Grace Has a Face

So, when Adam was made in the image of God, did he have a face?  And does that mean he had God’s face?

Made in His image.  Hmmm.

Made in His likeness.  Hmmm.

An exact, “carbon copy.”  I guess we would have to infer that Adam’s face…looked just like God’s face.

Mini-me.

Or…mini-Him.

I love this.

Because it gets to the root of what God deeply wanted–a child.  But not just a baby to be loved, and held, and helped along the path.

His first draft was a full-blown, full-grown man.  With dominion over his domain.  And authority.

And, at his side, a fully-grown, mature woman.  With dominion over the same domain.  And authority.

America likes to focus on children.  And that’s good.  They need our attention.  Our love.  Our care and oversight. And some of them need tremendous help to navigate some pretty tricky waters.

But I’ve noticed that we’ve forgotten how to be adults.  We’ve lost sight of the glory that comes, not just from potential, but from real development.  From expertise.  From …maturity.

Grace has a Face.  His name is Jesus.

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

Grace isn’t some nebulous, universal Force.

And Glory isn’t either.  In this verse, the glory of God was displayed in the face of Jesus Christ.

Jesus went the distance.  He developed into everything He was supposed to become.  No short-cuts.  From the manger until His baptism, He waited.  And worked.  And learned.  Patiently.  Letting God work in Him the plan and purpose.

Then He went to the wilderness.  40 days.  40 nights.  No food.  And, when it was over, and He was exhausted and weakened, He had to battle Satan.  He did it.  And He won.

It was after that that God said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  Hear ye Him.”  Or something like that.

You see, Jesus earned the right to be entrusted with His ministry.

I know we don’t like to think about that, but it’s true.  And it’s true in our lives. God’s love is unconditional.  Salvation only takes calling on Him, and believing.

But..there’s another step.

Paul said it like this.

Philippians 3:12   Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

Paul said that there was more than just receiving a new birth.

He had to grow up.  In another place He calls it “working together with God.”

Now, I don’t mean stress and worry.  You find, as you travel on, desperate to fulfill your potential and calling, that it’s always His grace that helps you.

But it’s not without effort on your part.

Paul also said this:

Phillippians 3:13-14   Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

He talked about pressing.

Development.  Maturity.  A Godly man or woman, with a full-grown face.  An identity.

Jesus did things with His face.

Luke 9:51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.

One amazing thing about the lives of Jesus and of Paul was that they. Knew. Who. They. Were.

Jesus “set His face” to go to the Cross.  He knew what waited for Him in Jerusalem.  But, by that point, He was consumed with the desire to finish the work He was called to.

Paul rebuked the elders from Ephesus for telling him not to go to Rome, near the end of his ministry.  Why?  Because God had showed him he was supposed to go to Rome.  He knew suffering was involved, but he was consumed with the desire to finish His race.

These were guys who knew who they were.

And what they were supposed to get done on earth.

Not just what they were supposed to do, but what the end goal was.  And they reached it.

As examples to us.

You have a face.

My question to you today is, do you know who you are?

Women in America, and especially in church (sigh), often let others tell them who they are.

Only God can do that.

Oh, He’ll use your husband, your pastor, your parents, your friends.

And I’m not saying not to submit.

But at some point, you have to arm-wrestle with God.  Like Jacob.

And find the grit to say, like Jacob, “I won’t let you go until you bless me.”

And then, you have to go to the mat with yourself.  And wrestle the flesh and your own pride into submission to God.  Jesus did this in the desert.  Nothing major happens in a Christian life unto these 2 things are done:

1) Find out the end goal of God for your life.

2) Absolutely commit to get there.

Once you do that, you’ll find amazing Grace step in to help you.  And He empowers you every step of the way. Leading.  Guiding.  Teaching.  Creating open doors.  Making a way.

Look in the mirror.  Who are you?

Do you have a face yet?

Peace.

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