Likeness Of God And Dominion

Likeness Of God And Dominion

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to our likeness; let him have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth”.”–Genesis 1:26

The first thing we notice in this verse is that God is using plurals, “Us” and “Our”. We also see that both words are capitalized, indicating the divinity attached to them. This brings up the question, who is God speaking to? Some might be inclined to say He is speaking to other gods, yet such a belief lessens God’s glory. At no other time when other gods are mentioned—unless a proper name is being used—there is no capitalization. It also indicates that He was working with others and required their input and assistance. Verse 1 specifically states, “In the beginning God…” Just one; just Him. So, if we rule out other gods, who is He speaking to?

Some might say He was speaking to the angels. While they may have been present at the time, this is also a false belief. It implies that God was seeking their approval, something He did not need. The Creator had no need of the approval of those He created. We must also remember the descriptions of angels from the Bible rarely are those of a human-looking creature. It is only when they appear on earth that they resemble something human. We must also remember the angels are of the spiritual realm, not the physical.

When God speaks in the plural, He is referring to Himself, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. We know from Scripture both were with Him from the beginning. Jesus is described as the lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world, while it was the Spirit who moved on the face of the waters.

The second thing we notice is God refers to image and likeness. Likeness refers to our general appearance. When you look at yourself in a reflective surface, you are getting a glimpse of what God looks like. Image, on the other hand, goes much deeper than just appearance; it is the embodiment of the Divine. When we look not at what we are, but what we were meant to be, we can see God’s intention.

In Jesus, we see God in the physical realm; that is our realm. As Christians, we are to be Christ-like. Although it has become something of a cliché, we really should ask ourselves “What would Jesus do?” During His time on earth, Jesus’ desire was to do the will of the Father. Being in the flesh, however, Jesus faced all the temptations we face on a daily basis; He even prayed for God to change His situation while in the Garden of Gethsemane. God’s answer to this prayer was no. The death of Jesus was all part of the greater plan, the opportunity for salvation for the entire world. In the image of Jesus, we see the need to be obedient to God.

The Holy Spirit—Who is with us today—is our link to the spiritual realm. In Him, we find the intangible things of God. He is the presence of God, the force of creation and beginning. Whenever God prepared someone for a specific task to do His will, the Holy Spirit was there. He is also a source of comfort until Christ returns. You may ask how we are to take on His image. By being a source of comfort, of course, but there is more we can do. We can create; we can be the beginning. By creating a lifestyle of humble devotion to God for ourselves, we can lead others to Him. This will give us the opportunity to embody the intangibles of God so others might see them in action.

God is all-encompassing. He is both the physical and the spiritual. To be in His image, we must let the physical and spiritual work in unison in our lives. Beyond asking “What would Jesus do?”, we must ask ourselves “What would God have me do?”. By striving to do His will (as Jesus did), we let ourselves be opened to receive the Holy Spirit Who then brings about our new beginnings. This allows us to show that it is possible to live in this world without the world living in us. It is also where we discover the dominion God gave us over the creatures of the earth is both a gift and a duty.

To have dominion over something is to have responsibility for it. God intended for the world, and everything in it, for the survival of man. For something to be of use, it must be cared for and maintained, not abused. When God gave us dominion over His creations, He gave us the opportunity to truly be in His image. It is our chance to show both compassion and good stewardship. By caring for the earth, and everything in it, we show God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in Their purest form.

We are special; we carry the likeness of God. You are special. You have the opportunity—today, right now—to be remade into the image of God. I pray you do so if you haven’t already.

Fourth Day Of Creation Has Passed

Fourth Day Of Creation Has Passed

So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”–Genesis 1:19

We have come, again, to another of what I call “skip over verses”. When we read these, we tend to give them only the briefest notice because they seem to have no meaning or value. We often see this attitude whenever we read the Biblical genealogies; upon seeing the word “begat”, people tend to cringe. Yet all of these verses, no matter how insignificant they seem to us, are an important part of God’s Word. So, you might ask, what is the significance of this verse? This verse is important because it shows us both an ending and a beginning.

