This week I am going back to where it all started, Imago Dei. If you have seen the Latin titles and do not really understood what they mean, let me explain it to you. I preached a sermon on Imago Dei a couple of years ago and it had a great impact on me. I found myself using it practically in my life on a regular basis. If someone cut me off driving or I got cussed out at church (believe it or not, it happens often at Under Over Fellowship), I found myself saying, “Imago Dei.” This was a reminder to myself that this person, in spite of their behavior, was made in the Image of God and I needed to treat them as such. This was so powerful in my life, I found myself asking, “What other principles can I put into action to put legs on my faith and discipleship?” And not only that, “Can I develop it in such a way that I can teach it to others?” So that is where I am. I have four weeks to go on my current writing project, but I thought it might be good to go back to the beginning so readers would have a better understanding where I am coming from. I will be posting all six days of Imago Dei this week, and then plan to return with new material next week.
PART TWO OF SIX
There is power in Imago Dei in the way God sees us.
I have been blessed with three children; two of them biological. They have my DNA and genetics as part of their makeup. As far as that goes, you could say they were made in my image. They look like me and certain inherited traits and characteristics are passed down from generation to generation. The Jones blue eye gene is strong. We all have blue eyes. There is a certain pride we take in our children. Although they disappoint us sometimes, our love is unconditional for them. They are part of us. It would make me proud to hear if someone said, “Little Phil is a chip off the old block.” Our children are a part of us and a big part of our lives.
In a much greater way than we can even imagine, this is how God feels about us. And although I know we disappoint God, His love is unconditional. Read the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15 and you will know this. Many of us have been prodigals at one time or another. You might even be one right now, I do not know. But there is nothing you can do that will cause God not to forgive you if you come to Him. In fact, He will run to meet you with an embrace. Indeed, do you know the very hairs of your head are numbered?
God knows each and every detail of your life. He wants a relationship with you and wants to fellowship with us. Above all, He loves you so much that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
I love many people in my life and would even give my life for some of them. But would I give up my son? No, I would not. He is precious and I would protect him with my life. That is how much God loves you.
Now, what if my son did not want anything to do with me? How would that make me feel? What if he grew up, moved away-yet he never called, never emailed or texted, never came to visit? This would bring great sadness and pain to my life.
Yet this how we treat God all the time. God is proud of you, you are the apple of His eye. He has unconditional love for you, has a plan for your life, and wants the best for you. You are made in His image.
If we walk in this each day, it changes who we are. Our identity should be in Christ, first and foremost. For those who have placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, we need to see ourselves, as God does, as co-heirs with Christ.
For there is power in Imago Dei in the way God sees us.
Just for today, meditate on this truth.
Tune in tomorrow for Part Three…