Faith-Hope-Grace, Scripture Passages

“It was VERY Good” Genesis 1:26-31

26Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27 So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Reading Genesis 1 reminds me of the hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness…”Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided.” Surely this would be the foundational praise as God meticulously created every living thing. As He creates, He deems them as “good.”

It is not until we come to His final creation, Man, that He concludes with, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was VERY GOOD” (emphasis mine). Perhaps this is where we get that old saying, “save the best for last”? This is clearly speculation on my part. Nevertheless, Genesis 1:31 boasts of God’s love for His created beings. We are His “best for last.” He was pleased with all that He had created, but he rejoices when it came to man. We are “His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” Ephesians 2:10 (ESV).

Do you view yourself as God’s workmanship? Have you thought about the things which God gifted us? (vs. 28-30) Everything He created is ours to use for HIS Glory. We are uniquely created and infinitely blessed! It is because of this that we rejoice! Even in our trials we rejoice because He loves us that much that He is willing to draw us nearer to Him. The trials of life are opportunities to Glorify Him and grow or ignore Him and fall prey to our adversary. Which will you choose?

He created us in His image (imago Dei). No other part of Creation can claim this truth. We witness His hand in all of Creation but WE are the only created ones in His image. Let that sink in for a moment. How beautiful is this truth? Praise His Holy name! Commit to running toward Him instead of away from Him. 

You are His masterpiece created to bring Him Glory BECAUSE He loves us so. 

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Book Reviews

The Me I Want To Be by John Ortberg

The Me I want to Be by John Ortberg (2010) is a valuable resource for every individual. It is written in a light-hearted, conversational form, making it easy to digest the abundance of useful information. Throughout the text, the author shares real-life situations, making the material relatable, sometimes humorous, often convicting. You will discover yourself in the pages, people you know will come to mind, relationships that you engage in will be viewed slightly differently, and woven in between, challenges to become a better you. 

Among the many highlights is his ability to be genuine with the reader. With each page, you witness a humble servant who, like many, are striving toward Christlikeness. Practical personal assessments are provided throughout the book. One such assessment is unveiling “The Me I Don’t Want to Be” (p. 22). The author brings to light the different me in each of us; the one we pretend to be, think we should be, fail to be, and finally, the one we are meant to be. Assessing who we are is challenging but necessary to take part in transformation, where the inner self and character are being formed (p. 29). Further, the author encourages the reader to discover how you grow by examining desires, thoughts, and attitudes so that you can live in the flow of the Spirit to become “The Me I Want to Be” (Ortberg, 2010, p. 35).

Why does becoming a better you matter? Ortberg (2010) shares the idea that there is a battle between a flourishing self and a languishing self (p. 17). The goal of every Believer is to grow more and more into His image. This task is indeed challenging and laborious. Paul writes about the process in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (ESV). There will be things about yourself that you did not realize has taken up residence in your heart, or maybe you did but did not want to face the challenge of dealing with it. Ortberg (2010) lays out a plan of action in discovering your attitudes, desires, and hopes.

To become the person God wants, you must realize that working out problems and overcoming challenges is part of the process (p. 247). In Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV), Paul reminds followers of Christ to lay aside the old self; “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Becoming the person God intends will allow you to flourish personally and will ultimately benefit the Body of Christ and unbelievers.