By Meredith Mills
“You can’t deny that one’s yours!”
That was the comment we heard as my husband carried our littlest into the church where he would be speaking later that morning. It’s true – she definitely bears his image. In fact, I’ve been told she’s the female version of him as a child. There’s something really special about seeing ourselves in our children.
It’s pretty amazing, this image-bearing business.
Even more amazing is the fact that we bear our Heavenly Father’s image.
In the beginning, God set out to make humanity as a reflection of Himself. He wanted creation’s climax to resemble Him. And they did.
But then sin entered the picture. The pinnacle of creation, the creatures after His likeness, the first man and woman chose the one thing God had forbidden. And God’s image in mankind was distorted.
Instead of reflecting His purity, they were infected with the nature of sin. This new nature would be passed on to every human ever born (with the exception of the God-man, Jesus).
Instead of reflecting God’s eternal nature, their spirits died instantly and their bodies began the fatal process of aging.
Instead of reflecting God’s sacrificial heart of love, they became self-protective and accusatory, pointing fingers to conceal their guilt.
Instead of uninhibited friendship with God and each other, they felt the pangs of shame, so they covered up and hid from God.
At that decisive moment, everything changed.
Well, not everything.
The relentless, unfailing love of God stayed the same. And His sovereign plan still reigned supreme.
For you see, all was not lost. His image was defiled, but it was not destroyed. Repeatedly in the Old Testament, God reminds us that humanity still bears His image. In fact, that’s the basis for how we’re to treat one another – we all carry His likeness, so we’re to honor each other as fellow-image bearers.
Yet His image was marred, so He would fix that. He would not leave us this way.
In the greatest recovery mission of all time, the Son of God stepped into our world – in human flesh, yet exactly representing the Father. He lived and died and rose again – all to redeem a people made in His image. All to restore His true likeness in mankind.
That’s us, fellow Jesus lover! We’ve been made in His image at conception, reborn with a new nature at salvation, and are being transformed into a true picture of our God!
He can be seen in us in so many ways…
- When we love that difficult person, we look like our forgiving Father.
- When we endure the hardships of this life, we model our Suffering Savior.
- When we enjoy the good things He’s given, we show the world a Daddy who delights in His children and loves giving good gifts.
- When we engage in our professions, we reflect various aspects of His character. He’s our Parent, Teacher, Healer, Counselor, Helper, Leader, Judge, Creator, Designer… Whatever we do on a daily basis, God’s image can be seen in us.
That gives so much meaning and purpose to my daily life. Wiping noses, cooking meals, teaching children, cleaning up messes, putting thoughts on paper, building relationships – it all can be a picture of God. It’s an overflow of His image in me.
Every person looks like God to some degree or another. But those redeemed through faith in Christ – we can become more like Him each day as we participate in His Spirit’s work in our lives.
I don’t know what a heavenly reception looks like, but how awesome would it be to wake up in the arms of our Daddy and hear whispers going through the crowd – “We can’t deny that one’s His! She looks so much like Him!”
Oh, how I want to look like my Daddy! How about you?
How do you reflect God’s image in your daily life? In what ways have you seen Him transform you? I’d love hear!