Category: Living in the Image of God

Abraham-Sarah vs Ishmael: Individual Responsibility Regarding Family Leadership

Living in the Image of God M04S17

The bible account of the separation of Ishmael from Isaac provides four lessons toward understanding the individual responsibility in family leadership. First, after recognizing the need for the separation, Sarah honored Abraham’s overall leadership by asking him to send Ishmael and his mother away. Abraham honored Sarah’s leadership of the specific matter by taking her demand seriously and seeking God’s guidance toward resolving his personal conflict regarding the demand. Second, God’s guidance to Abraham provides a conflict resolution strategy of focusing on the underlying concerns regarding a dispute. Third, Abraham’s response illustrates quick and permanent resolution of a potentially dividing husband-wife disagreement, to preserve their unity before God. Fourth, the separation highlights selective development of family opportunities: based on selecting the opportunities to develop and those to abandon, delay, or de-emphasize; in order to focus better on the selected opportunities.

Abraham-Sarah vs Ishmael: Individual Responsibility Regarding Family Leadership 13:44

We continue the bible study series toward understanding the individual responsibility regarding family leadership, based on bible examples of husband-wife interactions and relationships. Previous studies in the series led to understanding the husband as overall leader of the household and the wife as spiritual gateway of the family and occasional leader in specific matters. Both husband and wife are individually responsible to honor and support family leadership. The family will benefit greatly if they do.

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Husband-Wife Blessing Revealed to One Honor-Support Family Leadership

Living in the Image of God M04S16

We discuss God’s interaction with Abraham regarding the covenant, to understand that his promise for a husband or wife belongs to the husband-wife union. His promise of a great offspring expansion for Abraham and an identical promise for Sarah convey a promise for Abraham-Sarah union, to be fulfilled for them as one. The interaction conveys a message that God’s promise for a husband or wife regarding wisdom or knowledge, material possession, child bearing, or other areas of human need; is a promise for the husband-wife union and will be fulfilled for them as one. Therefore, a husband and wife need to interact with God as a union, even if physically separate, in order to receive fulfillment of his promise.

Husband-Wife Blessing Revealed to One 10:44

This study continues a series to understand the individual responsibility regarding family leadership. Our previous studies in the series led to understanding the husband as the overall leader of the household and the wife as the spiritual gateway of the family and occasional leader in specific matters. Both husband and wife are individually responsible to honor and support family leadership. The family will benefit greatly if they do. The series is based on bible examples of husband-wife interactions and relationships.

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Abraham-Sarah vs Hagar Individual Responsibility Honor-Support Family Leadership

Living in the Image of God M04S15

Abraham-Sarah succumbed to temptation to seek their child of promise through maidservant Hagar. After Hagar became pregnant from Abraham, she desired more and sought to disrupt the Abraham-Sarah union. In honor and support for Abraham as head of household, Sarah called on him to resolve the issue of Hagar. In response, Abraham delegated to Sarah his authority over Hagar and, thus, honored and supported Sarah leadership of their relationship with Hagar. The Abraham-Sarah union was more important to them than Hagar’s pregnancy, notwithstanding that her pregnancy could be their last chance to receive fulfillment of God’s promise. Abraham-Sarah bonding resulted from a long period of caring for, respecting, and honoring each other.

Abraham-Sarah vs Hagar Individual Responsibility Honor-Support Family Leadership 20:17

This bible study continues a series to understand the individual responsibility regarding family leadership, based on bible examples of husband-wife interactions and relationships. We begin with a summary of what we have learned so far.

The series started with a discussion of the Shunammite couple, where we learned that the couple was blessed abundantly through their honor and support for family leadership. The Shunammite woman honored and supported her husband as overall leader of the household, whereas the husband supported his wife as spiritual gateway of the family and leader in specific matters. Proceeding with Adam and Eve, we learned from the account of their creation that God created marriage to combine a man and woman to form a union of seamless complements, that is adequate for the mission of representing him among all creation. He created man first but found him inadequate. Then he created woman as comparable companion and helper from within.

