Ge 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Praise God that all human beings were made in the Image of God. Some of us He created male. Some of us He created female. The Latin term for that is Imago Dei. We take on that image at conception in our Mother’s womb. That image has been marred by the sin of our first parents Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Jesus Christ came to earth to restore that image and to perfect it in us. The Apostle Paul tells us in Ro 5:17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
We have a lot of images at our disposal at the current time. Sometimes these images can inspire some good things in us. When we see the image of a baby in an ultrasound. We get excited because we know that God is already at work in the life of the child in that image. Or we see the image of a loved one that has left this walk of life. And sometimes it may be an image of a happy occasion that we enjoy remembering.
On the other hand we can see an image of someone doing something terrible on television, or Facebook and we can form an opinion about all people who are either of that skin color, or are in that profession, or what part of the country, or the world that person may live in. To be honest with you I have had to fight forming those opinions when I see things in the media whether they be on Facebook, some other form of social media, or television. Praise God for the Holy Spirit that helps us not to be drawn into wrong thoughts, and wrong attitudes about people. This does not mean that we cannot disagree with people. But having healthy disagreement is different than bitterness and malice.
In this time of social isolation, and social turmoil it can be easy to dehumanize people. One way that the Holy Spirit has helped me is to be in contact with people in a graceful way is to give them a call, or to pay them a visit if at all possible. If the enemy tries to turn you against a certain group of people you may want to give one of your friends, or brothers, or sisters in that group a call, or a visit if possible. Pray with them. If you don’t have friends that may be of a different skin color than you, or are in some profession that you may be skeptical of maybe you might want to ask the Lord to give you a friend within that group that you can get to know as a person.
We don’t have to compromise our beliefs to treat people as human beings. We don’t have to compromise our beliefs to value people as human beings. As a matter of fact, one of the key principles that I have shared before here is to try to win people rather than to try to beat them.
As a Christian I believe not only am I to speak the truth in love, but that I am called to love people that aren’t Christians to the point that I cry out for their souls. We have many people that to our knowledge are not Christians on our prayer list. Some are people that we see on television, or have read about in social media that do not have a Biblical worldview and are openly hostile to the Christian faith. If I just look at their image on the media, I might begin to get mad in the wrong way. When I begin to think about the fact that Jesus died on the cross to save them just as He did for me the Holy Spirit gets me into prayer mode rather than rant mode.
If a film of my life and I mean every bit of it was shown before I became a Christian there may be some people that looked at that image and might not have such a good opinion of me. There may be some of you reading this that the same could be said about you. Perhaps there are some right now that are opposed to the Gospel that the Holy Spirit is calling us to pray for them. This morning as I was reading the Book of Jonah, I thought about how much God loved those people that had opposed His Kingdom. The Assyrians were the most sadistic people on the face of the earth at that time. Yet God sent Jonah there to offer them His grace and to turn from their sins. Might not God do the same if we cry out to Him in the lives of those who hate us. Don’t let images that you see in the media get you bitter. But let the Holy Spirit turn your heart to pray for those who hate you. Aren’t we commanded to do that? Jesus spoke these words over two thousand years ago “Mt 5:44 “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. (NKJV)
Back to the images. The Holy Spirt has had me reading less articles about those that I don’t agree within the culture. He has also had me not spending so much time watching some of the troubling events that are in the media. You might say well you are putting your head in the sand. My answer is no I am bowing it at the feet of Jesus. Because I believe that He is the only hope to save all human beings that were made in the Image of God. And also, I know that His Kingdom has no end. And that He is the only real answer for this nation and all other nations.
Let Us Pray
Lord today we come before Your Holy throne. Lord today help us to love like You love. Lord today help us to pray for those who hate us. Lord today help us to see people like you see people. We know that all people are made in the Image of God. We pray today for people to be transformed by being born again, and being filled with your Holy Spirit. Help us to be faithful to You. May we treat all people as people made in Your Image. May we also be used by you to help people to experience the power of the Holy Spirit so that Image is restored and perfected in all of us.
In Jesus Name
Thanks to all of you who pray for us and encourage us. We love you all. Looking for ward to preaching at Aldersagte UMC in Dora this Sunday. That is the church that we were sent out from to preach the Gospel.