Daily Scripture Series – April 29th

“God created mankind in his own image.” (Genesis 1:27)

Though we often have genuine disagreements with one another-substantial differences we often can’t ignore-there are far deeper realities that bind us together. we’re all created by God and bound together in one beloved human family. God has created each of us-regardless of gender, social class, ethnic identity or political persuasion-“in his own image”. Whatever else might be true, God is reflected in both you and me. Further, He’s given us a shared purpose to “fill” and “rule” God’s world with wisdom and care.

Whenever we forget how we’re bound together in God, we do damage to ourselves and others. But whenever we come together in His grace and truth, we participate in His desire to make a good and flourishing world.

Daily Questions

  1. Who seems to be completely different from you?
  2. What would it he like to spend time with them, sharing what you have in common?

Daily Thoughts

God, the way the world is right now, it’s hard to believe that because of You every person shares something deep inside. Help us see this truth.

Genesis 1:26-28

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; 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.”

Bonus Information

The Latin term imago Dei means “image of God.” Biblically speaking, the lofty notion that humans are created in the likeness of God is rooted in Genesis 1:26: “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.'” Contextually understood, humans are created by God and are like Him in unique ways that allow them, on His behalf, to “rule over” (to have dominion over) what He’s created. This grand governing assignment includes the capacity to reason critically, to judge wisely, and to create with beauty and utility. These and other aspects of being like God are included in humans being “crowned…with glory and honor.”

Daily Scripture Series – April 22nd

“He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.” (Colossians 1:17)

Three thousand years ago, another intelligent man looked at the skies and drew a different conclusion. “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” wondered David.

Yet God cares for us deeply. The universe tells the story of its Intelligent Designer, the “Super Intellect” who made our minds and put us here to ponder His work. Through Jesus and His creation, God can be known. Paul wrote, “Christ existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.”

The cosmos has indeed been “monkeyed with”. The identity of the Intelligent Designer is there to be discovered by anyone willing to seek.

Daily Questions

  1. In what ways can you see God in every detail of your life?
  2. How might you humbly share your confidence in God with someone who doubts His existence?

Daily Thoughts

Thank You, heavenly Father, that You can be known through Your creation. We pray for those who don’t see You. Please draw them to You.

Colossians 1: 15-20

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Bonus Information

In important ways, Paul’s letter to the Colossians parallels John’s New Testament gospel. Both describe Christ as the Creator of the universe. Both also show how Jesus came to earth as a servant-king who sacrificed Himself to lead a very different kind of kingdom.

In the glory days of Rome, Caesar built his empire by the sword and by bribery. It was created on the backs of slave labor and for material glory; he offered wealth and freedom to his friends and serious trouble for those who challenged him. Confessing allegiance to anyone else could get a person beheaded or crucified. Yet that’s the risk John and Paul took and urged others to take. They gave believers in Jesus reason to confess Him as Lord and to model all relationships around the servant example of His Spirit and kingdom.

 

Important Biblical Words – #2

Our second word is “make” – To design or craft with great skill.

“Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26)


We do a lot of our own “making” in our lives, we make ourselves presentable, we make meals, we make clothes, we make creative projects, we make gardens, and so on. So, why all this incessant “making”? Well, because all of us are makers.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” This one of the most famous statements about the origin of all things and then it is followed by a pretty short summary of God’s creative activity and the repetitive observation, “it was good…it was good…it was good.” When we get near the end of Genesis 1, we see the last item on God’s ultimate to do list: “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.

Make is a verb translated here to mean “to design, or fashion with great skill.” It’s also used the same way in Exodus 31:6 describing the freakishly talented people who helped design the Jewish tabernacle. By using this word it is meant to help us to see God as the great cosmic Craftsman, or the Artist par excellence. Also, to think that humanity was made in God’s image is literally gasp-worthy. The triune God made the human race to represent Himself, is amazing beyond belief.

Incredible when you think about it, isn’t it? Each one of us are the finite image of an infinite God. We are a living, breathing work of art that is meant to resemble our Maker. It’s the Bible’s way of saying that we humans are God’s “piece de resistance”. He actually saved the best for last. This is why God didn’t just say “it is good”, but instead said when He was finished “it is very good.”

The point that is being made here should be unmissable: if we humans were made by the ultimate Maker to reflect and even resemble Him, then it is in our inherent nature to “make things”.

This means all of the imperfect people everywhere are “makers”. They make plans and decisions, messes and mistakes, and even endless excuses. We make friends, make merry, make babies, make love, make others happy, make others miserable. Sadly too, we sometimes make enemies. However, thankfully, we do have it within us to make amends and to make up. Because this is how God intentionally made us.

Here’s the incredible truth: being made in the image of our Maker, WE are makers. God specifically designed us with a godlike capacity to create.

So, what will you make today? Will you make a meal, make a memory, or a piece of art? Will you make an effort to reach out to someone or listen to someone who might be hurting right now?

As you can see, the Bible reveals that we are makers and when we make up our minds to grab onto the opportunities that lie before us, we can make a difference!

Questions to Ponder

  1. What kinds of things do you like to make?
  2. do you agree that we humans are “natural born makers” because the ultimate Maker made us to resemble Himself? Why or why not?
  3. What’s something you’d like to make in the future?

Daily Scripture Series – August 5th

“It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” None of the creatures God brought before Adam fit that description. Only in Eve, made from the rib of Adam, did Adam find a suitable helper and companion.

Eve was the perfect companion for Adam, and through them God instituted marriage. This wasn’t only for the mutual aid of individuals but also to begin a family and to care for creation, which includes other people. From that first family came a commuity so that, whether married or single, old or young, none of us would be alone. As a community, God has given us the privilege of sharing “each other’s burdens.”

Daily Questions

  1. How is it helpful to know that no matter our marital status, as believers in Jesus we’re never alone?
  2. How have you seen the body of Christ in action?

Daily Thoughts

Dear God, thank You for creating man and woman for each other and for instituting community so that none of us are truly alone.

Genesis 2: 18-24

“The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’

“Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.”

“But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.”

“The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man.'”

“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

Bonus Information

Genesis 2: 4-24 is the second of two creation accounts. So why are there two? In Genesis 1, the focus is on God and His awesome power; He speaks the universe and everything into existence. In Genesis 2, we see a very different focus. After no “suitable helper” is found for Adam among the animals, God causes him to sleep and from his rib forms the perfect partner and friend; a woman, Eve. The fit is so perfect that the two become “one flesh.” This second account focuses on our fundamental need for relationship as humans created in God’s image. To be made in His likeness is to not be alone. These two creation accounts reveal two wonderful aspects of God’s character: He’s the almighty God who created you and me out of nothing, and yet He’s intimately concerned that we not be alone.