Long before social media took up the mantle as spokesman for cliché Christianity, the church sign attempted to carry the torch. Church signs are notorious haunts for heretical theology, inflammatory rhetoric, and worn out puns. Like the writer’s empty page, church signs are literary tyrants, always demanding concise, profound, and engaging posts. Rarely does one hit this mark. Often, they do not even hit the target. But not too long ago, I saw a church sign that resonated with me. “If God is our Father, then shouldn’t there be a family resemblance?”
While not a novel thought, it is a powerful word. The scripture reminds us that it is God’s will for us to be conformed to the image of Christ, the only begotten and beloved Son. We are also called to be “imitators of God as dearly loved children.” And in John 8, Jesus calls out the Pharisees when he points out that the testimony of their lives contradicts their claim to be children of Abraham and Sons of God. Like a skillful prosecutor, Jesus builds the case that they resemble Satan more than God and then makes a stunning summation.
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
How well do we resemble our Heavenly Father? As others examine our lives, as they certainly will, what conclusion will they draw about our Father’s identity? While imitating someone does not make us their child, being someone’s child will inevitably lead to imitation. As Paul concludes the first letter to Timothy, his son in the faith, he warns him — “keep a close watch on yourself and your doctrine.” Timothy must not imitate self-serving false teachers of Ephesus, but must remember that he is a “man of God” whose life should draw a sharp contrast to men who pursue religion for their own gain. As he closes his letter, Paul points out some hallmarks of the Christian life – hallmarks that are not just for Timothy, but for you and I as well.
Join us this Lord’s Day, February 3, as we examine 1 Timothy 6:11-16 and consider what it means for us to bear a family resemblance as children of the King. We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock. Click here for directions. Come with a friend and join us for fellowship and worship. We look forward to seeing you there.