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February Illuminate

To download the PDF for the February Illuminate, click here

febguide

Openers
Reflecting the Father
To read the article, click fmchr.ch/The-Father

Summary: Light + Life Editor Jeff Finley introduces this month’s issue on The Image of God by reflecting on his relationship with his adopted son. Begin this study by meditating on what it means to “live out our faith and reflect God’s image.”

1. What are some ways that we take on the image of those around us, even when there isn’t a physical resemblance?

2. The author quotes John 8 where Jesus talks about the “father of lies,” the devil. How has this enemy used people or events in your life to corrupt the image of God and the way you reflect Him?

3. Spend some time praying. Ask God to reveal Himself throughout this study on the image of God.

Further reading: John 8:31-47, Matthew 6:9-14
To read the article, click here.

Bishops
My Neck Is Short But That’s Not “Me”
To read the article, click fmchr.ch/Not-Me

Summary: Bishop David Roller explains what it means that we are created in the image of God.  He then goes through some of the amazing implications and impact that this should have on our lives.

1. What does Bishop Roller say about how we are like the Creator?  Discuss some of the details of this spiritual likeness.

2. How does the nature of our likeness to God impact the way we should see people of the world?

3. Pick three people whom you respect.  Reflect on the ways that you see the image of God through their lives.

Further reading: Colossians 1:15-23,2 Corinthians 3:17 – 18
To read the article, click here.

Perspective
Seeing the Image of God in Others
To read the article, click fmchr.ch/Image-of-God

Summary: Kathie Filby reflects on a conversation with Jesus during a time of worship at Greenville University.  She describes how God reminded her to view others through the wonder of being created in the image of God.

1. Discuss the ways that the reality of being created in the image of God may have become stale.  Ask God to refresh this truth.

2. What is our call as image bearers of God who have been reconciled to Him?

3. Look at the suggestions the author gives for how we can bless other image bearers. What are some ways that you and your church could be engaged in this call?

Further reading: Psalm 139Galatians 3:23-29
To read the article, click here.

Perspective
Disabilities and the Imago Dei
To read the article, click fmchr.ch/Image-Dei

Summary: In this article Superintendent John Lane calls on the church to rethink how it interacts with the disabled community, both individually and corporately.

1. The author describes how the disability community is often overlooked.  How might you intentionally invite relationship to the people God has placed around you, including those with disabilities?

2. The author sees the image of God displayed through people with disabilities in many ways. What stands out to you? How might you reflect on this in your own life?

3. What are some ways your church might need to adjust in order for community and church practices to become more accessible to those with disabilities?

Further reading: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31Matthew 21:12-17
To read the article, click here.

Feature
The Farmer Kings and the Gardener Queens
To read the article, click fmchr.ch/Farmer-Gardener

Summary: Pastor Meghan Larissa Good is the author of “The Bible Unwrapped: Making Sense of Scripture Today” and a teaching pastor in Glendale, Arizona. Here she walks the reader through a detailed look at how the image of God runs through the entire Bible narrative.

1. . Describe some of the ways you have been impacted by God as Creator-King.

2. How do we take on the qualities of our idols, and how does this impact the image of God in us?

3. How is worship a part of the “process by which our distortions are undone and we finally grow into our true selves?”

4. What are some ways you long for the image of God to be restored in your life? How can you practice “[embracing your] true vocation” as farmer kings and gardener queens?

5. Pray through Revelation 21 and write a response of worship to God.

Further reading: Genesis 1 & 2, Philippians 2Revelation 21
To read the article, click here.

Pop Theology:
If a Christian Isn’t Going to Stand Up and Lead Then Who Will?
To read the article, click fmchr.ch/Lead

Summary: Hal Conklin served as the Mayor and City Council member of Santa Barbara, California, for 18 years. In this article, he offers advice for how Christians can step into the world of leadership as image-bearers of God.

1. What does it look like to carry the image of God into the public forum?

2. How can you cultivate relationship with God when you lead, whether in the church, your local community, or in your workplace?

3. Consider the author’s Ten Commitments to Leadership. Which of these come naturally to you, and which might God being calling you to improve upon?  Discuss this with a close friend or mentor.

Further reading: 2 Corinthians 5:11-211 John 2:1-17
To read the article, click here.