The Initiator of Relationships
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1.26-27 ESV)
You’ve heard the saying “big things come in small packages.” This is true of the two verses that summarize the work of God in the Bible’s first chapter. There is no way to completely unpack these verses in the space we’re limited to on this website. But let’s talk about this: God is relational, and we’re created in His image for relationship.
Do you see the “us” and “our” in the passage? According to theologians explaining the Doctrine of the Trinity, this sentence describes the essence of our Creator as “being-in-communion.” It’s a description of God the Father in relationship with God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Details in the next chapter of Genesis reveal a need for relationship in the creation of the first man and woman. One verse says: “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.'” (Gen 2.18 ESV) The man is incomplete without the woman. “It is not good,” the verse says. It’s the only thing in creation so far that is not good. We are created to be in relationship, both with God and with one another.
Here’s the bad news: an attempt to take destiny into their own hands produces tragic results in Chapter 3. Relationship between the Man and Woman are broken as well as the relationship between Humans and God. Relationships have been shattered ever since. We’re incomplete.
God has been at work ever since putting relationship with mankind, Himself, and each other back together. Here’s where you come in, missionary friend. Ever since your relationship with God was restored, you’ve sensed His invitation to include you in His relationship-restoration project. This is Redemption.
Missionaries are making the Name of Jesus famous throughout the world because people are incomplete without God and without each other. God is the initiator of the Redemption Project. All through the Old and New Testaments we see God taking the initiative to seek us out, repair our relationships, and then include us in bringing the people around us into relationship with Him too.
So here’s the big question: How do relationships in the part of the world you influence look? Redeemed? In need of redemption? Or somewhere in the process? Among all of the tasks we find ourselves doing, sometimes this one – the main task – gets lost. What will it take to move this task back to top priority? Pause after reading this and think about it. Talk about it with the team you’re a part of and evaluate what needs to be adjusted to get this task on goal.