The series has continued with a study of the Abraham-Sarah union, which we have divided into four segments to focus enough on the details. The first of the four segments discussed the call of Abraham-Sarah, where we see that God called the union by speaking to Abraham. Based on the interactions, we can surmise that he relied on Abraham’s leadership of the union and seamless communication with Sarah to ensure that Abraham-Sarah shared the information and commitments seamlessly.

The current study discusses interactions between Abraham-Sarah and their maidservant Hagar that began with Abraham-Sarah seeking to address childlessness by having a child through the maidservant. They expected that having a child through Hagar would help God fulfill his promise of a great offspring expansion for their union. The attempt started successfully in that Hagar became pregnant through Abraham. However, she desired more and attempted to disrupt the Abraham-Sarah union by despising Sarah. Abraham-Sarah called on the strength of their union and their honor and support for family leadership to defeat the attempted disruption by Hagar. We discuss their history briefly to understand that their bonding resulted from a long period of caring for, respecting, and honoring each other.

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Individual Responsibility Honor-Support Family Leadership—Call of Abraham-Sarah

Living in the Image of God M04S14

In the call of Abraham-Sarah, God spoke to Abraham regarding a mission and promise for Abraham-Sarah union. He gave directions to Abraham, spoke promises to him, and received commitment from him. However, his words spoke of a mission and promise that were meaningful only for Abraham-Sarah as a union. Therefore, we can surmise that God relied on Abraham’s leadership of the union and seamless communication with Sarah: to ensure that Abraham-Sarah shared the information and commitment seamlessly.

Individual Responsibility to Honor-Support Family Leadership—Call of Abraham-Sarah 16:07

This study continues a series to understand the individual responsibility regarding family leadership, based on bible examples of husband-wife interactions. The series started with a discussion of the Shunammite couple. There we learned that the Shunammite couple was blessed abundantly through their honor and support for family leadership. The Shunammite woman honored and supported her husband as overall leader of the household. Her husband supported her as spiritual gateway of the family and leader in specific matters.

The study continued with a discussion of Adam and Eve, whereby we learned that the account of the creation of Adam and Eve shows that God created marriage to combine a man and woman: to form a union of seamless complements that is adequate for the mission of representing him among all creation. He created man first but found him inadequate. Then he created woman as comparable companion and helper from within.

The next installment of the study consists of a discussion of the Abraham-Sarah union, which we will discuss in a four-part subseries in order to focus enough on the details. In Part 1 of the four parts, we discuss the call of Abraham-Sarah. There we see that God called Abraham-Sarah union by speaking to Abraham. Although his promise to Abraham was meaningful only for Abraham-Sarah as a union, he spoke to Abraham as if he was a lone person, without even reminding him to discuss with his wife. Therefore, we can surmise that God relied on Abraham’s leadership of the union and seamless communication with Sarah to ensure that Abraham and Sarah shared the information and commitment as a union.

Part 2 of the subseries will discuss Abraham-Sarah interactions with their maidservant Hagar. The interactions show Abraham-Sarah trying to address childlessness by having a child through Hagar. They were successful, but the attempt caused serious problems for them that required calling on the strength of their union. Part 3 of the subseries will discuss God’s blessing for Abraham-Sarah to see that husband-wife blessing comes as a promise revealed to one, to be fulfilled for the union as one.

In Part 4 of the subseries, we will discuss Abraham-Sarah interactions regarding the challenge of Ishmael. There we see that the separation of Ishmael from Isaac was a directive to Sarah that God urged Abraham to implement. Sarah was the custodian of the information and Abraham implemented the directive as head of household. Also, we will learn about timely and permanent resolution of a husband-wife conflict and selecting an opportunity from several options.

After Abraham-Sarah, the series continues with a discussion of Isaac and Rebekah and Mary and Joseph. The current study session focusses on the call of Abraham-Sarah.

