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MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD-GOODMORNING

by Ron Carlson

Christianity begins and ends with a spirit of intentionality. “In the beginning, God….” signals that an intelligent force acting on purpose sponsors all that we can see and know. Design, balance, and order witness to our logic that things hold together by a power greater than us.

Our inherent concept of beginnings testifies that our something didn’t come from nothing. Striving to gain the upper hand in an age of electronic disobedience persuades us that the One who keeps the stars in the air and our feet on the ground must know more about celestial engineering than the local scientists down the hall in research and design.

We know enough to know it’s a good thing that we are not in charge of the universe. We can thank more than our lucky stars that the Master Planner is not A.D.D., directionally challenged, or addicted to chocolate. Where would we be if The One who made it all forgot where He laid His keys or left the oven on? What if the sun forgot its morning appointment? What if the tides forgot to roll? What if the rains forgot to come? What if they forgot to go – again?

What if rhyme got crossways with reason? What if north met south without permission? What if the hummingbird couldn’t get a VISA and had to winter in Ontario? What if you were really lost in the cosmos and no One cared? What if your days weren’t numbered?

What if you had crawled from the slime pit without eyes to see, ears to hear, tongue to taste, nose to smell, and skin and hearts to feel? What would your world be like then? What if you were ill equipped to laugh, learn and love? What if you happened to happen before evolution got the bugs worked out? What if you were a bug, an ugly bug, with cockroaches as cousins and fire ants for neighbors? What if the universe decided to squish you?

What if you were anything but God’s kind intention?

From before the beginning until after the end, anything that is anything is solely dependent on God. There is but a single source. There is really no debate about the meaning of is, now is there? It is what it is and we are what we are because life is grounded in the Great I AM. God Is.

God is intentional, and since we are “made in His image,” we are the ultimate manifestation of His intention, and thus the objects of His intentional love. “God is love,” declares His Spirit, “and He first loved us!”

Love, by all accounts the universe’s premium expression, is intentional, and by design a verb. Love acts intentionally, without failure.
Perfect love became perfect intentionally when “God became flesh and dwelt among us.” He “acted on our behalf.”

Jesus is no accidental Savior. “Before the foundation of the world,” God purposed our salvation and completion in the missionary love of His eternal son. God didn’t make us for nothing.

Jesus willingly surrendered the power and glory of heaven and entered space and time as a space and time bound man on purpose and with purpose. Love demands God’s all and nothing less. Thank God that His loving will can’t be deterred!

We need the constant reminder that heaven and earth run on schedule and that life is anything and everything but random. God doesn’t make mistakes. He can’t err. Our Creator and Sustainer never bumbles, bungles, or blunders.

God is ultimately reasonable, though to us capricious characters, He is frequently misunderstood, misrepresented and misquoted. We often misdefine our own weaknesses and character faults as manufacturing defects, somehow trying to cover the tracks of our sin. We tumble deeper into denial with every round of the blame game. To realign ourselves with truth, we must first recognize and admit that we are the ones out of kilter. We offend God and His perfect creation with our rebellious unintentionality.

Words can only partially explain the attributes and ways of God. The best description that human tongues can produce regarding the nature of God is “perfect.” And since the human mind interprets reality in terms of comparison, our fallen understanding of “perfect” is warped. We simply can’ t grasp “God-perfect.”

When the opening lines of the Bible tell us that God surveyed His creation and pronounced it “good,” it is declaring all things “God-perfect.” And a major component of “God-perfect” is pure intentionality. God waited until the sixth day to forge His ultimate creation, and it was by divine design that humans are crafted in “the image of God.”
Make no mistake, we are no mistake. “Perfect” prevents miscues.

How you view your world and how you understand your origins dramatically affects the way you think and live. If you accept the false notion that you are without design and purpose, life is ultimately futile, and despair will surface as your only alternative. Conversely, if you embrace the great Biblical truth of creation, life finds meaning and you discover your true identity as a child of God constructed with eternity in mind.

The choice boils down to random selection or intelligent, intentional design. Which alternative best represents truth, reason and love?

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