Re:Verse passage – John 10:10 (day four)

Jesus gives this invitation into abundant life in the middle of a parable. In this parable, he identifies himself as the Good Shepherd. He is the only shepherd who knows his sheep by name, the only one who goes looking for the sheep that is lost, the only one who will lay his life down for the sheep. Only through him can the sheep go out and find pasture. When he uses this language to describe himself, he not only shows how intimately he loves his people, but he also reveals his divine nature.

When Jesus calls himself the Shepherd who offers abundant life, he identifies himself with God the Father. In Genesis, Jacob states that Yahweh is his lifelong shepherd. David calls God his shepherd in Psalm 23. In Ezekiel 34 God proclaims himself to be Israel’s shepherd. Jesus’ words in John 10 reveal his identity as the Son of God, the flesh-and-bone shepherd of the people of God.

So, in the context of God the Shepherd, what does abundant life look like? It looks like living without fear of thieves and wolves, it looks like fresh green pastures and peaceful quiet waters, it looks like restoration and righteousness, perpetual goodness and lovingkindness. Abundance of joy, abundance of peace, abundance of love. Sounds a lot like Revelation 21-22, doesn’t it?


Re:Verse passage – John 10:10 (day three)

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

Thievery occurs when there is shortage, and shortage occurs when people are attempting to gain power over one another, and power grabs occur when people are insecure about their existence. There is no thievery in a way of life in which people are counting on God, because there is no insecurity. Jesus lived with complete confidence in God, and he teaches you his way of life so that you can do the same. A life in the way of Jesus is a life in which there is no shortage because there is complete security. That reality gets muddled by so much heartbreak – cruelty, abuse, trauma, etc. – and those feeling the weight of that distress need tenderness from the church.


Re:Verse passage – John 10:10 (day two) 

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. 

Abundant life sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Rich, full lives is what each of us desire at some level, and although the definition will likely differ for each person, we want some measure of abundance. As we study this oft quoted verse, we should remember that an abundant life is not simply the absence of the ‘thief’, but more importantly the presence of Jesus. His nearness is fullness. To know him should color what it means to be full. If we long after him in all things, it should change what we mean by abundance. May each of us seek to be in the presence of Jesus today.

Re:Verse Blog – 6/10/24

Re:Verse passage – John 10:10 (day one)

Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty, and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through John 10:10 in our Summer Re:Verse Series: “IMAGO DEI – What it means to be human.”

Better Together Imago

Re:Verse passage – Genesis 1:26–27 (day seven)

male and female He created them. vs 27b

God created both male and female in His image. The complexity of our God could not be contained in one human life form, which is the most complex life form in the universe, so He created two similar albeit different life forms that would function cohesively in order to give a more accurate representation to who He is. God created male and female each uniquely different so that we realize we are better together (throwback to Summer of 2022).

It is not by some accident or evolution that male and female are so different from each other. God created us for relationships. Not just on the physical or romantic level, but in all areas of our life. We were not designed to live this life alone.  Being created in the Image of God, Imago Dei, means that we were created to know God more intimately through being together. Marriage, friendships, and community all show us that our unique differences are what truly makes us more like God.


Re:Verse passage – Genesis 1:26–27 (day six)

…the scriptural witness to creation is from the first line more like a drama, the beginning of the acts of God, the first of many mighty deeds, upon which hinges both life’s current meaning and the eternal destinies of participants.” -Thomas Oden, Systematic Theology, Vol. 1

Being uniquely made in God’s image, humanity finds itself center stage in God’s mighty acts. In this divine relationship, we are far more than observers or oblivious participants; in fact, we are partakers, ambassadors, and emissaries; we are little idols (“image” is the same word translated as “idol”). We work and speak with the strength and wisdom God supplies (1 Peter 4:11) for the good of others.

This gives new meaning to God’s prohibition of making graven images of his likeness. He prohibits fashioning idols because we are to be his unique image bearers in creation.

Is there any more significant meaning in life?


Love Your Neighbor

Re:Verse passage – Genesis 1:26–27 (day five)  I read a question this week that was deeply convicting and challenging to me. It changed my perspective on this passage from merely the awareness and understanding of the truth of being created in God’s image to being accountable to this truth and all the implications it presents to us/me. So here it is … “Do you feel that you are like God in the way that you should be?”

One of the truths I discovered this week, is that when we love God most, we love others best. We are created like God in that way. He loves Himself most and He loves others best. We are created and designed in His image, to love and act this same way. Jesus echos this truth in our theme this year of “Love Your Neighbor”. What precedes this second greatest commandment, is the command to love God first/most. Our capacity to love others best, comes from our ability and willingness to love God most. Loving Your Neighbor then becomes a glorifying image and reflection of the nature and character of God!!


Re:Verse passage – Genesis 1:26–27 (day four)

We often feel a sense of reverence for creation. When we’re standing on the beach watching the ocean roll. When we’re looking up at a starry night sky. When we hike to a marvelous view on a hilltop. We have reverence for it because we know God created it. Every grain of sand and every unknown creature in the depths of the ocean – God created them. It’s right that we would view them with reverence.

Humans, though, were created in a unique way. All of creation brings God glory, but humans were created in God’s image. We uniquely reflect God’s glory unlike anything else in creation.

Yet, we don’t always have that same sense of reverence for ourselves that we do for the rest of creation. There might be moments, when we witness humanity at its best, that we feel a sense of awe for one another. But we’re often deeply unkind to ourselves. We treat our bodies poorly. We let unholy things enter our mind. We starve our spirit from sustenance. We easily treat ourselves irreverently. And we are guilty of treating others the same way.

The more we understand the Imago Dei, the more we will live with reverence for ourselves and those around us. What would change if we lived this way?


Re:Verse passage – Genesis 1:26–27 (day three)

“…let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

As far as anyone on earth knows, life on this planet is the only life that exists anywhere, and human life is, therefore, the only intelligent life known to humans in the physical realm. Even if future discoveries confirm that life exists elsewhere, earth is still humanity’s charge. The Bible declares so. And this, then, marks a being as human: the responsibility and act of caring for and stewarding that over which that being has power. Humans have power over all other forms of life. Intelligence and emotional capacity are the engines of that power. We will answer to God for the way we use it.


Re:Verse passage – Genesis 1:26–27 (day two) God created man in His own image…vs. 27a

This has been a seminal passage for me as I have attempted to navigate the calling to worship ministry. The word ‘create’ has much to say to us beyond the one time act of creating. As God created, we who are made in his image, should create. We cannot create out of nothing, as God does, but we can use what he has given us to form, shape, and imagine beyond to the limits of our imaginations (another divine gift). The word has even permeated out leisure, we call it re-creation. Each time we design a building, paint a picture, sing a song, write a poem, work with our hands, etc. we are tapping into the very fabric of God’s creative nature. Our hope, as believers, is to help others see the built-in God-image that is giving them the ability to see beyond the possible. In her book Walking on Water, Madeleine L’Engle says the creative artist bears the ‘wound of transcendence’. They recognize the very art they perform is evidence there is more.

Don’t come to me next Sunday and tell me you can’t sing, or draw, or create. God didn’t make an exception with you. If you have breath, you have a voice. It may not sound like mine, but what would be the fun in that. Use what  you have, in whatever means you have and recognize that each creation bears the distinct mark of its Creator.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:20