Know Who You Are and You Will Have Hope

When I was a kid my dad’s side of the family celebrated annual family reunions. At each reunion, some adult would come up to me and ask, “Now, who are you?” I gave the same answer each year. “I am Leon Hardin’s son.”

Do you know who you are? Not from some distant relative’s standpoint, rather, do you know who you are from God’s viewpoint? Knowing who you are in God’s eyes is the key to self-confidence, healthy self-esteem, and hope. Since God gave us the Holy Scriptures, we should ask, What does the Bible say about human beings?

You Have Been Made in God’s Image
Genesis 1:26 states, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.” When I was younger I often heard people say, “You are the spitting image of your mother.” (Those words were a Southern way of saying, You look like your mother.). To have been made in God’s image does not mean we look like God

In simplest terms, this awesome statement means God has built God-like qualities into us. For example, God is a creator. Humans can create things. God loves. Humans can love. God shows compassion. Humans show compassion. You get the idea.

The concept of being made in God’s image sets humans apart from all of God’s other creation. Never does the Bible say that dogs, trees, fish, bears, or any other of God’s creation have been made in His image. Only humans. This uniqueness gives us a special place in God’s created order. You and I really are the crowing act of God’s creation. This truth means we humans really are special to God.

You Have Been Given Free Will
Free will means the freedom to make your choices. God placed the first humans in the Garden of Eden with these words: “You may eat fruit from any tree in the garden, except one. If you eat from any fruit of that tree you will die” (Genesis 2:17).

God never made you a robot. Instead, God created you as a rational, thinking person. Each day you get to make choices about almost everything. That free will to make your own choices is a gift from God.

However, if your choices are not good ones you will suffer the consequences of your poor choices. The Bible calls our choices to go against God’s design “sin.” Those first humans made the choice to eat fruit from the forbidden tree. They were cast from the garden as a consequence of their disobedience toward God.

You Are a Sacred Person
“For you formed me in my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” says Psalm 139:13. In fact, all human life is sacred (revered, highly-esteemed, valuable) because God created humans. This great truth means your life has value to God. You are not a cog in a machine. You aren’t a primordial blob of something. God values you. He has purpose for your life. Your life really does have meaning.

Here’s another application of the sacredness of human life. Every person (regardless of race, ethnicity, or country of origin) has great value in God’s eyes. Here is one reason for celebrating diversity. God is so awesome that He made people from all over the world. And He loves them all deeply.

You Were Made to Have a Personal Relationship With God
Someone might ask, Why did God make me? The short answer is that God made you for His pleasure. Being created for God’s pleasure does not mean you were made to entertain God or provide Him with amusement. God is a creative Being, and it gives Him pleasure to create. God is a personal Being, and it gives Him pleasure to have other beings He can have a genuine relationship with.

How do you have a personal relationship with God? Remember that Bible word sin? Our sin creates a barrier between us and God. He is absolutely holy, and we are not. God made provision to remove the human barrier of sin through Jesus’ death on the cross. On that cross, Jesus took upon Himself the punishment we sinful humans deserve. Jesus made that sacrifice because He loves us so much. When you ask God to forgive your sins, and you trust what Jesus did for you on that cross, you experience what Christians call “salvation.” You have begun the joyful journey of a personal relationship with God.

Have you made the decision to turn from your sin and to trust Jesus for your salvation? Because God loves you, He began a rescue mission with one goal—that of saving human life from the awful consequences of sin. This venture, in which He has made an inestimable investment, seeks to restore what sin has destroyed.

This is the good news Christians call “the gospel.” And when you live for Jesus’ agenda, instead of live for sins’ agenda, you live with hope.

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