Divine Gifts

Today's devotion comes to us from Franklin "Zip" Long.  This was included in the devotional guide, "A Generous Life," which we read as a congregation a few years ago.

_________________________

Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them; 
male and female he created them.
 
(Genesis 1:26-27 NRSV)

What does it mean to be created in God’s image? What does being made in God’s likeness have to do with being generous?

While donors have their own personal reasons for giving, there are some common themes:

  •  A young couple eagerly participates in a Habitat build once a month: “We wanted to give back.”
  •  A successful businesswoman talks about a major gift to her church: “I’m paying it forward.”
  •  A skilled and committed teacher explains why he works hard, more than fifty hours every week with middle schoolers: “I wanted to respond to the blessings I received.”

The writer of 1 John put it clearly, “We love because God first loved us” (4:19 CEB). In keeping with that sentiment, the first chapter of Genesis would suggest that we give because God first gave to us.

To be human, made in God’s image, is a wonderfully positive identity! However, to be made to love and give like God seems counter to the chronic cynicism of our society and even sometimes our own self-image. But this is how the Bible begins: “In the beginning God ...” and within the first chapter, “Let us make humankind in our image ...” (Genesis 1:1, 26 NET).

All creation is given light, water, air, and land. The birds and fish and animals. The seas and mountains, valleys and rivers. Our bodies and minds, hearts and souls. They are all a Divine Gift.

And in some mysterious way, we were put here to tend and care for this incredible world, made in the image of God. We give because God first gave to us.

- Franklin “Zip” Long

Reflection
When you look in the mirror, can you say, “I am born in the image of God, created to be loving and generous”? What are the greatest gifts in your life? What abilities, talents, relationships, and accomplishments have come your way?

Challenge
Place a sticky note on your mirror and every morning say to yourself, “I am born in the image of God, created to be loving and generous.”

No Comments


Recent

Archive

 2021

Categories

no categories

Tags

100 Bill Anger Authentic Bible Body of Christ Brigantine Beach Broken world COVID Centered Changed Charlie Brown Child of God Chosen people Christian Education Comfortable Denominations Dimock PA Discipleship Discipline Doubt Faith Following Jesus Generosity Gifts of the Spirit Giving God at work God is Love God's Glory God's call God's creation God's economy God's face God's first words God's leading God's light God's love God's plan God's presence God's story God's timing God's voice God's ways God's way God's will be done God's will God's word God\'s Glory God\'s face God\'s first words God\'s leading God\'s light God\'s love God\'s presence God\'s story God\'s will be done God\'s will God\'s word God\\\'s leading God\\\'s love God\\\'s story God\\\\\\\'s love God\\\\\\\'s story God\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s story Godhead God Grandparents Day Grandparents Hands and feet of Jesus Hearing God Holiness Holy Spirit Jealous Jesus Loves Me Jesus is Lord Jesus the healer Jesus John Wesley Justice Kingdom life Kingdom of God Knowing God Laughter Light of the world Living Word Lord and God Lord Love One Another Made new Mesa Newness of life Norms Obey PPE Peanuts Psalm 130 Psalm 91 Radical Transformation Recreate Refreshed Rock Sabbath Sanctified Satan Saul Savior Seeing God Shalom Soulmate Spirit of God Standing before God Stumbling Sunday School Testify The Church The Gospel of Jesus Christ The Great Commission The family of God The new people of God The people of God Transformation Trinity Truth in love Truth Unconditional love VBS Values Voice of God Weary Worship Written word abundance action affirmation air anchor answered prayer anxiety arguing arguments armor ask God asking God assurance attentive awe b r e a t h e baptism be ready be strong believe birds born again born from above bread of life bright broken call to ministry calm camp meeting caretakers celebrate character children of God choice choir choosing church comfort commandments community compassion confession conversation with God creation decision defending God dependent depression depths devotions direction discouraged disney distractions diversity divided do no harm dream big dream empowered enjoy equality eternal life evangelism evidence examine excuses expectations expecting God experience failure faint faithful fear fellowship finding God finding Jesus focus follow through forgiveness free from sin free will freedom gathered giving God the glory goals godly good neighbor good news good works grace grief grieving guidance happiness hard hate healing helpless help hide and seek holy living holy hope humility hunger ice cream image of God infinite worth injustice intentional intercesor intervene intimate joy justify knowing Jesus knowledge learning letting go life in the Kingdom life lightning light listening living together living looking for God love God love neighbor love of God love self love loving God loving Jesus loving others mature meaning meditate meditation mercy ministry miracles miserable mission mistakes motivation murmuration music neighbors new begging new life ocean olympics overcome overflowing partnering pass it on pay no attention peace persecuting Jesus perseverance persistence power praise pray big pray for students prayer praying predestination prepare priorities proclaim promises of God pure purity purpose real deal reconciliation recreated redeeming redeem refining refuge rejection rejoice relationship remember repent rescue response rest resurrection revelation righteousness risk rules sacrifice salvation sanctification scarcity school scripture searching seeking God self-assessment self-care selfish selfless servant servent service set apart share shine brightly shine simple simplicity simplify sinners sinner sin solitude spending time with Jesus spiritual disciplines spiritual exercises spiritual gifts spiritual growth spiritual health spirituality start over status quo stewardship steward storms stress struggle students success suffering teaching temptation test thankfulness thanksgiving the great commandments the sky the unknown thunder time with God tired together transfiguration troubles trust in God trust understanding unexpected united methodist church value victory vision waiting on God walking with God wear out welcome wisdom witness wonder worries worry your story