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In His Image

Words by Paula Morrison | Illustrations by Marie Warner Preston

Have you ever asked who am I and what am I meant to be doing with my life? Genesis provides the answers to these age-old questions, reminding us whose we are and inviting us to live on purpose.

Occasionally I watch a TV show called Lost and Found where adopted children look for their birth parents. They’re driven by a deep need to know their origins and to find the answers to their questions: Who do they belong to? Who do they look like? When they do meet their birth family for the first time and finally have the answers they’ve been desperately searching for, I always cry. I see reflected in their stories my own quest for identity and belonging.

Genesis is a book of origins, and in the opening chapter we find the answer to our own questions: We are made in the image of God (1:26). He is the One we are called to resemble and the One we belong to.

It is humans alone who are like God and who are given authority over all other created things. Unlike the rest of creation, humans are spiritual beings, set apart and made for a relationship with God. Both male and female image bearers are equal and necessary for the image of God to be demonstrated to the world; both are blessed by Him (1:27-28), giving every person significance and intrinsic value. As we lean into this truth, spending time with Him and growing in maturity, our family resemblance to Him becomes unmistakable.

My own questions of identity and belonging have led to me asking, What is my purpose in life? It follows that if we are created in the image of God, then there has to be a divine purpose for our existence. Again, we find our answer in the pages of Genesis: “‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it’” (1:28). This mandate applies both physically and spiritually. God’s people are called to populate the earth so that the Gospel can bear fruit and grow throughout the whole world (Colossians 1:6). It's our life's work to share the good news—news that will lead others to the truth of their origin where they will find their identity in God and belonging in His family.

But this mandate is not solely fulfilled through our work; it is also perpetuated through rest. By the seventh day, God has finished His act of creation and rests from all work. As we are like God, we, too, flourish when we have a regular rhythm of rest. Practically, this will look different for each of us, but in our world of hustle, God teaches us to stop work, know our limits, and worship Him alone (Exodus 20:8). Just as God rests in His finished work of Creation, we today rest in the finished work of Christ. We are no longer slaves to sin (Romans 6:6) but can enjoy the presence of God with the unhurried comfort of a loving family gathering.

It seems incomprehensible to me that the God of the universe created me to be like Him, inviting me to know Him and bring Him glory through my life. Today, if you feel you don’t have value or don’t belong, remember that God created you in His image to be part of His family. You are not an accident, and your life is imbued with divine purpose. You can live each day secure in the truth of your origin, knowing who you belong to and who you are like.

Spend some time asking the Holy Spirit to show you the specific and unique ways in which you resemble the Father. Thank Him for the fearful and wonderful way He has made you, and consider how He is inviting you to use these gifts and qualities to share the Good News.

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Nichole Gillanders
Nichole Gillanders
Mar 29, 2022

Awesome perspective, thanks Paula! I started this morning feeling rather flat and uninspired but your take on today's reading has given me the boost I need!

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