God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
When her beautiful brown skin started losing its color, a young woman felt frightened, as if she were disappearing or losing her “self.” With heavy makeup, she covered up “my spots,” as she called them—patches of lighter skin caused by a condition called vitiligo. It’s a loss of skin pigment, melanin, which gives skin its tone.
Then one day, she asked herself: Why hide? Relying on God’s strength to accept herself, she stopped wearing heavy makeup. Soon she began gaining attention for her self-confidence. Eventually she became the first spokesmodel with vitiligo for a global cosmetics brand.
“It’s such a blessing,” she told a TV news host, adding that her faith, family, and friends are the ways she finds encouragement.
This woman’s story invites us to remember that we each are created in God’s image. “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). No matter what we look like on the outside, all of us are image-bearers of God. As His created persons, we reflect His glory; and as believers in Jesus we are being transformed to represent Him in the world.
Do you struggle to love the skin you’re in? Today, look in the mirror and smile for God. He created you in His image.
Reflect & Pray
What’s more important to you—how people see you or if they see God in you? What are ways you can represent His image to others?
Help me accept how You’ve made me, Creator God. Reign in my heart so others can see You in me.
This world is impressed with numbers. Businesses aim for increased sales and customer base; politicians vie for more supporters; and even churches continually want attendance to grow. But Jesus was never impressed with the crowds that followed Him, because He knew what was in their hearts (John 6:64).
The events in today’s passage took place after Jesus had miraculously fed a multitude. As a result, more people paid attention to Him, but when He claimed some difficult truths, many just as quickly abandoned Him.
- Jesus told them not to seek Him for benefits in this life but to come to Him for eternal life (John 6:26-27).
- He asserted that the Father sent Him to give life (John 6:28-36).
- Jesus claimed He would resurrect all those whom the Father gives Him (John 6:37-45).
- He professed to be the only one who had seen the heavenly Father (John 6:46).
- Jesus said He would give His body and blood for those who believe in Him (John 6:47-55).
- He stated that only those who accept Him will have eternal life (John 6:56-58).
In essence, Jesus was claiming to be God and the only way of salvation. But verse 66 says “many of His disciples withdrew” as a result of this challenging message. We see the same phenomenon today. Many people are drawn to Jesus because they want a better life but quickly fall away because His exclusive truth claims seem offensive. According to Jesus, the solution is not to water down the message but to speak the truth boldly and trust God to open hearts.
“What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.” (Psalm 116:12-13)
Here is a remarkable question and answer. To everyone born into the world, God has given multitudes of benefits. “He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25). Some receive more than others, but all receive many, so the question is what we should do for the Lord in return. The answer is simply to receive His great gift of eternal salvation!
On one occasion the people of Capernaum asked Jesus: “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” His answer must be profoundly surprising to anyone who believes that he can please God and earn salvation by doing good works. “This is the work of God,” said Jesus, “that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:28-29).
The truth is we can never pay for our sins by good deeds. If one is ever to be saved from his sins and to obtain salvation, it must be received solely by faith in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. “For the wages of sin is death,” but “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” so that “the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many” and—in the words of our text above—“whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 6:23; 5:8; 5:15; 10:13).
Therefore, when a repentant sinner calls in faith on the wonderful name of our gracious Lord, he drinks of the healing cup of salvation and receives everlasting life. Because Jesus drank the bitter cup of God’s righteous judgment on our sins, we can drink deeply of the “living water. . . . springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:10-14), and we can say with the psalmist: “My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever” (Psalm 23:5-6). HMM
The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
All of the examples that we have in the Bible illustrate that glad and devoted and reverent worship is the normal employment of moral beings. Every glimpse that is given us of heaven and of God’s created beings is always a glimpse of worship and rejoicing and praise because God is who He is.
The apostle John in Revelation 4:10-11 gives us a plain portrayal of created beings around the throne of God….
I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven. WHT013
Lord, please don’t let me ever become bored with worship! I pray that You might enhance my vision of Your glory and draw me into heartfelt worship. Amen.
That ye may be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God.—2 Thessalonians 1:5.
Fear not, for He hath sworn,
Faithful and true His name;
The glorious hours are onward borne,
‘T is lit, th’ immortal flame;
It glows around thee; kneel, and strive, and win
Daily one living ray—’twill brighter glow within.
Count that day lost (though thou mayest have dispatched much business therein) in which thou hast neither gained some victory over thine own evil inclinations and thy self-will, nor returned thanks to thy Lord for His mercies.
Between dawn and dark there is time enough for the collisions of disinterestedness with selfishness in our dealings with our fellow-creatures, in the life of our own homes; time enough to meet or to evade the demands of homely faithfulness in our several work, time enough to confront the sturdy rebellion of passions and besetting sins against our spiritual nature, time enough to win or to lose heaven in.
Henry Wilder Foote
It is no small matter to lose or to gain the Kingdom of God.
Thomas Á Kempis.
“For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.” Nahum 1:13
The Assyrian was allowed for a season to oppress the Lord’s people, but there came a time for his power to be broken. So, many a heart is held in bondage by Satan, and frets sorely under the yoke. Oh, that to such prisoners of hope the word of the Lord may come at once, according to the text, “Now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder”!
See! the Lord promises a present deliverance: “Now will I break his yoke from off thee.” Believe for immediate freedom, and according to thy faith SO shall it be unto thee at this very hour. When God saith “now,” let no man say “tomorrow.
See how complete the rescue is to be; for the yoke is not to be removed, but broken; and the bonds are not to be untied, but burst asunder. Here is a display of divine force which guarantees that the oppressor shall not return. His yoke is broken, we cannot again be bowed down by its weight. His bonds are burst asunder, they can no longer hold us. Oh, to believe in Jesus for complete and everlasting emancipation! “If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Come, Lord, and set free thy captives, according to thy word.