Saturday, March 26, 2016

We all bear God's image, yet we are all broken.

We all bear God's image, yet we are all broken.

All of us.

A Google search tells me that there are around 4,200 religions in the world today. There are two things that members of each and every one have in common: We all bear God's image, yet we are all broken. All of us, and that includes us Christians. We are just as broken as any, however we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (1 John 2:1)

I saw a post on social media the other day that bothered me, and it has stuck with me since. The person who posted wrote that when they looked at Islam, they saw an enemy physically and spiritually, and then closed the post by saying that "Islam must be conquered and those who wish to live must renounce Islam! It is time to put the shoe on the other foot and run them back to the sand!" That was like a punch in the gut to me. This person professes Christ.

That post made me think about the book of Jonah. One of the themes of Jonah is that God's love is not just limited to "us" but also available for "them". It is not just Jonah who is the recipient of God's compassion, but also the pagan sailors and Ninevites. Jonah is unhappy that God saved the Ninevites. However, the pagan sailors, the ship's captain and the king of Nineveh all showed concern that no human beings should perish.

In the great commission, Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples of all nations. Not to run them "back to the sand" or to kill them if they don't renounce their religion. Fellow Christians, I urge you: if you meet someone of another faith, try to build a relationship with them, and share Jesus with them. That's what they need. They don't need our hate.

We all bear God's image, yet we are all broken. Members of every religion, as well as agnostics, and atheists are God's image bearers, and all deserve to know Jesus.  Will you show them love? Will you share the good news of Jesus Christ with them?
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 John 4:7-21)

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