Love in the Image of God
Love in the Image of God
There is an old saying that says it is better to have loved and lost than never loved at all. Some may debate this saying but as for myself I would agree with it. I grew up in a loveless home; there was no open expression of love of any type. The only time my mother gave me a hug was the day I nearly choked to death, not a nice feeling I assure you. However when it all settled down my mother gave me a quick hug and then said, “Run along and do your work”. Affection was something very foreign to me and as I grew I longed for some affection or just to be noticed.
This lack of affection can and does have many everlasting effects on people. As a teenager I longed for affection. I was introduced to the Lord and heard many stories about Yeshua but was never taught about His love, a love that passes all understanding [John 14:27] and a love that stretches to the heavens. [1 John 3:1] The love that is missing from many lives in the world today.
We hear many stories of children abandoned by a parent and end up making the wrong decisions in life. They end up on drugs and such like and or in prison all because they longed for attention that they never received. A child is born and we look upon the baby with such wonder and love and with such high hopes for their future, but their future can be torn from them by a simple negative act of a parent, a teacher or even a friend. I suffered for years from rejection as my mother rejected me even into adulthood. Whether they are a boy or a girl, we all need to know we are loved. A kiss goodnight, a hug and a word of ‘I love you and I am proud of you’, goes a long way in the self-esteem we all need to feel as we walk through this life. We need to create memories with our children while they are children because they have soon grown and we miss the chance to do so. This is what our Father in Heaven has done, He has created memories for all of mankind through His Word and promises and His actions. [1 John 5:9]
Our earthly father may fail to say I love you and our mother may fail to do the same. However we have a Father in heaven who will never leave us or forsake us and who demonstrated His love through Yeshua. [1 Kings 8:57] A love that can over come all things, a love that those who have never experienced this love cannot understand. [2 Corinthians 4:4] But once touched by this love, lives make dramatic changes as I can give testimony to. Unloved as a child but then I came to experience the love of God that removed all the hurt of those years in an instant. [Jude 1:21]
We as parents can't stand back and say I love my family by taking them to this or that or this event or show. All good but children long for that special touch or special word that can only come from a parent. God, the Father of all [Ephesians 4:6] has showed love and understanding down through the ages. Then came the cross, a father does all he can for his children and when they ask for bread will He give them a stone? [Matthew 7:9] He keeps us fed not by ignoring us but by doing all he can to keep us well and safe. Our Heavenly Father does just that, He supplies all our needs, He clothes us, feeds us, protects us and saves us from ourselves. This He did when Yeshua said is there a lesser price to pay for the salvation of the people of the World. The Father answered, I love the people so much this is what has to be done for you. [Luke 22:42]
Do we love our children the same? Would we do what the Father did so they could live? We may do, but as parents we see little fault in our offspring, but God saw our sin as he did in the time of Noah, [Genesis 7:1] and we all know what happened then. Now it was not a time to destroy but to rescue and rescue us all He did from ourselves. [Romans 5:8] This is the true Father of the Bible the One in whose image we are made. The one who loves unconditionally, so why can't we live the same? God is love, [1 John 4:16] He loves you and He loves me and he showed this on the Cross. Time is short as we are here for just a moment [Psalm 39:4] so we need to start showing the type of love God showed us.
We are made in the image of God so we could have physical life. Then God took on our image so He could take our punishment and He could only do this if He came like us, flesh and blood. He became fully human to become our High Priest and make atonement for our sins, so we could have true life forever. [Hebrews 2:14-18] This is the Father who replaced the father I never had but was always there, waiting for me to reach out to Him. When I did I saw the arms stretched out saying “This is how much I love you.” [John 3:16] Arms held in place by huge Roman nails and in pain we cannot even start to imagine, He cried out to the Father in Heaven, “Forgive them they know not what they do” [Luke 23:34]
We are made in the image of this Father who showed us what true love is when He did not have to. [John 10:15] It is this love that changes lives and gives a hope for the future here and now and the future to come. [Proverbs 23:18] It is this type of love we have inherited from our Heavenly Father and it is this love we should show to our own children, no matter what. Children throughout the world, who have no father and or no mother, are crying out for the love of a parent. So if a child has two parents surely they must know such love, feel the hugs and feel so secure in the family as we do when we become part of the family of God. [Ephesians 2:19]
This is why I feel so secure as a child of God, [John 1:12] His love is always there His love is always on display and I know I can talk and rely on Him at all times. His Word is truth [Psalm 33:4] as our word to our children should be the same. We all require security and it comes in knowing Yeshua who took our punishment, this gives us all a place in His Kingdom through a new and living way and that way is the cross. [Hebrews 10:20] So then living within this love we can:
Love the Lord thy God with all your heart mind body and spirit, this is the first and greatest commandment and the second is love your neighbour as yourselves. All the law of God rests on these two commandments. Matthew 22:37-38.