Christmas 2013: Made Like God Who Came Like Us

“So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.” -Genesis 1:27

The Lord seems to give me new themes to consider about Him every year. And, thanks largely to some Christian counseling classes I completed a few months ago, this year I’ve spent a lot of time pondering what it means that man is created by God in God’s image.

How do we reflect His image? 
• As God is thoughtful and emotional, we think and feel deeply, expressing many emotions. 
As God is Creator, He gives us abilities to create art, technology, architecture and more. 
As God is over everything, He gave us care and control over land and animals on Earth. 
As God is relational, He gives us one another in different relationships.

These are just some ways you and I reflect God, things we can see in ourselves and others every day. This is also a humbling realization that should help us, and has very much helped me throughout the year, in dealing with other people. Created in God’s image, every person should receive honor and dignity, even when we disagree.

Unfortunately, we often see the image as marred, broken or shattered when we don’t remember, or don’t realize, who God is and prefer our way to His. Thoughts and emotions run wild. We create and use things for evil. We mistreat the creation we’re supposed to care for. Our relationships become damaged. We neglect to treat ourselves and others with respect.

Therefore it’s amazing to realize that because of this, because His image is broken, God came to Earth like one of us.

Jesus, God in human form, was born to show us what an unbroken human should look like and to live perfectly because we could not, one who delights in what God give and commands, rather than some other preference or demand, and who hates the things God says are evil. As Scripture states, “He is the image of the invisible God” and “the exact imprint of His nature.” So Jesus expressed rightly balanced thought and emotion. He created the world and created in carpentry. He cared deeply and personally for others without fear of correcting those who flaunted broken images all around Him.

And in another amazing twist, Jesus, this tiny child we celebrate at Christmas, God’s only Son, also came to call the children of God to Himself, to begin to restore God’s image again.

Who are God’s children? As John 1:9-13 says:
“The true light (Jesus), which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

For those who believe, Jesus even submitted Himself to death, the perfect sacrifice taking the punishment God said those who shattered His image deserve. And He returned to life, showing us a picture of the coming restoration of God’s children who will one day be resurrected to new life and forever perfectly reflect God’s image.

This Christmas, we hope these expressions of God’s love will help you see Him, and yourself, in new ways. We encourage you to read Jesus’ story in the Bible, even if it’s already familiar. (The entire Bible is about Him, but the book of John is a good pick. If you’re in need of a Bible, we’re glad to provide, our Christmas gift to you.) Ask the Lord to help you understand anything that’s unclear, to clear up any areas of fear or doubt. His call, with His help, is to stop trusting your own demands and desires and to trust Him, to stop doubting and believe Him, and, for those who do believe, to increasingly reflect His image as His child.

Christmas & New Year’s blessings to you. 
Scripture quotes: ESV
Top photo: creationswap.com
Lower photo: grandma’s Nativity set
: )
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