Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Children of God - Day #1

We were made to reflect God's nature to the world.

Nature Teaches Us What God Is Like
Romans 1.19-20 says that God made Himself known through nature. We know "His eternal power and divine nature... in the things that have been made." When we reflect on the beauty and the intricate design of nature, we know that God creates and appreciates art and beauty. And when lightning crashes and tsunamis hit, who can but think of his power? Still, when the leaves come out in spring and the sun grows warm, we are made aware of his provision and his care for us - especially in harvest time, when he gives his children food. God shows himself through nature.

Humans Were Made to Reflect God's Nature
In Ephesians 4.24, we are told that God created man "in the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." And after saying this, St. Paul continues to write, "therefore... put away all falsehood... be angry and do not sin... let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths... let bitterness and wrath and anger be put away from you... be kind to one another... forgive one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Although the rest of nature shows us what God is like, this passage says that humans -like us!- were meant to represent God in a special way: Unlike nature, we can display God's truthfulness (put away all falsehood), his righteous anger (be angry and do not sin), his love for grace and building up rather than crass talk and tearing others down (let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths) and his absolute kindness and forgiveness towards us (be kind to one another... forgive one another, as God in Christ forgave you).

Do you see? This idea of being created in the image of God isn't just some doctrine. It's a lifestyle. It's a way of living that reflects God's nature to the world , like the way that a mirror reflects the sun. It's a lifestyle of honesty, and kindness, and forgiveness, and anger that does something constructive instead of just destroying everything, and words that build others up. If God was the sun, you would be his mirror. Embrace that. Live that out. You were created to be the image of God.

Reflection Passage
Read Ephesians 4.24-5.1, and go further than that if you like. This passage shows us what the "Image of God" lifestyle looks like, and teaches us about what God is like in the process.

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