In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
No artist creates without purpose or meaning. Michelangelo did not fling paint at the ceiling of the Sistine chapel and then shrug his shoulders in surprise when the result was complex beauty. He made choices and decisions based on reason and purpose and significance. He was deliberate. Every color, every line, and every shadow was infused with a reflection on the beauty of God.
God made man in His own image, in His own resemblance, from His own life. He breathed vitality into humanity and set man over all His works (Gen 1:26, 2:7). He had work for humanity to do. He had a plan for him to accomplish (Gen 2:15). He had a reason for him to work, to love, and to be. In the fall of man and the corruption of sin, that reason was obscured. But Jesus has restored and redeemed humanity and has lifted us to sit with Him. He revealed man’s place in the Kingdom and in the love of God. He gave reason and purpose to our suffering and pain by taking it upon Himself and giving us life.
It is good news that God created man. It is good news because it means that each person has a design and a purpose. Each person has a reason. Each one is significant and meaningful and in the image of God who is love. It is good news that God has work for us to do. He has a job, a task, and a calling for our lives. No one has to be idle, bored, unemployed, and useless because Almighty God has use for us. He has a calling in mind that we were made to do and that He planned for us to do from the foundation of the world. It is good news that man was made to have dominion over all the earth (Psalm 8:6). In God every human being is free from the rule of this world, its influences, its kingdoms, and its powers and free to obey God. We can walk as men and women under authority. We are invested with the Spirit and born again into the authority of Christ. We are empowered to perform God’s will on the earth and to set things right in a world full of wrongs.
The whole world is waiting to hear that they mean something. God has commissioned you and me to tell the world, lost in their sin as they are, that God is searching for His creation who bears His likeness. He made them in the image of love. He made them with value. He made them with purpose. He made them with a job in mind, and He has provided a way out of bondage, oppression, and sin. He has made a way into the rule and kingdom of God where sinners become saints, crowned as kings and anointed as priests. This is good news to all who believe.
This month I spent a lot of time with young immigrants, helping them apply for jobs, sitting and talking about college majors, career tracks, giving them advice on English pronunciation and American culture. They are searching for their identity in a culture that isn’t their own. They’re searching to make a life, for work to do, and for importance in their world. They’re searching for friendship and significance, people who will affirm that they matter. In the midst of their search for significance and meaning, God is searching for them, calling to them with our voices, befriending them with our time and touch, caring for them with our love. As Jesus has given our lives value and meaning, He has given us His Spirit who bestows value and meaning on others through words of love, acts of compassion, friendship and brotherhood. This is part of the Good News to Hindus and Muslims in America, that God has prepared a place for them, friends for them, men and women of love and grace who will be the gospel in word and deed and power. And through us He speaks His love. He tells them that they have meaning, that He knows them and cares for them, and that Christ has come to enter their lives, take their sin and suffering and receive them for His own.
Read the rest of the June 2012 Newsletter
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