You Were Made for This

YOU WERE MADE FOR THIS
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Who are you surrounding yourself with? Look at your three closest friends, and you’ll get a picture of who you are likely becoming. Do they look like Jesus? Do they reflect the heart of the Father? Do they help stir up your passion for the gospel? We all have a deep need to love and be loved in return. Simply stated: we need each other. But did you know that our desire to be in healthy community is actually one of the ways we reflect the image of God?

In the poem of creation, we hear God say, “’Let us make man in our image, in our likeness’… So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.” (Gen. 1:26a, 27)

Who is this “us” God is talking about? Well, we worship a triune God- that is, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Trinity is displayed throughout the scriptures showing that the God of the Universe exists in three distinct persons. No single one is any more or any less God. In fact, as they exist together in community, they help bring into focus who God really is and how He wants to relate to us. But it doesn’t stop there. Since we were made in His image, it also tells us how He intends for us relate to one another.

Jesus’ baptism gives us a picture of how the Trinity relates and delights in one another. As we study the dynamic of the community of the Trinity, we find clues about how we can live full and fulfilling lives here and now.

The Father

First, God is love. Throughout eternity, the Father has always loved the Son. So now we find life by loving and celebrating others- before they give us reason, even when they don’t deserve it. In the same way, when we choose to love freely without making people earn it, we come alive in our divine purpose.

When we choose to love freely without making people earn it, we come alive in our divine purpose.
The Son

Jesus is an extension of the Father’s heart here on earth. He said, “Anyone who has seen me, has seen the Father.” (John 14:9) He was the perfect demonstration of the Father’s love, and while He is no doubt the greatest human example we will ever find of how to love fully, one of the greatest lessons I have learned from Jesus is how to be loved well. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.” In the same way that we cannot fully love others until we know the love of God, Jesus was able to love at a level that compelled Him to live and give His very life for the most undeserving of people because He knew at His very core that He was loved by His Father. Jesus was the beloved of the Father. His very identity is wrapped up in receiving love. It was from that understanding of His identity that He was able to endure and become the greatest love mankind has ever seen. Since His identity was rooted in perfect love, He was able to live fearlessly- loving everyone uniquely and without reservation- knowing that no act of humility, kindness, honor, or sacrifice (no matter how underserved or seemingly unseen) was ever wasted.

The Holy Spirit

While it seems fairly obvious how we can mirror Jesus in our daily lives, understanding how we reflect the Holy Spirit can sometimes feel a bit more intangible. How do we connect with this Spirit? Is the Holy Spirit just the “feels” of this operation? Is the Holy Spirit just a force or experience that is occasionally felt in a moment of worship or revelation of the Word? I submit that if we reduce the Holy Spirit down to anything other than an equal person of the godhead, we have cheapened the reality of who the God of the Universe really is. The Holy Spirit is the one who shares God’s very life with us.

 
“The life the Spirit gives is not an abstract package of blessing; it is his own life that he shares with us, the life of fellowship with the Father and the Son. Thus the Spirit is not like some divine milkman, leaving the gift of “life” on our doorsteps only to move on. In giving us life, he comes in to be with us and remain with us. Having once given life, then, he does not move on; he stays to make that life blossom and grow.” Michael Reeves
 

So we, as believers filled with the Spirit of God, reflect His nature when we awaken those around us to the new life available to them through Christ. When we lovingly encourage one another to blossom and grow into ones who look more like Jesus with every passing day. When we connect people with the fiery passion that the Creator of the Universe has for them. To live a life reflecting the Holy Spirit is to live as one who is fully connected with the heart of the Father, fully captured by the gift of grace through Jesus, and fully engaged in igniting fires that burn passionately for God in the hearts of others.

I have a friend who displays of the Heavenly Father’s heart with the most accuracy I’ve ever seen here on earth. He is constantly identifying potential in me. Things that I can’t see for myself, he reminds me that they are there just under the surface. He is always encouraging and constantly believing in me. That experience has left me changed. You see, a friendship that reflects the nature of God doesn’t just empower you, it marks you. It compels you to love people with that same passion and will ultimately transform you into someone who loves like Jesus. And that’s a love that can’t be contained once you experience it.

Go the Extra Mile:
  1. Think of ways you can reflect the nature of God with your people today.
  2.  Learn more about the Trinity by reading the book, Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves.

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