Sermon:  Your Image

Summary:  It is an overwhelming thought that God Almighty has cared for us and is mindful 
of us so that he entrusts us to fill the world with his glory through participation in his reign, 
which for us as Christians is not of this world.

Know:  God's purpose in caring for us is not so we can have a life of ease and comfort, but 
for us to carry out his mission in the world.

Feel:  A sense of awe, inspiration and even motivation to fulfill the great purposes God created 
us for

Do:  Reflect on how Jesus models what God wants us to be and identify ways to be more like 
Christ in our thought, service, and actions.  

Text:  Psalm 8, Heb 2:5-18

Scripture Reading:  Isaiah 42:6

1.  Ever seen a sight that just makes you feel tiny?
	a.  Rocky Mountains, see an hour away before getting there
	b.  Made me feel like a Chihuahua 
2.  Some Psalms are a reflection on the Majesty of God's Name and Us
	a.  Some of the Psalms are reflections
	b.  This Psalms provides a model for reflection
	c.  We need to take time and reflect on God's majesty and our place in his 
	d.  When we do that, we can react as the Psalmist does here
		- Overwhelming wonder, praise
3.  (Psalm 8:1-3) - A Psalm of David, the king
	a.  Reflects on God
		- God's "Name" - Refers to God's character, reputation
		- God's masterful Fingers.  God is an artisan
		-  ILL:  Gerbils run from fingers, even if they feed them, overwhelm
		-  Psalmist is overwhelmed by God's greatness
	b.  Reflects on human frailty - Humans are just a speck
		- Out of the mouth of children and sucklings God founded strength
		- Babies say, "Goo-goo-ga-ga."  Not a typical image of strength
		- God establishes strength through mouth of babies
	c.  Examples;
		- David/Goliath, Moses who stuttered Ex 3, Jeremiah too young Jer 
		  1:6, Amos the Farm Boy, Insignificant Israel Dt 7:7
		- Baby in a manger to save the world
		- 1 Cor 1:26f - Early Christians - Not many wise, mighty, noble, 
	d.  Almighty God has all these dealings with mankind
4.  Question:  What is Man?

I.  (Ps 8:3-9) The answer for the Psalmist
	A.  The Psalmist asks the question and reflects on nature of man
		1.  These characteristics are not inherent in man
		2.  These are characteristics that come from God himself
	B.  Characteristics of man in this Psalm
		1.  v.5a - God man him a little lower than God
			a.  Heb:  Elohim - could be "gods" as in "Heavenly Beings"
			b.  Either way, this communicates God gives man an 
			     elevated status
			c.  Man stands at the pinnacle of created beings of the earth
			d.  Size doesn't matter - Man can subdue all animals
		2.  v.5b Crowned with glory and honor
			a.  Heb: "Atarah" means "wreath," usually decorated
			b.  Often worn at banquets as sign of honor and status
			c.  "Glory" and "Majesty" usually words to describe God
			d.  God has bestowed glory and majesty on man
		3.  v. 6-7 - Made him God's Image Bearer
			a.  What does v.6-7 sound like?  Creation! (Gen 1:26-28)
			b.  God man "them" in his image.  What is that?
				- Responsible to Rule/govern the earth - caretakers
				- Fruitful and multiply - "Fill the earth"
				- "Image" has to do with function, not looks
			c.  The "image" of God to "fill the earth" through his rule/reign
			d.  This is why prohibition against image worship - Ex 20:4-6
				- Nothing we create can capture God's "image"
				- God's people are to bear his image in the world
		4.  What God did with Israel bears this out 
			a.  Some people think that God's purpose is to deliver us 
			     from all hardship and give us a life of ease
			b.  What God does with Abraham - Brings him to new land
			c.  If his purpose was to give him and descendents ease, 
			     Palestine was a bad, bad location!
				-  It has strategic and economic importance
				-  Nations fought over that little piece of land
				-  It was like a crossroads
			d.  God places his people at the crossroads.  Why?
				-  Ex 19:1-6 - They were to be a nation of priests
				-  Isa 42:6 - They were to be a light to the nations
				-  Isa 48:9 - To herald the glory of the name of God
				-  In short, to bear the image of God in the world
	C.  ILL:  Sin distorted God's image in us
		1.  Can you tell who this is in this picture?  That is what sin did
		2.  Man in his God-given responsibility to "rule" the earth and 
		     fill it with the image of God - Failed.  Wickedness
		3.  Kings of Israel to do it - Failed.  Wickedness
	D.  What next?  God inaugurates new reign with new king - Jesus
		1.  Jesus begins his ministry announcing the "Reign" of God
		2.  Jesus himself is the king in this reign
		3.  Jesus himself bore the image of God for the world to see
		4.  Jesus as a man, righted what sin had distorted…What is man?