The obvious ending—and one of the reasons it’s value seems lessened—is it tells us the fourth day is completed. God completed three days of creation before this, so it is just following a pattern…right? Wrong. The end of this particular day means that God has finished preparing the world to support life. He has provided the food, light, guidance, and protection the living will need to survive. With all of these things set in place, it is the beginning of our world as God intended for it to be.

Every day God gives us is important, whether it is our first day of life, or our thirty-five thousand, two hundred and sixty-second day of life. (This is not a random number. It is the number of days my grandmother lived, and on that last day, she finally got to see her Savior face to face.) Each day is given to us by God, so no matter what it brings, we need to treasure it.

If you are lost, today is your fourth day. Everything has been prepared; even the price for your sins has been paid. All you need to do is confess your sins to God, ask for His forgiveness, and accept Jesus as your savior. Only then will you see the life that awaits you.

Darkness Divided From The Light

Darkness Divided From The Light

“And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.”–Genesis 1:4

Looking at the fourth verse of Genesis this week I am, once again, struck by the actions God took. My initial beginning mentioned light and darkness, right and wrong, evil and good, but I felt I was missing something. We have seen how He created us with a purpose, how He shaped us and filled us and illuminated us. In broad terms, God made us to the purpose of being a reflection of His light for others to see. This verse tells that God saw the light and it was good; how could it be otherwise? I read it over and over until, at last, I found the focus; it isn’t the light, it’s the division. God DIVIDED the light from the darkness.

While the darkness was on the face of the deep, God could have easily eliminated it and revealed the light. He could have simply surrounded all of creation with light, putting an end to darkness in the beginning. That, however, wasn’t a part of His plan. He chose to keep both light and darkness, yet separate them.

When we first chose to follow the Light, God divided us—you and me—from the darkness. The Bible says nothing about God’s intention being to remove all obstacle from our path while we fulfill our purpose. In fact, it often says just the opposite. Trials are going to come. We are going to wrestle against spiritual wickedness in high places. The world is going to despise us just as it despised Jesus. These things are going to happen because we chose the Light that first loved us.

This division God placed between us and the darkness that seeks to tear us away from Him does more than just separate. It is the source of salvation and faith and forgiveness. It provides justification and consolation. We find this division to be all-abundant, glorious, sufficient, and undeserved. Most of all, we realize that this division that God used to separate us from the world is nothing short of amazing. It is the grace of God that divides us from the world and helps us to fulfill His purpose in our lives.

Material Things And Various Forms

Material Things And Various Forms

“Our God did not begin to exist in time: He alone is without beginning, and He Himself is the beginning of all things. God is a spirit, not in or a part of the world, but Maker of the material things and their various forms. He is invisible and untouchable, being Creator of both sensible and invisible things. We know Him from His creation and perceive his invisible power through His work.”–Tatian

Created In The Beginning With A Purpose

Created In The Beginning With A Purpose

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”–Genesis 1:1

Notice the first word of this, the first verse of the Bible. It doesn’t say “at”, it says “in”; “In the beginning…” The dictionary gives the definition of the word in as “used to indicate inclusion within a period or limit of time”. When we read the words “in the beginning”, we see that God is already busy; the beginning had already begun. The moment God decided to create, before He ever spoke a word in this realm, His plans were in motion.

There are those who believe that in the beginning God created everything then left it to its own devices. If that were true, Genesis 1:1 would have read, “At the beginning” because it wouldn’t have mattered what happened next. If the universe—and everything in it—were set on autopilot, there would have been no reason to punish Adam, Eve, and the serpent. There would have been no need for an ark of gopher wood. Mankind would not have experienced miraculous interventions.

You are a part of Genesis 1:1. God did not create you to just exist. If God intended to create man and then leave him to reach whatever end he happened to find, there would have been no need for a “lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world”. There would have been no reason for Jesus to die. God created you for so much more than just to exist. Regardless of what you are going through, whether you are in pain, in mourning, or in trouble, God has a plan. Before you ask for help, God is already preparing a means of deliverance. No matter your circumstances, He knows what you need.

