Lately, I have been thinking about that question quite a bit. I think the recent condemning rhetoric describing all people in a negative light or that some people are undeserving of love, compassion, or of even being listened to just because they have a different opinion has spawned my concern that we are straying away from how God created us. So, I want to boldly, in the name of Jesus, remind us of who we are to God…all of us!
I am, we are, created in God’s image. Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” The same God who spoke everything into existence created all of mankind, both male and female, in his image! This means everyone was created in God’s image! This tells me, and hopefully you, the next time I hurt someone physically or mentally through my actions or my words, I am actually hurting someone who was created in God’s image.
I am, we are, known by God. David writes about the wonders of God in Psalm 139:13-16 which says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Being known by God is so important because this means God knows us inside and out! God knows everything about us, everything we need, and he knows what is deep in our heart and mind. God knows every day that is to come for all of us. God doesn’t just know some people he knows all people!
I am, we are, valued by God. Jesus taught in his famous Sermon on the Mount that we really shouldn’t worry about things. Matthew 6:25 records his teaching, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” We are all treasured by God! Did you notice that Jesus did not include words that limit the value of some people over others…his words show that everyone is valued by God! This should make us all realize that each of us should look upon each other as being valuable rather than one person being of more value than the other.
I am, we are all treated the same by God. Paul explained in Galatians 2:6, “God shows no partiality.” This means that God does not show favoritism…he treats everyone the same. James taught that we should not show partiality either. He writes in James 2:1, “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” Favoritism is a source of violating the main command which is “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In other words, love everyone you have the privilege of coming into contact with…without favoritism, love not hate everyone.
Which brings me to a final statement. I am, we are all loved by God. The favorite verse quoted by many is John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” This tells me that God loves us so much he gave his Son to prove that love and his earthly life proved how far that love goes…he gave his life to show just how much he loves us. What blows our minds is to realize that when Jesus’ arrival was foretold to Joseph (recorded in Matthew 1:23), the messenger from God told Joseph ““Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us),” actually reveals our God gave himself to prove his love for all of us…not just some of us!
I could reach to other evidences, but I want to conclude with this thought. If we are created in God’s image, are known by God, are valued by God, treated the same by God, and are loved by God, why are we, especially the people in our country, having so much trouble reflecting God to each other? One of our biggest failures these days is we reflect our sinful hypocrisy where we say we treat people God’s way when truthfully, we really don’t. Hypocrisy is NOT God! It is true that there was only one perfect person in human history, Jesus Christ. This means that we will all make mistakes. Mistakes can be evil and you can say they are mistakes and that you apologize. However, doing evil things on purpose is a completely different thing. I didn’t say this earlier but will say it now…the bottom line is we have trouble reflecting God to each other because of the choices we purposefully make. You see, God doesn’t force us to make any choice…he leaves that part up to us and we call it free will. However, God will deal with our choices on “that day” otherwise known as the day of judgment! We need to understand, God sees and knows everything we think, say or do no matter if we think, say or do it in the dark or in the light. If you understand this, how will you answer God on “that day” when he asks you to give an account for everything you said, thought or did? Don’t worry about what others will give as answers…worry about what YOU will give as answers. Remember, excuses are not acceptable to the Judge! Stop hurting one another verbally and physically and begin reflecting God to others.
I leave you with important words to remember as being the only cause you should bow to or confess to. These words are found in Philippians 2:9-11 which state this about how we will all react on “that day” when Jesus returns and judgment occurs, “Therefore God has exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Reflect God to one another…make it a priority to love instead of hate!
Love to you all, Dave