In the image of God

Last time we considered how God made humanity in his image through a decision made with Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Much has been said over the years particularly over recent years, as we all grapple with personal or wider community identity issues, and I am certainly not trained in this area of ministry however I do want us to explore together Genesis 1.  I encourage you to ask God to shape your identity as you are made aware, by the Holy Spirit, of who you are and why you were made.

Genesis 1:27 ‘So God created mankind in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them’. niv

What a relief and a blessing to know that when we were created God had a specific purpose and plan in mind.  It isn’t something we have to figure out ourselves, if God truly has created us then we can turn to our Creator and ask why.

God’s purposes

Genesis 1:28 God blessed them and said to them ‘Be fruitful and increase in number…’ (niv)

Another blessing that cries out to us here is that God only creates for a planned purpose.  He is not creating out of a whim, like we read of in Greek mythology, but he creates calmly and purposefully.

Genesis 1:29 goes onto say …’fill the earth and subdue it’ Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground’.

Here we see the purpose of all humanity to continue to fill the earth that God has already prepared for us and rule over it, to ensure order and beauty continues.  Here we see the heart of God to care for all that has been created. For many of us the word ‘subdue’ fills us with dread and for some it can make our stomachs churn with disgust.  We see in God’s perfect kingdon subdue isn’t to force obedience but to bring under control so that all God’s creation works together in unity, for this to happen well God’s kingdom needs a good leader.

God’s purpose in creating mankind is to be in relationship with God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and to take care of all that God has created.  Incredible, God would entrust, to his created mankind, the care of his created kingdom.  What an honour and privilege.  Both humanity and creation at this point are perfect.  As we read last time God declared ‘it was very good’.

Even in it’s perfection creation was not left to its own devices to grow in any way it wanted but to be managed and cared for so that it would grow and flourish in the way God designed it to do.  Creation needed to be cared for, so here we begin to understand that, the created man’s purpose is to do the perfect will of God as this is God’s provision for his kingdom.

God’s completed work

Genesis 2: 1 ‘Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array’. niv

What a joy this statement shouts out to us, in the ‘vast array’ this declares the abundance of God’s creation, there was nothing missing, everything was made with purpose, there is a sense of completion.

However, there was still one more day, there was still one more thing God wanted to give his creation.  There was one more separation that needed to take place.

Genesis 2:3 ‘Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation’. esv

God rested not because he needed to escape the busyness of creating but because he wanted to enjoy his creation.

Amazing that the God of creation takes joy in his creation.

The blessing of this holy day is a gift to God’s created humanity a day to reflect and rest in the one who has created. What about us, are willing to rest in the assurance that all our Creator God has created, is for us to be both enjoyed and to bring joy as we share it with others. Shouldn’t that turn our hearts towards our God in thankfulness and praise?

What brings more joy than anything we can imagine, is for us to enjoy being in God’s presence and have a desire to see God fulfil all his plans and purposes in our lives and in the world around us.

Being willing to enjoy and give thanks to God for his provision will give us a glimpse into how we reflect the image of God to a needy world but today all isn’t perfect; there still feels like there is something missing……..doesn’t it?

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