In the beginning, God was already thinking about you. Before He ever spoke to Your heart, He was already making plans for your future. Before you ever committed your first sin, God had a plan so you could have redemption. From the moment God comes into your heart, you are created anew. “In the beginning God…” becomes “In my beginning God…”

Beginning In The Beginning

Beginning In The Beginning

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”–Genesis 1:1

I struggled most of Friday with writing this morning’s post. Several verses came to mind that would have made wonderful lessons, but I could find no words to accompany the verses. Time and again I would sit back, stare at the mostly-empty page, then discard the verse and start again. After numerous attempts, it finally came to me; go back to the beginning…literally. We know that to do anything, there has to be a beginning; and the best—the most successful—beginnings include God. In Colossians 3:17, we read these words. “And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.”

Often, when we feel led to do something for the Lord, we believe everything is up to us. We believe God has put the thought in our head then turned us loose to perform the task. God gets left behind before we even start. By not including Him in every part of the job, we choose to load ourselves down with unnecessary burdens. When we discover there is no chance of success, we want to blame God…after all, it was His plan.

This is why it is so important to make sure God is in the beginning of everything we do. If God is in the beginning, He will remain with us until the end. Deuteronomy 31:6 assures us of this. “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” In the New Testament, Hebrews 13:5, to be exact, God’s Word reassures of this. “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

When God puts a task before us, He doesn’t intend for us to do everything. God already has a plan. His Word has gone before us and laid the groundwork for what we must do. All we have to do to see success at the end is to make sure God is in the beginning, the middle, and the end.

Communication With Foreigners

“This is my last hour of life, listen to me attentively: if I have held communication with foreigners, it has been for my religion and my God. It is for Him that I die. My immortal life is on the point of beginning. Become Christians if you wish to be happy after death, because God has eternal chastisements in store for those who refuse to know him.”–Andrew Kim Taegon

Andrew Kim Taegon was born on August 21, 1821 and grew to become the first Korean Roman Catholic priest. Because his Christian beliefs threatened the Confucianism belief system and worship of ancestors, he and his family lived in hardship. Kim’s great-grandfather, grand-uncle, and even his father became martyrs because of their Christian beliefs. Andrew Kim Taegon’s execution was on September 16, 1846. His sentence was torture and beheading on the banks of the Han River near Seoul, Korea.

Beginning Before The Beginning

Beginning Before The Beginning

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”–Genesis 1:1

In life, most things have a beginning. We begin new days, new schools, new jobs, and even new lives. The books we read, the songs we sing or listen to, and the movies we watch all have beginnings. By having a beginning, a middle, and an end, our lives have a semblance of order. For most of us, this order is a necessity. But, in most cases, what we see as the beginning is just a continuation.

As a writer, I know that before you put the first world on paper you have to have an idea. Depending on what you are writing, you have to research the subject matter. You have to start before you begin. Movies only become movies after choosing a script, director, actors, and so forth. Songwriters choose words and set them to music. All things require planning.

Moses recorded the creation of the world and all that is in it in the first chapter of Genesis. Non-believers often make the mistake of assuming the Bible was written at this time. The Bible, the Word of God, was written long before the birth of Moses. John 1:1 tells us “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

God was already here. He knew the beginning, the middle, and, most important, He knew the end. Before God spoke His first “Let there be…,” He had prepared for the fall of Man. In 2nd Thessalonians 2:13-14, we read about God’s preparations. “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord , because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

“He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you…,”–1st Peter 1:20. Think about that for a second. God knew we were going to sin; He knew we were going to crucify His only begotten Son. Despite that—no—because of that, before the creation of the world, God gave us the chance of redemption.

As the world prepares to celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus, don’t forget the Gifts of God. Salvation, redemption, forgiveness, eternal life, everything He has waiting for you to accept. And remember, He had them all ready and waiting for you before the beginning.