Day 5: Image Bearers

Genesis 1:27 NIV
So God created humans in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

“Being made in the image of God confers on us dignity, entrusts us with responsibility, and implants in us a certain potential, namely, the capacity to mirror our Creator. As Christians, our redemption has greatly enhanced this capacity, and in the process, has made us more sensitive to the responsibility we have and the dignity shared by all humankind.” (Walton, Genesis, NIVAC)

“May we be the community of men and women who fully and maturely bear the image of God, people who reflect his glory and grace with clarity and accuracy…with Jesus as our model who showed us how to be truly human. And as the world looks upon our lives, may they begin to see His detailed brushstrokes, may they begin to catch the heart of the Artist, may they begin to see that behind our lives there is intention, skill, and meaning.” (P. Lee)

Let’s pray for the Spirit’s help to live as the people of God who maturely and accurately reflect the goodness and glory of our Creator. In every conversation and interaction we have today, may we recognize and uphold the dignity of each person created in the image of God. May many in our cities and campuses come to know the love of their Creator for themselves.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, by your Spirit’s power, may we mature to more clearly reflect your goodness and glory. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

Let’s sing “More Like Jesus” by Passion (click here)

-JL

 

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Day 4: Made For Community

Genesis 2:18, 21 NIV
The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

“In striking contrast to the frequent use of ‘good’ in the creation account (1:1–2:4a), God here states that there is something that is not good in regard to the man…This surprising use of ‘good’ communicates how crucial companionship is for humans. The man needed a helper, one suitable for him. ‘Suitable’ (negdo) suggests a person who was significantly different from him so as to contribute distinctively to his life, yet one who was of the same essence and on the same level.” (Hartley, Genesis, UBC)

Today, let’s give thanks for and bless our brothers and sisters in Christ, our spouses and marriages, and our children. Let’s affirm in prayer how God intends for us to share life, to need and help one another, and to serve the Lord together.

Prayer: God, thank you that we were made for community. Continue to heal us, that we may experience even more the full dimension of human existence in our relationships. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s worship God with singing “Hands to the Heavens” by Kari Jobe (click here)

-JL

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Day 3: Men and Women of God

Let’s read the following verse and confession out loud:

Genesis 1:27 NIV
So God created humans in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Cape Town Commitment – Men and Women in Partnership
Scripture affirms that God created men and women in his image and gave them dominion over the earth together. Sin entered human life and history through man and woman acting together in rebellion against God. Through the cross of Christ, God brought salvation, acceptance and unity to men and women equally. At Pentecost God poured out his Spirit of prophecy on all flesh, sons and daughters alike. Women and men are thus equal in creation, in sin, in salvation, and in the Spirit.

All of us, women and men, married and single, are responsible to employ God’s gifts for the benefit of others, as stewards of God’s grace, and for the praise and glory of Christ.

Today, let’s pray for the men and women of our church communities, giving thanks that God created us both to uniquely bless the church and this world. Let’s pray that each would employ God’s gifts for the benefit of others. Let’s ask for the Spirit’s empowering to live as godly women and men, in the diversity of all that means.

Prayer: God, thank you that in your very good design, you created us in your image; male and female you created us. Thank you that through Christ, we now live as your redeemed and Spirit-filled women and men. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing “Holy Forever,” sung by Cece Winans (click here)

-JL

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Day 2: New Creation

John 1:1-4 NIV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

2 Corinthians 5:17 NRSVUE
So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; look, new things have come into being!

The “very good” goodness of creation that was lost in the fall is now redeemed in Jesus Christ. So for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation! Wherever there is brokenness or disorder in who we are or how we relate as men and women created in God’s image, may we receive the salvation, healing, and restoration that comes with our redeemed humanity in Jesus Christ.

Let’s spend some time praying and committing 2 Corinthians 5:17 to memory so we can declare and embrace the truth of God’s Word as the Spirit prompts us throughout the day.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that I am a new creation in you. The old has gone and new things have come into being! Thank you for redeeming and restoring my identity and my life as an image bearer of God in the healing power of the Cross, and by the empowering presence of the Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.

In worship, let’s sing “At the Cross” by Hillsong (click here)

-JL

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Day 1: It Was Very Good

Genesis 1:26, 31a NRSVUE
Then God said, “Let us make humans in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over the cattle and over all the wild animals of the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good…

“In the ancient worldview people were slaves to the gods with no dignity other than that which came from the knowledge that the gods could not get along without humans to meet their needs. Whereas Mesopotamian literature is concerned about the jurisdiction of the various gods in the cosmos with humankind at the bottom of the heap, the Genesis account is interested in the jurisdiction of humankind over the rest of creation as a result of the image of God in which people were created. In the biblical view, it is the concept of being in the image of God that provides for human dignity and the sanctity of human life.” (Walton, Genesis, NIVAC)

Today, let’s embrace Scripture’s affirmation of God’s “very good” goodness in creating us.

Prayer: God, I confess:
“For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.” (Ps 139:13-14)
May my life worship and honor you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Let’s sing “Psalm 139 (Far Too Wonderful)” by Shane and Shane (click here).

-JL

 

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