Creation • Devotion #3: Created in the Image of God
Ryan Story | Location Pastor – Burton
I recently returned from a mission trip to Guatemala. It was a great week seeing God use our group in some amazing ways. We partnered with an organization called Potter’s House. There are many things that I enjoy about Potter’s House in how they view the people they serve. In Guatemala, Central America’s largest trash dump is in Guatemala City. This landfill is the size of 23 football fields. Potter’s House ministers to many of the people who live in and around the dump too. While we were there, we went from ministering to the poor to ministering to “treasures.” Potter’s House believes that every person we minister to is a treasure because that is how God views him or her.
Genesis 1:26 says, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’” There are many ways a person can look at what being made in God’s image is. I have read it has authoritarian roots. Since God has authority over everything, God passed His authority to man to take care of His creation. I have read the being created in God’s image has relational roots. Since God exists in Trinity, He is always in relationship with Himself. When God created everything, He desired us to have a relationship with each other. While God had angels and heavenly hosts, there was something special about having a relationship with something with free will. I have read that being created in God’s image has emotional roots. Since we all long for love, joy, peace, and compassion, all of those are rooted in God. We resemble God because we are capable of showing those emotions, whereas, a platypus is not.
Regardless of all the studying we do, understanding exactly what being created in God’s image exactly means will keep one busy for longer than the amount of time I have in this devotional. This one truth we do know, God created everything, but humans were special to Him. God made the sun and the stars. A star is a massively huge ball of energy that illuminates light bright enough to reach millions of light years (reminder: a light year is a measurement of distance not time). Because of this, sun life could not be sustained. The most powerful thing we see every morning, outside of God, is the sun. Even in every star’s majestic beauty and amazement, God did not look at them as in His image. Personally, that rocked my world. I gaze at stars whenever I am in a new place. I love looking at stars. I get lost in how amazing they are. While I am doing that, God is looking at me thinking, those people on Earth are amazing.
We live in a world that does not value human life. Somehow this exists inside God’s Church. We are losing the ability to look at each other with value. We look at unsaved bus kids as a nuisance because they mess up our building or cause us to teach our children that they should not swear. We view people struggling with addictions as lost causes who will never get right. We look at the elderly in the church as hindering progress, while young people as a bunch of disrespectful punks. We all have such horrid ways we look at each other. We have lost the ability to look at every person we come in contact with as a treasure that God has made. I went to a third world country and saw the most beautiful children in the world. I went to a trash dump and found treasure. It took God showing me this truth to understand just how amazing ever person is. We have two choices on how to view people. The first is if we view people as junk that means that Jesus died for junk. The second is if we view people as treasure that means that Jesus died for something special. I like the second choice.