January Memory Verse

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27

This amazing verse tells us we are created in the image of God. Is this regarding our physical features or something much deeper? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary offers several definitions that we could use to help us answer this question.
im·age /ˈimij/

a. A visual representation of something. God created us in His image, but sin has marred that likeness. We visually represent what God created us to be, but our physical bodies tell very little of His intent. This goes much deeper—into our hearts, minds, and souls. As God tells us in John 3:16, He planned for our salvation. Even though mankind lost everlasting life and fellowship with God because of Adam’s sin, through Christ our lives can be restored to God’s original intention.

b. A mental picture or impression of something. How can my mind and heart bear the image of God? Have I studied His Word enough to know Who He is? The Bible reveals the truth about His nature and the truth about ours. Sin mars the image of God in us, but He provided a way to change that through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. We need only to believe. Paul says, “This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, ‘It is through faith that a righteous person has life’” (Romans 1:17).

c. An accepted concept of something as in a “corporate image.” How can I live up to His image? Only through changes enabled by the Holy Spirit can we hope to reflect His image in all that we do. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10).

d. A reflection of someone or something as in a mirror. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the tablets of stone, his face was so bright that he had to cover it when he was among the Israelites. Do others see God’s love reflected in me? James 3:17-18 paints a picture of what an honorable life can look like if we seek His Spirit:

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peace-makers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

When Jesus was born into this world, God provided the perfect example of living in His image. Sinless, Christ brought healing, forgiveness, and love wherever He went, and He taught spiritual truths along the way. He gave His life so that we could be changed by the Holy Spirit into image-bearers. By continually seeking His Spirit, we can become new each day—reflecting His image and sharing the Good News with others.

by Sue Longtin