by Rick Warren — September 5, 2022
From Live Your Calling: What on Earth Am I Here For?
“God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son . . . We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him."
Romans 8:29 (The Message)
From the very beginning, God’s plan has been to make you like his Son, Jesus. God announced this intention at creation: “Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image and likeness’” (Genesis 1:26 NCV).
In all of creation, only human beings are made in God’s image. It’s a great privilege—and it gives you dignity.
What does it mean to be made in God’s image? It’s one of those concepts that’s too big to fully understand, but here’s some of what it means:
- Like God, you are a spiritual being. Your spirit is immortal and will outlast your earthly body.
- You are intellectual. You can think, reason, and solve problems.
- You are relational. You can give and receive real love.
- You have a moral consciousness. You can discern right from wrong, which makes you accountable to God.
But there’s a problem: The image of God in you is incomplete and has been damaged and distorted by sin. So God sent Jesus on a mission to restore the full image that you—and everyone else ever born—have lost.
What does the full “image and likeness” of God look like? It looks like Jesus Christ!
The Bible says: “God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son . . . We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him” (Romans 8:29 The Message).
The Bible says Jesus is “the exact likeness of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT), “the visible image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15 NLT), and “the exact representation of his being” (Hebrews 1:3 NIV).
People often use the phrase “like father, like son” to refer to family resemblance. When people see my likeness in my kids, it pleases me. In the same way, God wants his children to bear his image and likeness. The Bible says you were “created to be like God—truly righteous and holy” (Ephesians 4:24 NLT).
Live like an image bearer today so that when people look at you, they’ll think of how much you’re like your heavenly Father!