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July 24, 2015

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Experiencing the Promise of the Great Commission

by Dave Malnes

The original design was perfect. Humans were created in God’s perfect image for one purpose – to bring Him glory.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)

That image was lost due to original sin and separated us forever from that image. Like a mirror crushed with a large hammer, the shards of glass make the mirror irreparable. Christ came not to repair the image, but to renew it – to make it whole again. By believing in Christ and trusting in His promises we receive the status of perfection. “For by one sacrifice he had made perfect those who are being made holy.” (Hebrews 10:14) Redeemed by Christ’s blood, a believer is brought back into the full image of God and become a new creation – a new mirror of God’s reflection.

In our state of sin, believers have a difficult time grasping the reality that a life in Christ bears the image of God. Recently, God gave me a great example in the most unusual way – my golf swing.

ws-Hole15FromTeeGrowing up in Seattle, my fondest memories were playing golf with my Dad early on a Saturday morning. My father loves to play golf. He purchased an old five wood and seven iron when I was very young. He sawed the handles off and wrapped electrical tape at the end. I spent days swinging at a plastic golf ball in the back yard. Golf became a part of my DNA.

On those special Saturday mornings when my father chose to play golf with me instead of his friends, I fondly remember getting up in the wee hours of the morning to tee off when the grass was still thick with dew. Next to Arnold Palmer, I thought my dad was one of the greatest golfers in the world who possessed an amazing swing.

The DNA of golf has now been passed along to my two sons.

One day, I decided to take a video of my sons hitting golf balls on the practice range. For a few laughs, I asked one of my sons to video tape my swing. After downloading the videos onto my computer, I thought it would be fun to watch my golf swing.

photos.demandstudios.com-getty-article-110-238-92814148_XSI couldn’t believe what I was seeing!

I was watching my father’s golf swing!

The countless hours I observed my father’s swing had somehow managed to be fully incorporated into my own swing. Even all of the mannerisms — twitching my right elbow, cocking my head to my chin, the movement of my shoulders – were exactly how I remembered watching my father play golf.

I didn’t consciously try to mimic my father’s golf swing, it just became a part of my being.

Perhaps this is a good illustration of bearing our father’s image.

Through countless hours of reading God’s Word, by remaining in Christ, by trusting in His promises, we bear the image of our Father in heaven.

005And in many ways we are barely conscious of this.

This truth translates into our witness. When God gave us the commission to go, teach, and baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, He also gives us a very distinct promise.

That no matter where we are, or where we are sent, God promises that He will be with us when we share this wonderful gospel message with people who need to hear it. We bear the image of Christ by introducing His presence to the world through His Word and the fact that His presence is with us. In our words and actions, believers are representatives and ambassadors for God.

Sharing God’s Word with others is not necessarily about what we say – but Who we are introducing – the image of Christ. The only way we can do that is by relying solely on Him.

The joy and privilege of sharing God’s Word with others is that we get to participate with our Heavenly Father in something that He loves to do… to reconcile relationships; to find the lost; to work the miracle of faith. And by doing so, we receive the joy of doing something that our Father has passed down to us – to joyfully fulfill the Great Commission.

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