II.  The answer for Christ (Heb 2:5-18)	
	A.  The author of Hebrews applies this Psalm to Jesus
	B.  Characteristics of Jesus
		1.  v.9 - Jesus made a little lower than the angels
			a.  Unlike other humans, this a demotion for Jesus
			b.  Jesus lowered himself to occupy the place meant for man
			c.  He poured himself out and came as a servant
		2.  Crowned with glory and honor through suffering v.9-10
			a.  Once again, this stands in contrast to mankind
				-  Jesus' glory and honor came as result of suffering
				- Only when Jesus pour self out did God exalt him
			b.  (Phil 2:6-9) - This is paradigm under new Reign of God
				- Mk 10:35f - This is why sitting at Jesus' left or right is 
				  not merely given
				- Jesus asked, "Can you drink the cup I drink?
				- It is a sacrificial cup -- involved suffering
			c.  Early Christians didn't have a negative view of suffering 
			    for the cause of Christ
				- Apostles rejoiced when it happened in Acts
				- Paul calls it "Fellowship of his sufferings" Phil 3:10
				- Peter says it is not anything strange 1 Pet 4:13
			d. 1 Pet 4:14 - Peter says blessed when suffer this way
				-  In Rev 4, some martyrs get white robes
		3.  Bore the image of God to the world
			a.  v.12 - I will proclaim you name to my brethren
			b.  (Heb1:3) - He exact representation of God's nature
				- Jesus a light to the nations, light of the world Jn 8:12
				- Jesus was/is the priest
			c.  If you want to see what it means to be godly - Jesus
		4.  God placed Jesus at the crossroads (v.17)
			a.  He was not of this world, but he came into the world
			b.  Purpose was not ease or comfort
				-  If so, then coming into the world was a bad idea
				-  The world would cause him to suffer
				-  But his suffering had a redemptive effect
				-  No, his purpose was not ease or comfort
			c.  His purpose was to inaugurate the "Reign of God"
				-  This was the centerpiece of the preaching of Christ
				-  Jesus would reign and fill the earth with God's glory
				-  Mankind didn't do it, Israel didn't do it, Jesus did!
			d.  Jesus did it by going to the crossroads
				-  He didn't just shout from Heaven
				-  He went personally to where the people were
				-  He demonstrated the Reign of God
				-  Like Israel, conflict -- unlike Israel, he didn't fail
	C.  ILL: One summer I worked at Homestead Restaurant - late night cook
		1.  They opened, things were very, very slow at first
			a.  They put in the furniture
			b.  They put up a sign
			c.  Not very much business
		2.  In just a few weeks, business ballooned
			a.  Word got out about my omelet's
			b.  I overstuffed them
			c.  Putting in restaurant and a sign not enough
			d.  Was people with face to face contact, spreading the word
		3.  It was the same with Jesus
			a.  He didn't come, set up shop and hang up a shingle
			b.  He didn't limit himself to the Synagogue
			c.  His mission was wherever he went
			d.  It was at the crossroads
	D.  Jesus fulfilled what God intends for us
		Brings us to our final point… 

III.  The answer for us
	A.  Who are you that God remembers you and attends to you? 
	B.  Apply these descriptions to ourselves
		1.  Little lower than the angels, crown with glory.  How God do this?
			a.  Same way Jesus did
			b.  Pour ourselves out as a bond servant
				- Obedient without question
				- Our purpose for existing to serve God's purposes
			c.  In Reign of God, God exalts humble & humbles exalted
				- This is how God crowns "us" with glory and honor
				- Glory of God found in humility as Jesus was
			d.  Copy Jesus' humility may mean thinking outside the box
				- Like Jesus, it may mean going to places we wouldn't
				- Like Jesus, being with people we wouldn't think of 
				- May mean going beyond "status quo"
				- Jesus did, and was criticized for it
		2.  Bearing God's Image.  How?
			a.  The body of Christ - Eph 1:22-23
				- The "body" is the fullness of Christ in the world
				- We are to bear image of Christ - To "fill the earth"
				- What Jesus did, we do
				- Read the Gospels, how much do I truly imitate?
			b.  We are the light of the world - Mt 5:14-16
				- Not the light of the church, but the world
				- Jesus's mission was to the world
			c.  We are a royal priesthood
				- Priest functions to connect people to God
				- Priests are holy, not of this world
		3.  This means that we also are sent into the crossroads
			a.  That is why Paul uses the word "Ambassadors"
			b.  We are both holy and sent
			c.  eg. Of holy and sent - Jas 1:27 - Pure undefiled religion
				- Visit orphans and widows in their distress
				- Stay unspotted by the world
	C.  ILL:  Example - Greater Alton Church of Christ, ILL
		1.  Known all over the community for ministry
		2.  They go to where the people are in various ministries
		3.  All Members are ministers - Empowered to do ministries
		4.  If a member feels called to ministry, leadership empowers them
	D.  Tonight, reflect on what does this mean for us?
		1.  To be crowned with glory and honor by being like Christ
		2.  To bear the image of God
		3.  To demonstrate the Reign of God

1.  Are you participating in the Reign of God.  
	a.  He offers it to you (invitation)
	b.  What an awesome gift
2.  What an awesome responsibility
	a.  God has endowed us with a stewardship
	b.  We bear his image to the world
	c.  We do it both through sharing the Gospel and living the Gospel


Small Group Notes:  Your Image

Summary:  It is an overwhelming thought that God Almighty has cared for us and is mindful 
of us so that he entrusts us to fill the world with his glory through participation in his reign, 
which for us as Christians is not of this world.

- Growing up, what did you want to be or do the most?  The least?

Explore: (Psalm 8)

1.  How does the Psalmist feel in this Psalm and why?

2.  What things does God do with man in this Psalm?    What do each of these things mean?  
What does this indicate about man's purpose?

3. (Heb 2:5-18) Read Christologically, in what ways does this Psalm say something about 
Jesus?  How does Jesus demonstrate the characteristics in this Psalm as the Son of Man?

4.  Since Jesus is to be our example, what are some ways these characteristics are transferable 
and repeatable for Christians?

5.  Consider carefully what this passage says Jesus did and what you know about Jesus in the 
Gospels.  What are some specific ways, attitudes, activities, etc. that Jesus demonstrates how 
believers can to minister to others as Christ did?  


6.  How would periods of reflection and praise such as this Psalm engages in help you to sharpen 
your personal ministry?   

7.  In what ways might your ministry practices, attitudes, etc. be more in line with the model that 
Jesus leaves for us?

8.  What in this do you find most challenging and why?

9.  Share with the group something from this lesson you can commit to?