(g) We need a Grace Image (2:1-2):


We need to see our self through His eyes. Earlier she had shown her self-conciousness and insecurity ( 1:5) - however, now she has received His praise and Love she has a better image of herself - and not too proud a one!

She now sees herself as A  ROSE OF  SHARON ( Isa 35:1 - also ‘Crocus’) - this was a common meadow flower! (NB. Jesus is NOT the Rose of Sharon). Click on the links to see further details on the interpretation of this.

Also she sees herself as the  LILY OF THE  VALLEY ( 2:1-2,16;4:5;5:13;6:2-3;7:2) - a common flower. She sees herself as an ORDINARY,PLAIN person (speaks of Humility). He agrees that she is a lily, but not any lily - she is unique - a lily among  thorns (other women) - This is how Jesus sees us - the Church! - This is a Grace image.

NB. The Hebrew word for ‘ lily’ is also the same word used for ‘trumpet’ which is symbolic of a prophetic voice. In Christ we are a prophetic people - declaring forth the good news of the Gospel. He gives each of us a distinctive message to sound forth loud and clear in our generation. It is vital that we have the correct image of ourself so we can be effective in trumpeting out this message. It's the message we've heard in our intimate moments with Him as we have heard His voice.

In recent years there has been an invasion of what I call the 'Cult of Self' in the church, pampering the self nature of man in the guise of spirituality. We do not need a healthy self image! Our 'self' nature must be crucified on the cross.

The Biblical 'Grace Image' is to see that indeed we are worms, we are common, ordinary sinners that will wither and fade away like a crocus without Him. We cannot deny this side of our image, that would be living in unreality. However, a 'Grace-Image' says 'I am nothing except He makes me anything'. And the truth is, as we come in humble repentance to Him, He does raise us up and make us kings and priests! Where is the boasting in this ? Not in our own strength or comeliness, but in His redeeming, delivering nature.

This teaching in the Church today that comes from  Matt 22:37-40. The teaching that says God's order is :

(i) Love God
(ii) Love Neighbour
(iii)Love self (it says 'love your neighbour as yourself').

This is used to justify the need for a healthy self image. However, the word used for love (agape) here means 'self-sacrificing' love! If we truly love ourself then we will deny ourself, take up our cross and follow Him!


 Stage One Overview.


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