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Individual Responsibility Honor-Support Family Leadership Adam and Eve

Living in the Image of God M04S13

The creation account of Adam and Eve provides understanding that God creates marriage to combine a man and woman to form a union of seamless complements purposed for a mission of representing him among all creation. He created man first but found him inadequate for the mission. Then, he created woman as a comparable companion and helper from within, to form a union adequate for the mission. He engaged the man in an extensive search for a suitable helper by creating all kinds of animals that the man examined and named but did not find any of them suitable as “helper comparable to him.” Then he created a woman from within the man. The man and woman are complementary, because each has something the other needs but does not have. Also, they have seamless connectivity, because the woman was created from an internal component of the man.

Individual Responsibility to Honor-Support Family Leadership Adam and Eve 11:45

This study discusses the creation account of Adam and Eve to understand basic relationships between a husband and wife and God’s purpose for the relationships. The study is the second in a series to understand the individual responsibility regarding family leadership. The series is based on bible examples of husband-wife interactions and includes a discussion of the Shunammite couple, Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Mary and Joseph. The discussion focuses on aspects of their interactions that illustrate the individual responsibility to honor and support family leadership. The examples show the husband as overall leader and the wife as leader in specific matters and custodian of specific information.

The series started with a discussion of the Shunammite couple, where we learned that the couple was blessed abundantly through their honor and support for family leadership. The wife honored and supported the husband as overall leader of the household. The husband supported the wife as spiritual gateway of the family and leader in specific matters. Their choices in various events were influenced by supporting each other’s leadership and resulted in abundant blessing through a lasting close relationship with Prophet Elisha.

The current study discusses family leadership based on Adam and Eve. We learn that God created man for a mission of representing him among all creation, concluded that man alone was inadequate for the mission, and created woman as a comparable helper from within. The man and woman constitute a union of seamless complements, adequate for the mission of representing God among all creation, with the authority of God. They are complementary, because each has something the other needs but does not have. Also, they have seamless connectivity, because the woman was created from an internal component of the man.

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Individual Responsibility Honor-Support Family Leadership: Shunammite Couple

Living in the Image of God M04S12

Bible accounts of the Shunammite couple appear tailor-made for understanding the individual responsibility to honor and support family leadership among a husband and wife. The couple was abundantly blessed through lasting close relationship with Prophet Elisha, which occurred because they honored and supported each other’s leadership of their family affairs. The husband was the overall leader while his wife was the spiritual gateway for the family and occasional leader in specific matters. Their honor and support for family leadership resulted in several benefits, through the relationship with Prophet Elisha: such as, their miraculous birth to a son, the son was restored to life after a sudden death, the family relocated to avoid a severe famine on the advice of Prophet Elisha, and they recovered all their lost property after they returned from exile.

Individual Responsibility to Honor-Support Family Leadership: Shunammite Couple 14:37

This is the first in a bible study series to understand the individual responsibility regarding family leadership. The series is based on examples of husband-wife interactions from the bible and will include a discussion of the Shunammite couple, Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Mary and Joseph. The discussion focuses on aspects of their husband-wife interactions that illustrate the individual responsibility to honor and support family leadership. The examples show the husband as overall leader with his wife as leader in specific matters and custodian of specific information.

The series begins with the Shunammite couple. We will see that several accounts from their life provide information that appears tailor-made for the study. The couple was abundantly blessed through lasting close relationship with Prophet Elisha, which was a direct result of their honor and support for each other’s leadership of family affairs. We will discuss their interactions in three events that highlight their honor and support for family leadership: their first meeting with Elisha, events of providing long-term shelter for Elisha in their home, and an “SOS, that is, Save-Our-Soul” call to Elisha.

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Individual Responsibility for Positive Human Interaction: Summary of Responsibilities

Living in the Image of God M04S11

Previous studies in this program lead to understanding that God assigns individual responsibilities to people based on creating every person to represent him in human interactions with others. He assigns individual responsibilities regarding positive reputation, i.e., visibility of human value; care and diligence, i.e., in a call to compassion; appreciation; peace; humility; protection of civil rights; and individual responsibilities regarding faith and human effort. We provide a condensed discussion of the responsibilities to better understand the human implications of Christ teaching regarding final judgment: that God will accept into his kingdom those, and only those, that perform their individual responsibilities in human interactions and relationships.

