There are no words more important to understand the purpose of life than those that open the Bible. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds…Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:1, 24-25).
If someone unveiled a new invention that was foreign to anything anyone had ever seen before, the only way to understand its designed purpose would be to hear from the inventor. God created us, and the only way to understand our designed purpose is to hear from Him.
God said that we were created in His image. Our designed purpose is to be a true, visible, and understandable representation of who He is. In the ancient world, a king’s image would be engraved on coins to make him known. God engraved His image on every human being with the intention of making Himself known. Therefore, regardless of age, gender, or race, every human being is worthy of protection, dignity, and respect.
This January marks the 47th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize abortion in America. During these years, tens of millions of little human beings have been aborted. As a Christian seeking to bend my thoughts around God’s Word, this is devastating. God clearly commands us not to shed the blood of innocent human beings (Genesis 9:6). God clearly considers babies in the womb as living human beings (Psalm 139:13-16). America clearly knows that babies in the womb are innocent human beings. Yet the destruction of human life continues.
This January also marks the 25th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. During these years, tens of millions of decisions have been motivated by racial hatred and insensitivity. This too is devastating. God clearly stamped His image on every human being. God clearly wrapped every human being in different colors of skin. Jesus clearly broke down the wall of hostility by His blood so that all races could join His church (Ephesians 2:13-14), and worship around His throne in heaven forever (Revelation 5:9). Yet, tensions inspired by racial hatred and disrespect continue.
As image-bearers of God who have trusted Jesus, the Son of God, we want our lives to be a true, visible, and understandable representation of who Jesus is. Jesus showed regard for every age, gender, and race. Jesus distinguished himself by love and said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). What will love look like?
Love will honor and respect human life from the womb to the tomb.
The fact that Jesus came as a baby and grew to be a man should punctuate this conviction. Imagine looking at an ultrasound of Jesus at twenty weeks and declaring Him to be mere tissue. He was so much more! Jesus grew to care for the young and old, serve the young and old, and die for the young and old. Our love, if motivated by Jesus’ love, will show regard for the unborn, the elderly, and everyone in between.
Love will honor and respect the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of human life.
Human beings who look differently, speak differently, sing differently, grow up differently, and see the world differently are still human beings created in the image of God. Jesus came to seek and save people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. He has sent us to love, serve, and tell the good news to people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. Our love, if motivated by Jesus’ love, will show regard for every kind and color of people on earth.
May the Lord give us strength and joy in caring for people created in the image of God!