You are somebody important!
On Sunday we took a look at the sixth day of God’s creative process as described in the first chapter of Genesis — when the Lord made animals of the land, and when he created human beings.
We immediately see a stark difference in God’s handiwork when it comes to the “beasts of the earth” and us: Plainly spoken, we’re different than the animals. You and I were created in the image of God.
The Lord said in verse 26, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
We are the climax of God’s creative process. His crowning achievement. And why is that? Since we’re made in God’s image, we share some of God’s attributes. We possess the ability to love, to exercise wisdom, to offer grace — just like God does. Of course, none of us puts these attributes into practice perfectly; we’re not God. But the very fact that we have these abilities immediately sets us apart from the animal kingdom. Thing about it. While a dolphin is a very intelligent creature, it doesn’t have the smarts or creative ability to write a book — but a human being does. A chimpanzee can’t wear business suit, strike deals, employ thousands, and build skyscrapers — but a human being can. And while we certainly have affection for our pets and derive pleasure from the affection they give us, we don’t approach our dogs and cats when we need love and care and counsel and grace and forgiveness — instead we go to people who can give those things to us, just as we go to the Lord.
You are somebody important because God has stamped his image upon you.
And when we become Christians, the idea of “image” becomes even more striking. As we’ve just seen, each human is automatically created in God’s image, with God’s attributes, regardless of whether or not that person decides to follow Jesus. But when we do come to know Christ, a radical change takes place — and we immediately are set on a path toward being conformed to the image of Jesus. It’s also a sign that God is still in the creation business — as the Bible tells us, our kinship with Christ and adoption in the family of God is part of us becoming new creations. God wants to be something powerful within each of our lives. He wants to heal our pain, he wants to redeem our pasts, he wants us to become whole.
And here’s another reason why you’re somebody important — and it’s practical and strategic: As the Lord is restoring us day by day in our journey toward becoming more like Christ, he allows his grace to pass through you to bless others! Isn’t that amazing? Perhaps you feel inadequate right now. Maybe you don’t feel worthy to be a blessing to those around you. But don’t believe it. You can be a vehicle through which grace passes — and be part of incredible change in yourself and in others. A lot of people are despairing right now and are looking for comfort, for relief, for answers. And you can be part of their solutions — if you only allow God to work through you.
And here’s something else that’s pretty cool about the first chapter of Genesis — and it appears to underscore how special and important we are to God. After the Lord’s various creative endeavors during the first five days of creation, we see the phrase “and it was good.” That was God’s standing evaluation of things … until the sixth day when he created human beings. After we came along, “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” From “good” to “very good” — in a day. It’s just a difference of one word — but our presence seems to point to a new level of satisfaction within the heart of God.
The Lord created you in his image. He’s given you his attributes. As a believer in Jesus, you’re now being conformed into the image of Christ himself — and because his power is within you, you can be a vessel for incredible change, not just within yourself, but also for those around you. You are somebody important!