Individual Responsibility for Positive Human Interaction: Summary of Responsibilities 21:19

We learned in the preceding bible study (Individual Responsibility for Positive Human Interaction: Continuous Living) that God will accept into his kingdom those he judges as people that perform their individual responsibilities in human interactions and relationships. In contrast, he will not accept those he judges as people that decline their individual responsibilities. Also, we know that God assigns individual responsibilities based on creating every person to represent him in human interactions with others. This bible study provides a condensed discussion of the individual responsibilities based on previous studies in this program.

We discuss the individual responsibilities regarding positive reputation, i.e., visibility of human value; care and diligence, i.e., in a call to compassion; appreciation; peace; humility; protection of civil rights; and individual responsibilities regarding faith and human effort.

We discuss each of these aspects of the individual responsibilities in enough details to understand the human implications of Christ teaching regarding final judgment: that God will accept into his kingdom those that perform their individual responsibilities in human interactions and relationships; but will not accept those that decline the responsibilities; based on how he sees a person at the time. A more-detailed discussion of each aspect of the individual responsibilities is available at the Banking Blessings Ministry website under Individual Responsibility Series.

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Individual Responsibility for Positive Human Interaction: Continuous Living

Living in the Image of God M04S10

Christ teaching regarding final judgment conveys a message of God’s purpose for human interactions in continuous living. He assigns responsibilities to every person as his representative among others and calls each person to seek to perform the responsibilities through their living and human interactions. He will accept into his kingdom those he judges as “performs their individual responsibilities” but will not accept those he judges as “declines their individual responsibilities.” He will judge a person based on how he sees their living and will not reveal the day or time of final judgment. Therefore, individual relationship with God requires a person to be committed to God’s purpose and seek to fulfill the purpose in continuous living and interactions with others.

M04S10 Individual Responsibility for Positive Human Interaction: Continuous Living 20:36

We discuss Christ teaching regarding God’s expectation of every person in everyday living and interactions with others. First, in the Sermon on the Mount, his teaching conveys a message regarding commitment to God’s purpose—that seeking to fulfill God’s purpose should be the only motivation for a person’s living and human interactions: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” [Matthew 5:8]. Second, his teaching on final judgment conveys a message of God’s purpose for human interactions in continuous living. God assigns individual responsibilities to every person, to represent him in human interactions with others, and will judge each person based on how he sees their living as they perform or decline to perform the responsibilities.

He calls every person to seek to perform the responsibilities as the only motivation for their living and human interactions. He will accept into his kingdom those he judges as people that perform their individual responsibilities in human interactions but not those he judges as people that decline theirs. Christ teaching regarding final judgment (Matthew 24:36–51) conveys a two-part message: first, that God will not reveal the day and time of final judgment and, second, he will judge every person based on their performing or declining their individual responsibilities in human interactions, as he sees their living. Therefore, individual relationship with God requires a person to be committed to God’s purpose and seek to fulfill the purpose in continuous living and human interactions.

We provide a two-part bible study to understand Christ teaching regarding continuous living and human interactions, under the title of Individual Responsibility for Positive Human Interaction. The first (current) study discusses his teaching in the Sermon on the Mount regarding commitment to God’s purpose and his teaching regarding the day and time of final judgment, to understand his message of continuous living and human interactions through individual responsibilities. In the second study, we summarize our understanding of the individual responsibilities based on previous studies in this program.

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Individual Responsibility Regarding Faith and Human Effort

Living in the Image of God M04S09

We discuss faith and human effort based on Christ interactions with his disciples during two storms on Sea of Galilee. In the first event, the disciples panicked in the storm and shifted focus from work to pray for miracle. He released a miracle to end their ordeal and scolded them for lack of faith. In the second event, the disciples focused on work but got distracted by the glory of his presence. He encouraged them to keep working and released a miracle to end their ordeal. The interactions convey a message that God sees and encourages human effort of those that work on his task. If your task is motivated by seeking to fulfill God’s purpose and your methods and approach are consistent with Living in the Image of God: then, your task belongs to God. Focus on doing what you can humanly do. He sees your struggles and difficulties and will guide you to victory when and how he chooses. He has never lost a battle and will not ever lose one, including yours.

