First Christian Church | Pittsfield

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A Resemblance

11.07.19 | Michael's Corner | by Michael Ten Eyck

    Last week my sister was in the Albany, New York area on business.  She made it a point to connect with some of our relatives, whom we had not seen in ages.  She asked me to send her a recent picture of my family to share with our aunt. I took a few pictures of newspaper clippings that chronicled our kids’ recent achievements as well as our latest family picture and sent them to her.  My aunt was shocked at how much my children had grown, but also made another comment that took me back. She commented that the older I get, the more I look like my father, Leonard. While I am sure that is probably true, I have some hesitation in celebrating that fact.  After all, my father was a large, bald man...does that mean that I am as well? (The expression, “The truth hurts,” comes to mind).  

    As much as our genetics do play a part in our appearance, causing us to resemble our earthly parents, yielding to the Holy Spirit causes us to bear the likeness of our Heavenly Father. As much as I was disappointed to hear of my resemblance to my earthly father, the recognition of my Heavenly Father in me is far less traumatic. In fact, it is a natural consequence of our spiritual maturing. 

    Paul writes to the Corinthians, 
    “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.  As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.”  1 Co 15:47–49. ESV
        
    Our journey is a long process of constant change, becoming more and more like Christ.  One key to help us along that journey is to keep our focus on the goal: bearing the image of Christ. We can do this by being consistent in our daily Bible reading. Keeping in God’s word serves as a daily reminder of what we are being transformed into.

    It reminds me of a recent vacation.  I was driving a boat, and I had to keep my eyes on the far side of the shore to steer the boat in the right direction.  The wind and the currents kept trying to draw the boat off course. When I was focusing on the other boats, the sky, or the water, I noticed that I would begin to go off course slightly.  It was keeping a constant eye on the destination that kept the boat on course.  

    John Piper appropriately said “ The goal of Bible reading is not only that we would see God, but that we would also enjoy him. But more than that, we don’t just want to see and savor God’s glory privately within us — we want it to conform us to that glory, so that others can see and experience God’s glory through us. This, then, is the last goal of Bible reading: to be changed from one degree of glory to another, by beholding the glory of the Lord.” 

        
    Loving you all, 
    Michael