Stamped with Christ’s character

Hebrews-1--3--flower

The Verse of the Day for December 2, 2017 comes from Hebrews 1:1-2, but to apprehend more fully the essence of the message, let us take a close look at Hebrews 1:1-3. The New Living Testament renders the passage this way:

Hebrews 1:1-3:

1Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. 3The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.

As I considered deeply who Jesus Christ is and what he really represents, I thought of the opening phrase of verse three “The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God. . .” or as the King James states that Christ is “the express image of his [God’s] person.”

As believers our innermost desire should be that our lives express the character of Christ, just as Christ expresses “the very character of God.” This phrase also brings to mind Watch, Fight, & Pray: My Strategy to Overcome Prostate Cancer, a personal testimony which should be in print in 2018. Keep checking “Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe” for details. Chapter 3 “Watch Your Mouth and other Matters” closes with a statement attributed to Frank Outlaw, founder of Bi-Lo Stores. A version of this thought-provoking statement has also been labeled “Essence of Destiny”:

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Choose your words, for they become actions. Understand your actions, for they become habits. Study your habits, for they become your character.  Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

As believers our innermost desire should be that our lives become expressions of the character of Christ, just as Christ is the expression of the very character of God, so is our desire to be

 Stamped with Christ’s Character

The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command.

Hebrews 1:3a

 

As God seeks a dwelling place, may He see our heart,

Custom-designed and conformed to His own image.

As He scans sea and land, may He see our visage

And decide to abide in our innermost part.

Search our character as we seek a deeper walk

With Christ, for we long to abide in His presence.

Naked and humble before Him with no pretense,

May we be true in how we live, the way we talk.

As God searches and knows us, may He find no flaw

In character, only a heart of purity.

And may His Word unfold our true identity,

Perfected in the precepts of His changeless law.

We pledge our love and covenant with God today

To be stamped with Christ’s character in every way.

We conclude with a musical rendering of Hebrews 1:1-3 in the English Standard Version—“The Radiance of the Glory of God”:

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