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Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Family Likeness.

It is more than six years ago that my elder daughter informed my wife and me that she was pregnant!  We were, of course, delighted with the news and wished her and our son-in-law well.  I also assured her that I would be praying for her and her unborn child, on a daily basis, throughout her pregnancy.

A few weeks later, a friend informed us that she, too, was pregnant.  I told her that I was already praying for my daughter, and that I would pray for her and her baby as well - on the same daily basis, right through her pregnancy.

That was the start of what became my "ministry to pregnant women", and I have long since lost count of the number of pregnancies that I have "prayed through".  Regretfully, there have been one or two miscarriages, a still-birth, and an infant death.  However, the vast majority have ended up with a sound and healthy child for which to give thanks.

Almost from the moment a child is born, they are welcomed with words such as "Oh, (s)he is so like his (her) dad/mum/uncle John/auntie Mary/etc., etc.  Sometimes such family likenesses - in both physical looks and mannerisms - are immediately obvious.  In other instances it may be years before a child is seen to look, or behave, like any of his/her relatives.  Occasionally, it may even be that no family characteristic becomes apparent.

The moment a person becomes a disciple of Jesus, having acknowledged their sinfulness, and accepted the salvation that He offers, they are said to have been "... born again ..." (John 3:3).  In some cases, the evidence for that new birth is instantly obvious; in others, it takes time before something of "the beauty of Jesus" is seen in the believer.  However, each one of us should be constantly striving, with His help, to become more like Him.  As children of God, and joint-heirs with our Lord Jesus, the Christ, we are to bear His image.  Our conduct, and Christian character, are features that should distinguish us as children of the King, and ensure that the world sees something of the family likeness in us.

We will not reflect His image perfectly in this life but, as we walk in "... the fear of the Lord" (Ps.43:11), we have the assurance "... that when He appears we shall be [fully] like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." (I John 3:2).

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