Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the animals, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Genesis 1:26-27 (HCSB)
I have been blessed to be able to travel some and see the Rocky Mountains, the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and a Missouri field filled with ripe wheat and corn. Iâ€™ve lived in a home that seemed to be strategically placed in the path of the cardinalsâ€™ migration and watched then fly across my lawn like small streaking red flags. I have stood on the shore and watch dolphins jump and flip on waves that sparkled like diamonds in the sun. Iâ€™ve seen a waterfall inside a cave that comes from an undiscovered river and flows on to an undiscovered place. And yet none of these â€˜wondersâ€™ is made in Godâ€™s image. It is only in us that He put something of Himself. He gave us choice.
The LORD God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Genesis 2:15-17 (HCSB)
From the very beginning, God gave us a choice to obeyâ€¦or not to obey. He gave us a choice to loveâ€¦or not to love. Being God He knew all that would be. And He had a plan. From the beginning, He loved us with a perfect Fatherâ€™s love. Only a blood sacrifice with only the perfect Lamb would make the perfect atonement for our sin of disobedience. Nothing less would be enough.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â John 1:1-14 (HCSB)
Jesus was God in the flesh. Jesus was in the Garden when I became the image of God. He was there when that â€¦something called â€˜choiceâ€™ was placed inside of me. Jesus was there when I made the choice to reject Him. He was there when I made the choice to accept Him and for the time between. His Spirit has been working inside of me since that time to continue to make choices of obedience and slap me on the back of the head when I turn towards disobedience. From beginning to end God has been there and continues to be there just for me. That is a true story of eternity. It is what fills me with Hope.