret that I am still uncovering...the secret that each and every person on this earth can find out for themselves. I guess it isn't really a secret and yet...so many people forget about it.

There are some scriptures in the Bible...the Living God says things about us in His Word!

For example in Psalm 139 the psalmist writes, I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. That's found in verse 14 of chapter 139. I know the psalmist is talking about himself and not how God sees him, but the psalmist is also praising God for how He created him. Fearfully and wonderfully. Set apart and unique. In awe and beautiful.

And how about in Genesis. The book of the Bible where God creates everything. The very beginning. There was dark...and then light. And then...God...well He created. In Genesis chapter 1 verses 26-28 it reads
26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

The main part of those verses I want us to look at is this part: So God created man in His own image. Man. Mankind.

I'm going to read a facebook status I put on my page the other day. It's where I got the idea for this fire side chat. Now, I will be honest with you, by the time I was finished typing this I was crying. I'll read it and you will see why.

Beautiful. You're beautiful. It has nothing to do with what your hair looks like...brushed, messy. It doesn't matter. It has nothing to do with what you are wearing. Wholly jeans and a t-shirt or a skirt and top or dress or a suit or tuxedo. It doesn't matter. It has nothing to do with if you are wearing make up or not. If you have pimples or not. If you wear glasses or not. It doesn't matter.

Beautiful. You're beautiful. Each person...from the newly conceived baby in the womb to the oldest human on earth...each one was created in the image of God. Yes. That means in you...in me...in all of us...there is God. He is in us. See, when He created everything there was something He wanted. When He created man...mankind...He created us in HIS image...so that we have a part of Him even if we do not believe in Him or follow His ways. He is still there!!

And when I think about that. When I think about Him being in all of us...and I see how we treat each other. The tears come flowing out of my eyes and down my cheeks.
Here is this beautiful creation that God made in HIS IMAGE and look...look...LOOK how we are treating it!! Like some piece of nothing.
But in reality...the beauty of God is in them. In their smile. In their eyes. In their heart. It is there.

Yes, there are those where the beauty is buried deep inside them. Some who have tried to repel the beauty. But the trace is there. I wonder if we could live in a place where we tried to cultivate the beauty in everyone rather than....say...what we see on the outside....I wonder what kind of world this would be.

Do you see the flower or the thorns when you look at a rose? The good or the bad? The beauty or the ill?

Think of the most evil person in history. Maybe you thought of Adolf Hitler. Or Herod. Fidel Castro. Well whomever you thought of. No matter how evil they may have been they STILL had a piece of God in them. Though it seems they have buried it far far far down....very deep inside of themselves. It is still there.

I don't know if I can see the beauty in an evil person. God would have to show it to me. But I can see it in a rose. Though it has thorns...the beautiful flowers beckon to me to smell the wonderful fragrance that comes from its petals. That's how it is with us.

Some of us have thorns on the outside that make people stay away from us. We distance ourselves. We make people stay away and not find the treasure that is deep inside of us.

We are made in His image...in the image of God. If we allow people to come close to us...to smell our fragrance...they will see the beauty that we are. They will find that...even inside of the most evil....or the most ugly...or the most unlikely person...the beauty of the Living God lives in them and that makes us all beautiful.

For it is not the outward appearance that the Lord looks....but the heart. So what is in your heart? Is it something that makes you beautiful? Is it something that reflects the beautiful of our Creator?

Today's altar call is this. Have you been looking at yourself the way others do? Do you allow them to speak hurtful words about you? You are made in the image of God! Allow Him to comfort you and show you just how beautiful you are in His eyes. Take some time to speak with Him. He loves you, you know.

If you need prayer or ministry, please message one of the staff on the ministry team and we will help you in any way we can. If you happen to be outside Second Life, go to almcyberchurch.org and click on the pastors' offices.

After this time at the altar, you are all invited to join us in the room up the stairs to your left. We'll have a time of fellowship there.

Whenever you need to go, you are free to do so.

May God bless you this week. May He who created you in His image give you a glimpse of His beauty when you look in the reflection in the mirror...for there is one of His best creations. You.