(By Thor Knutstad)
Many people come to me throughout the day for counsel and advice. They want answers and they desire to be fixed or have their situation and context changed. But what they really want is courage and comfort. They want encouragement and affirmation of what the Spirit of God is already doing inside of them and outside of their situation. They are not looking for answers, though they often would disagree. They want to be known - really known - and understood in their human souls on deeper levels. This craving exists not in weakness but mainly in being an Image Bearer. You are an Image Bearer of God. We all are.
My sons are image bearers of me. They are unlike me yet quite a lot like me in many, many ways. They bear my image and my nature, though they are uniquely designed and created by God. They do resemble me- they look like me and sometimes even act like me- Lord help them. I want my children to KNOW me - to see my faults, my struggles, my strengths, my desires and the very being of my heart. This reveals who I am but also gives them the inner edge of knowing who they are as well. It is the genius of a Father's Grand Design- we are more like Him (yes, God) than unlike Him. Are we sinners? Absolutely. Mini self serving sovereigns? Sometimes. Desperately in need of Christ's saving work? Fully! But also, we are Princes and Princesses of the King. As honored sons and daughters, He is our inheritance and we will reign with Him. We are Royalty. We wear those crowns and robes.
Dear friends, don't condemn or accuse yourself with this biblically assumed fact that is oft overlooked- You are God's Child, His Offspring. Man- His ruddy and handsome son. Woman- His beautiful and decorated daughter. Simply stated and with simple meaning. If you have children or love children or love a child (all of you!), then you know the heart of your Father, our Glorious God. He made you to bear His Image. Why? Because it's really who you are already anyway. You are His Image.
He's just showing you what's already there and will stop at nothing to make you and me look more like His Son, King Jesus. It's right when you think you look just like Him that you hover near legalism and being a Pharisee - one who stands above another sinful Image bearer brother or sister and says, "Thank God I'm not like him (or her)." I'd rather you and I be the chest-beating, honest sinners who crave The Image but daily cower before our great God asking for mercy because we are moving toward His Image; His Image requires and demands it. Shepherd well your ambassadorship, oh dear Princess and Prince. The King is not so interested in you earning a crown but in showing you that you already wear it and resemble Him and bear the mark of His Holy name. Just like my hand holds the one of my son Bryn, so His (my Lord God's) firmly holds mine- and yours, too. Praise Him.