Imago Dei: Qualities of a Man and Father


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1 Corinthians 16:12, (TLB), I begged Apollos to visit you along with the others, but he thought that it was not at all God’s will for him to go now; he will be seeing you later on when he has the opportunity. 13 Keep your eyes open for spiritual danger; stand true to the Lord; act like men; be strong; 14 and whatever you do, do it with kindness and love 

1 Corinthians 16:13-14, (KJV) Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. 14 Let all your things be done with charity.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14, (NKJV) Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done with love.

Paul presents something common to his culture. Men were often idealized. We’ve seen this in our culture with television shows long ago such as, “Father Knows Best.”

That said, children raised in a home with a loving and caring father also have an idealized view of their father. This is an authentic reflection of Imago Dei, the image of God. Children from these homes will children most likely see God in a better light. How parents live and treat their children and others is the strongest witness to the living God.

Imago Dei is the image of God. It is not the image of self.

The thing that looks like a weakness is a doorway into strength. Paul discovered the principle:

2 Corinthians 12:10, Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul was not trying to do “mind over matter” or trying to drum up PMA, “A Positive Mental Attitude.’  He had already learned from God: 

2 Corinthians 12, And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.

Encouragement for Men and Fathers

  1. Meet Every Need (M.E.N.) - Be willing, God will give strength
  2. Pray and expect good and God
  3. Provide the best example, even when you make a mistake
  4. Love your wife and children with everything inside you and in your hand
  5. Instill confidence that anything is possible
  6. Only accept the best according to ability
  7. Don’t expect anyone to give you anything, be prepared to earn it
  8. Give more than you receive
  9. Always bring your “A" game, even when you are the only one who sees it
  10. Benefit your family before all others
  11. Give space to flourish, fail, and recover
  12. odel how to recover from failure and disappointment 
  13. Surround your children with the values that you value
  14. Remember that love is unconditional

Why Juneteenth Matters. Understanding the Context

The Emancipation Proclamation and General Order No. 3 issued by President Abraham Lincoln had no force of law in every state without the 13th Amendment. Juneteenth puts this all in context, also known as our country's second Independence Day. The Civil War ended in April of 1865. Texas kept people enslaved until of June 19, 1865 when the Union General Gordon Granger and army arrived. The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution was needed to overrule states that wanted to disregard the Proclamation and keep slavery in place. It was ratified on ratified on December 6, 1865.
Watch this brief YouTube presentation in which Ophelia Wellington, Founding Director of Freetown Village explains the celebration known to African Americans as "Juneteenth" that became a federal holiday on June 17, 2021.

A New Way: From Pandemic to Promise (Podcast, Video and Keynote Slides)


John 14:5
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Joshua 3:3 
And they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. 4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.”

There are lessons to learn from the story of Israel under the leadership of Joshua as they faced another barrier of water, this time the Jordan River. There's was a pandemic, not in a medical sense, but the whole nation experienced a hardship together. And together they overcame it. That's the key word, “together.”

Key #1  |  Operate in Truth at Every Level
Key #2  |  Faithfulness to Small Things Leads to Greatness
Key #3  |  Prepare Well for Every Opportunity and Challenge
Key #4  |  Listen to Learn
Key #5  |  “Stand in the Water.” Put Yourself in Position Act
Key #6  |  When You Change, Your Circumstances Will Change
Key #7  | You Don’t Need to See or Understand Everything That Helps You

Application Questions:
1. What is your New Normal?
2. In what small things are you faithful?
3. What preparation do you need?
4. In what ways do you need to listen to learn?
5. What commitment(s) have you avoided?

Love Your Own

John 13:1, It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

Jesus faced betrayal by Judas Iscariot. He knew it was coming, but His heart was filled with love. He knew he would leave the world through extreme suffering and death, but left His disciples an example of serving and humility. At the moment when he should have been the most concerned about Himself, He decided to wash His disciples’ dirty feet.

One of the great messages in this story (Read John 13) is to stay committed to "your own” — including family, friends, and covenant brothers and sisters in Christ at your local church. Stay humble and serve others “to the end."

In this broken and selfish world, Christ followers can model unconditional and committed love.

You Know Jesus, And You Don’t Know Him

John 11:20, When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. 21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Martha and Mary sent word to Jesus that their brother, and His friend, Lazarus was sick, "Lord, the one you love is sick.” (John 11:1) When Jesus received the message, HE STAYED WHERE HE WAS two more days. He said to the disciples, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” However, Lazarus died.

Jesus had a clear objective: To show His friends that they did not know Him as they thought.

We know Jesus, but we don’t know everything He can do. It has been said, “Familiarity breads contempt.” It this case familiarity contributed a blindness of the power of God. Sometimes we don’t appreciate the capabilities and grace of God present within people we think we know. This familiarity prevented friends and family, who knew Jesus, from honoring Him in fulness; Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” (Mark 6:4)

A lack of honor did not create a condition of a lack of love for His friends.

When Jesus arrived after the death of Lazarus, Martha came out to meet Him, but Mary “stayed in the house” — indicating her heartbreak and offense. When she came to the burial site, we read, "When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:32)

This was the reason Jesus delayed. He needed to show his friends that they did not know Him fully. As far as they knew, Jesus could do anything, including healing any sickness. However, He couldn't heal after death.

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” (John 11:23-24)

Then came the words that represented a new level of knowledge about Jesus Christ and relationship with Him: Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life." (v. 25) Jesus then raised Lazarus from the dead –– a capability of Jesus that Martha and Mary did not know.

What challenge do you and I need to allow and endure to learn more about Jesus and transition to a more full relationship?