Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The question came to mind “Who do you want to look like?” Then he cut to the chase… “Who are you trying to look like.” That’s a good question…for all of us. We are all influenced to one degree or another, we all take our cues from someone Who


The other day I stumbled across a website called myheritage.com. The site is a genealogical database designed to help people reconstruct their family history. That in and of itself is nothing new, but this one is different because it uses face recognition software to do so. The idea is for people to upload photos of themselves and their family members to the site which then connects you to other possible family members based upon their facial characteristics. In order to entice you to use the site they offer a free service called Find the Celebrity in you. After you upload a current photo of yourself the face recognition technology springs into action taking various measurements of your face and then comparing the results to a database of over 3000 celebrities. In the end it presents you with a list of celebrities you supposedly bear the strongest resemblance to.

So I looked through the pictures of myself and found one what I thought was a good representation of me, uploaded it to the site and waited for the results. Within a few seconds it came back with a list of celebrites that the computer believed I most looked liked.

At the top of the list Ben Stiller who was followed by Lance Armstrong, and after him Dan Rather. I thought ok, that’s not so bad, but then the list took a sudden bizarre turn when it came up with John Cleese, followed by Fidel Castro, followed by Kim Dae jung, the President of South Korea. It get’s worse because according to the website there is also a striking similiarity between me and Gwyneth Paltrow, Hillary Clinton, and the 80’s singing sensation Chaka Khan.

It would seem that Myheritage.com still has some bugs that it needs to work out.

I logged on to myheritage.com because I was curious to find an answer to the question…

Who do I look like?

As I sat there, disappointed with my results God began to teach me a lesson. The question came ot mind “Who do you want to look like?”

Well Lord, for starters not Chaka Khan.

Then he cut to the chase…

“Who are you trying to look like.”

That’s a good question…for all of us.

We are all influenced to one degree or another, we all take our cues from someone

Whose example are we seeking to follow?

Whose life are we trying to imitate?

Who are we trying to look like?

As believers do we bear any resemblance to our Father?

In Ephesians 4: 17 Paul writes:

“So I tell you this and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do…

Ephesus was a leading commercial and cultural city of the Roman empire. It boasted the great pagan temple of Artemis, or Diana, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. But it was also a leading city in debauchery and sexual immorality.

Some historians rank it as the most lascivious city of Asia Minor.

The temple of Artemis was the center and the source of much of the wickedness. Like those in most pagan religions, its rituals and practices were but extensions of man’s vilest and most perverted sins wrapped in the excuse of religion.

A quarter mile–wide perimeter served as an asylum for criminals, who were safe from apprehension and punishment as long as they remained within the temple confines. For obvious reasons, the presence of hundreds of hardened criminals added still further to Ephesus’s corruption and vice.

It wasn’t just Christian who saw this, some of the pagans did too

In the The fifth–century BC Greek philosopher Heraclitus, himself a pagan, referred to Ephesus as

“…the darkness of vileness. The morals were lower than animals and the inhabitants of were fit only to be drowned.”

There is no reason to believe that the situation had changed much by Paul’s day. If anything, it may have been worse, and this was the climate the church in Ephesus struggled to exists in. Many if not all of the believers in Ephesus were saved out of that culture and everyday they face the pressures and temptations that came from that environment.

And so Paul writes,… “you must no longer live as the Gentiles do…”

You cannot do the things they are doing. You cannot go where they go.

There are striking similarities between their world and ours. We don’t always recognize it immediately because the sad fact is we have become accustomed to it.

Everyday we move we live, and work in a world that appeals to the worst in us. Whether it is on the tv, in our dvd player, on our computer, in the magazine or on the billboard.

Just like the Ephesians believers …Everyday we have to fight the urge to conform to the patter of the world that we were saved out of, resist the temptation to fall back into the life we lived before Christ.

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