Genesis 1:26 “Let us make humankind in our image, in our likeness.”
Being made in the Imago Dei (latin for Image of God), carries a multitude of implications. Recently I started thinking about this passage in light of the simple passage in 1 John 4:8, “God is Love.” To be made in the image of God means that we are made out of love, to love. We are made to embody love… Love for God, love for others, love for ourselves. How can love transform our daily living? How can we focus our lives on being a response to, and because of, God’s love, and the idea that we were created to embody God’s love. This changes or enhances our interactions with the people we live with and those we meet. We were not made to ridicule, antagonize, gossip about, or demean others. We were made to build up, restore, redeem and love. How would your relationships really look like if you were focused on loving others as God has loved you, and as God loves them?
People have given God a bad rap in the Old Testament, claiming God is angry and harsh, and that God in the New Testament is full of grace and love. This is crazy! I think about God in the Old Testament, spending 400 years trying to draw the Israelites to himself during the period of the kings (while they are mostly being very disobedient), which is after the horrid period of the Judges, when they spiral out of control. God sends prophets to them over and over trying to get them to repent. Finally God says, it’s time to get out of the pool, you are in time out, and they get sent into the exile. Even in the exile, God is sending the prophets to them letting them know that he has not forgotten them and that he will restore them (read Jeremiah 31:2-5). God is love. God our creator is always at work trying to restore us to the people we were made to be. We can only become those people through the grace and mercy of God. Praise God that we are loved so much that God offers us Agape, unconditional love. Praise God that we are sought after and wooed back into a relationship with Jesus because of God’s love for us, and not because we are good enough.
So in part, the image of God is love. You have been made in, through and for love. How are you living in response to that? How are you letting God redeem, restore, and remake you in the image you were created in?