M04S09 Individual Responsibility Regarding Faith and Human Effort 15:36

In this bible study, we discuss human relationship with God regarding faith, prayer, and human effort; based on Christ interactions with his disciples during two storms on the Sea of Galilee. In each event, Jesus sent the disciples to sail to a destination on the other side of the lake from their location: “That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, ‘Let us go over to the other side’” [Mark 4:35]. Similarly, in the second event: “Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd” [Mark 6:45]. Therefore, the account of each event begins by establishing clearly that the task of sailing to the other side of the lake was assigned by God to the disciples. He was with them physically during the first storm. In contrast, during the second storm, he was not with them physically at the beginning but joined them later.

Christ interactions with the disciples during the storms reveal God’s view of human behavior during a hardship associated with seeking to fulfill his purpose. The study enables an understanding of how faith, prayer, and human effort work together to help a person navigate through difficulties when working on a task of God. Both storms ended with a miracle. However, in the first storm, the disciples had panicked and shifted focus from work to pray for miracle. Jesus released a miracle to end their ordeal but scolded them for lack of faith. In the second storm, in contrast, the disciples focused on work but got distracted by the glory of his presence. He encouraged them to keep working and released a miracle to end their ordeal.

The interactions convey a message that God sees and encourages human effort in his tasks and will guide you to victory. He sees your struggles and difficulties and will intervene with miracle as he chooses. Therefore, if your battle belongs to God, focus on doing what you can humanly do. He will guide you to victory in his way and at his time.

We discuss Christ interactions with the disciples during the two storms to understand God’s promise for those that encounter difficulties while seeking to fulfill his purpose. Further, we discuss criteria for evaluating your task and any associated battles to determine if they belong to God.

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Individual Responsibility for Humility

Living in the Image of God M04S08

Christ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount and through interactions with the disciples and others provide understanding of the meaning and value of humility in human relationship with God and interactions with others. Humility toward God leads to realizing that every person can accomplish God’s purpose in every situation, but only with God. In human interactions, humility means a recognition and respect that there is always another person greater or better than I in one or more considerations. God rewards those that recognize and respect others as potentially greater or better. Humility manifests as an invitation to positive human interactions, with a promise of care and diligence, promise of appreciation, and promise of obedience; conveyed to others through attitude and spoken or written words.

M04S08 Individual Responsibility for Humility 15:11

This bible study discusses Christ teaching to understand God’s expectation of every person regarding humility in human relationship with God and humility in human interactions. First, we discuss the value of humility toward God based on the Sermon on the Mount. The first two Beatitudes convey a message of humility toward God—that every person can accomplish God’s purpose in every situation, but only with God: “Blessed are the poor in spirit” [Matthew 5:3] and “Blessed are those who mourn” [Matthew 5:4] convey a message that God blesses those that seek him through repentance of sin and are committed to following his direction to accomplish his purpose in every situation.

Second, we discuss humility in human interactions based on Christ teaching and interactions with his disciples and others. He conveys a message through the interactions that humility toward others means recognizing and accepting that there is always another person greater or better than I in one or more considerations. We discuss his message of “Blessed are the meek” [Matthew 5:5], his teaching of childlike humility as the greatest virtue (Matthew 18:1–5), and his teaching that the humble will be exalted while those that exalt themselves will be humbled (Luke 14:7–11). We will understand that Christ message regarding humility is that God creates every person to be humble, expects and rewards humility, but punishes haughtiness.

Additionally, we will understand that humility manifests in human interactions as an invitation with promise—an invitation to positive human interactions with a promise of care and diligence, promise of appreciation, and promise of obedience—that a person conveys to others through his or her attitude and spoken or written words.

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