I find myself continually returning to the question – what does it mean to be a Christian? I think there is an ever deeper answer to this question. I think there is more to this question because Jesus came to set the world on fire, yet the world is not engulfed in flames. (Lk 12:49). He came to bring us life and joy and fullness in our day to day mundane lives, but when I look at the world, there is more joy to be had. The truth is, he came to show us the operating manual for our lives so that these fantastic things could be more fully experienced in our lives. Let us take a peek at this instruction manual.
Instruction #1: Always remember that you were made in the image and likeness of God.
What does it mean to be in his image and likeness? The answer to this question is multi-faceted, but this morning, the partial answer lies in the fact that God is holy. God is pure, and majestic. He made us to share in his God-head, but we choose sin over holiness. We choose to roll in the mud, instead of clinging to all that is pure and clean.
Maybe this is something better viewed to an old image I’ve had in my head. When I was growing up, there was this “sport” called mudding. For anyone who doesn’t know this activity, it is about taking one’s vehicle out to a muddy place, and slipping and sliding through the mud. It is exciting and scary because it is impossible to completely control the vehicle. The mud is somewhat akin to ice. The point to be made here is that you didn’t take just any vehicle mudding. It was usually a truck with large tires. You didn’t go mudding in a corvette. You could, but it wasn’t made for mudding, and by taking it mudding, the car would be damaged.
Does my example make sense or is it as clear as mud? The point I am trying to make that our creator made us like a corvette. We were built for holy things, and rolling in the mud of sin damages us and those around us. Our instruction manual says that we were made to praise God, and to live holy lives. We were made to love and to be loved. Rolling in the mud is contrary to how we were made. Sin dampens the fire within us. Sin causes pain and reduces joy. The filth of sin keeps us from being holy.
How does your life reflect the image and likeness of God? Are you playing in the mud, or living in holy ways? The truth is, we cannot fully avoid mud while we live in this place in time; however, that is not a reason to not find ways to walk with the Holy Spirit; to grow in grace and love. There are many reasons why we choose to play in the mud. Spend some time with your Creator today to see what prevents you from living in his image and likeness. Spend some time letting him clean under your hood, and restoring to life that which has been damaged by mudding. Once you have been washed in his love, spend some time praising the God who loves you, and wants you to spend eternity with him.