For May 20, 2019
In the beginning, as God was completing His Creation of the Heaven and the earth, He created man and woman and placed them in the Garden of Eden. But before performing His crowning achievement, God said:
Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them 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).
Yet in the grander scale, we humans are separate and distinct from—special from all other created beings just as God is special and unique; separated from all others. When He breathed in us “the breath of life,” He purposely and deliberately imparted this distinction within us giving us an eternal human spirit (Genesis 2:7).
Genesis 2:15 states the Lord placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to manage and cultivate it. Ours is a solemn stewardship because we have dominion over the land, air, and aquatic creatures and the responsibility to cultivate vegetation, minerals, and water for its proper use and our benefit.
Colossians 1:16-17 tells how the Lord created all things, including us. But, we humans are His greatest creation; greater than Mount Everest, the Grand Canyon, Aurora Borealis, Victoria Falls, Table Mountain, the Barrier Reef, the Amazon rainforest, the magnificent Redwoods, and the sun, moon, and stars combined—in God’s eyes.
It is the Enemy’s job to confuse and distort God’s perfect plan by telling us we are flawed and worthless. He has convinced many of us that we “won’t amount to anything.” As result, many of us believe we will be “nothing but failures” in this life. However, these are lies because God created us differently, much like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle; when assembled they create a beautiful portrait of His love, redemption, and glory.
The Psalmist declares God designed us with glory and honor with all things under our feet (Psalm 8:5). Truly, God has given us an amazing pedigree that is up to us to accept. However, we must never let our pride and sense of self-importance deceive us into thinking or feeling we are God ourselves. He is the Creator, and we are the created. Psalm 36:6 tells us God preserves the earth and all that is in it.
Unlike any other created being, we can choose to live a noble life that reflects our Creator’s dignity to affect eternal changes in our lives and others around us. Thus, we should never consider ourselves as mistakes or afterthoughts.
We are special and unique persons who fulfill His perfect, eternal design for the universe. In other words, God created you and I, with all our complexity, to function according to His design: to bring Him honor, not the Enemy.
God’s marvelous creation provides us with the undeniable evidence of His existence and loving care. The Psalmist observes the heavens declare His glory, and the skies above are the visual displays of His awesome craftsmanship (Psalm 19:1). Because of the undeniable witness of His creation, those who brazenly and defiantly scoff at His existence have no excuse on the day when they will account for “every idle word” (Matthew 12:36).
Yet, made in His image also means we can choose where we will spend our eternity; whether in Heaven with the Lord or in Hell separated from Him. Jesus describes Hell as a place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth; where the tormenting worms never die and the raging fire is never quenched (see: Matthew 13:42, and Mark 9:48).
I believe the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” will be a self-imposed human torment to some degree. Because unfortunately, Hell is the place where atheism and agnosticism will no longer exist because everyone there will instantly become “believers” in God’s existence and His redeeming love and grace freely extended to everyone through Jesus Christ. But they will spend eternity regretting not taking advantage of it—when they were alive and had the opportunity.
Our minds control our cognitive and anatomical functions. We should use them for proper thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and memories. Isaiah 26:3-4 (NLT) is clear about what happens to those whose thoughts and minds are properly fixed on the Lord:
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.
We also read in Philippians 4:8 (NLT):
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
We are to use our bodies as examples of God’s love and goodness in the world and never as the Enemy’s weapons for death and destruction. We are God’s crowning achievements of creation and salvation. We are to live out—to the best of our ability—the noble plan He has designed for each of us.