This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted." John 3:16-18a The Message
When God says He made us in His image, He doesn't mean we look like Him. Just take a look at the writers down the side of this website. Do we look alike? So how can we all look like God?
No, when He made us in His image, He made us like Him, with the ability to think and reason, to plan and orchestrate, and above all, the ability to be creative. However, where God created the universe out of nothing, we need to use existing material to create new articles.
As writers, we use existing words and letters and probably a computer. Carpenters use wood and tools. Artists produce beautiful pictures with paints and brushes. Dressmakers create clothing out of material using a sewing machine.
When God created us women, He gave us a special nurturing instinct, so that we could be good wives, mothers, aunts, daughters and friends. When He created men, He gave them the desire to lead and protect their families and be responsible for those around him. He made us "in his image" yet different. He also gave us a desire to give to others. Many of us love making things for those whom we love. We want the article to say to them, "I love you. You're special."
Sometimes, especially if the recipient is far away and we have to post the card or gift, we wonder if it will really be appreciated. Will our loved one realise it is special because we made it ourselves? Or will they give it a mere glance and throw it to one side? If only we could stick ourselves in the envelope, or wrap ourselves with the gift, so that we could personally deliver the message.
Over 2,000 years ago, our Creator God did just that. He sent us a special message, and He sent it with a gift.
The message? "I love you!"
The gift? His only Son, Jesus Christ.
A few people accept The Gift, and allow Him to transform their lives. But sadly, many take one glance and reject both the gift and the message.
God's Son was a very special person and lived a perfect life—yet He had no home of His own. His friends left Him when He needed them most. He was ridiculed, beaten, and killed in a dreadful way. Why on earth did He go through this? The Bible tells us He did it because of God's love for us. He did it because we are special to Him.
This year, as you prepare for Christmas, think about how much God loves you. As you spend time getting your gifts "just right," see how God works to make your life "just right" too. As you put your final touches to your gifts and step back with a sense of satisfaction, picture God's reaction when He made you. He stood back, and He said, "They are good. They are very good."
As you buy or make gifts in preparation for Christmas this year, remember the gift and message God sent you, and accept it with all your heart.
PRAYER: Lord, thank you for your amazing creation. Thank you for making me a part of it. Thank you for the gifts you have given to me. Most of all, thank you for the gift of Jesus. Help me to accept that gift, and always to remember that I am special in the eyes of my creator. Amen.
SHIRLEY CORDER lives in South Africa with her husband, a hyperactive budgie called Sparky, and an ever expanding family of tropical fish. She is contributing author to nine books to date and her book, Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer is due for release in the USA in 2012. Hundreds of her inspirational and life-enrichment articles have been published internationally. You can contact Shirley through her writing website, her Rise and Soar cancer site, or follow her on Twitter.