Genesis 1:27 (ESV)
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
How do we know if what we go through as Christians is really worth it? Is it really worth it to battle to save a difficult marriage? Is it really worth it to pay thousands of dollars to go overseas and care for orphans? Is it really worth it to deny your children the experiences that some other kids have? Is it really worth it to give away 10% or more of your income? Is it really worth it to center your life on worship?
No, it’s not worth it. Not at all. Unless… Unless God is real, unless Genesis 1:27 is true, unless Jesus really did die for our sins, it is not worth it at all.
Genesis 1:27 tells us that God created us in his image. An image is a picture. One thing that it means when the Bible tells us that God created us in his image is that he created us to be little pictures of what he is like. You and I exist to demonstrate to the watching world around us what Jesus is like.
Why is it worth it to battle to save a crumbling marriage? It is worth it, not because God promises you everything will be OK, but because God created you to look like Jesus. When you sacrifice for the good of another, you look like Jesus. When you battle to hold your marriage together even when the other person is not doing what he or she should be, you look like Jesus. When you forgive someone who does not deserve it but who simply asks for it in repentance, you look like Jesus. God made you for the purpose of looking like Jesus, and that is what makes fighting for your marriage worth it.
The reason it is worth it to spend money to fly to a foreign country to care for orphans or play soccer with street children is because it looks like Jesus. When you sacrifice, leaving your comfortable home to show love and mercy to others, you look like Jesus. When you put your safety at risk to take the message of God’s Kingdom to the lost, you look like Jesus. No, missions is not worth it, unless God is real. Since God is real, and since he calls us to show the world what he is like, missions is totally worth it.
Do you see the point? Nothing we do as Christians is worth it if Jesus is not alive and if we are not made in God’s image. However, everything God calls us to do is totally worth it if he is real and if Jesus is risen. Focusing on worship of the living God magnifies Jesus. Giving away our money, our time, our “normal” life experiences, even our lives looks like Jesus. Looking like Jesus is what God made us for. Looking like Jesus will fill our souls with the joy of doing what we were created to do. Looking like Jesus is worth whatever it costs.
Lord, I thank you that I know this day that you are real. Your presence, your reality, your promises are all that make living in this sin-fallen world worth it. I know you called me to show others what you are like. I know you made me in your image. I ask that you help me, weak as I am, to show others the love of Jesus. Help me to do what you made me for. Help me have the joy of living the life you created me to live.