Beloved: Grace and Peace
Elkmont Baptist Church
Dearest and Beloved
Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by
he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of
glory, and express image of his person, and
upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
The writer of Hebrews tells us that Jesus is the "express image" of the Father. Jesus told Philip, ". . . he that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9). The Greek word for "express image" is
from which we get our English word
Jesus is the exact character of the Father.
Once I had to make a hard choice. One of my daughters is an excellent artist. She was enrolled in a contest which she had won the previous year. I had to tell her to withdraw from the contest. She had neglected some of her other tasks because she was devoting herself to the artwork. If I had allowed her to continue, she may have won and her less-than-perfect behavior been rewarded. I told her I care more about her character than I do about her accomplishments. Character is long term. Accomplishments are temporal.
Character is who we are when no one else is looking. Peter said that in addition to faith, we should add virtue (2 Peter 1:5, 9). Paul writes to his beloved
"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippines 2:12).
Who are you when you think no one is watching? Who am I? That is who you are, that is who I am, that is your character, and that is my character. "Not as in my presence only, but much more in my absence!"
Grace to you.
- Hebrews 1:1-3