The Bible makes the bold claim that God is the creator of all things. That He is the source of all life and the intelligent designer of everything we see around us. It unapologetically declares that He is all powerful and there is no one like Him.
We’re told that the creation of humanity was not accidental or incidental, but purposeful. We were created to “be like” God – made in His image and after His likeness and with the potential to be a true reflection of Him in every way.
We only have to look around us to see that humanity, as we see it, isn’t doing a great job of reflecting God. He is entirely perfect with unerring wisdom, justice and goodness. What we see is a broken world. A world full of social injustice, violence, selfishness and greed. Many people have no hope for the future and certainly no happiness in the present. The earth, God’s paradise, is unloved and uncared for by many. And while there are many examples of noble, charitable people who have lived and died, the history books overflow with the names and deeds of evil men and women.
Nothing God does is ever a mistake. Yet something did go wrong.
God’s purpose – to populate earth with people He could call His family, who were like him in every way – wasn’t to be achieved by coercion. From the very beginning, God established the principle of free choice. He wanted us to choose Him, to want to be like Him. He gave humanity the choice, and we chose wrong. We acted in a way completely foreign to God’s character. Motivated by pride and selfishness and driven by impatience, we chose to “make ourselves like God” on our terms, not His. This choice, the first act of sin in the world, brought about its awful consequence – mortality, and being driven from God’s presence in shame and disappointment.
God is loving and very patient, but He can’t tolerate sin. Neither can He ignore it. It goes against everything that He is. Humanity’s sinful condition is like a deep ravine gouging its way through the landscape of our life and it separates us from Him.
Yet God’s desire to be at one with us, to complete His purpose with humanity, was so intrinsic that He immediately put in place a plan to bridge that ravine, to heal the breach between Himself and His creation. He did not allow His purpose to be compromised by our choice. This extraordinary plan was revealed in His son, Jesus.
Because God is love. The greatest expression of His love was in “giving his son so that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16-18, New International Version.
Before we even knew about God, His plan to reach out to the world, in reconciliation and love, was already in place. Love is the grand summary of His profound and inspiring character; and love becomes the superior defining characteristic of anyone who wants to be like Him.
God has a plan for our lives, if we accept it. Turning from our old way of living, asking for forgiveness for our sins and choosing a new life in Jesus makes us part of His plan. This reconciles us with Him and empowers us to live whole and meaningful lives as part of His family, and part of His Story.