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Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verses are Genesis 1:1 and 26-31, where the Bible says, 

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…26 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.”27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” ….  30….And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.


A pastor related a story in one of his sermons about Norman Vincent Peale, the author of The Power of Positive Thinking. When Peale was in Hong Kong, he noticed a tattoo studio on a twisted little street. In the window were displayed quite an assortment of tattoos that were available – flags, anchors, mermaids, and so many others. But one tattoo that had three small words really hit him hard with sadness. It read, “Born to lose.” Peale went into the shop and asked the tattoo artist if anyone really had those sad words tattooed on their body. The tattoo artist said, “Yes, sometimes.” Peale replied, “I just can’t believe that anyone in his right mind would do that.” The Chinese man simply tapped his forehead and said in broken English, “Before tattoo on body, tattoo in mind.”[1] However, knowing that we have inherent value in the most important eyes of all, those of God, can sometimes protect us even from ourselves.

The Founding Fathers of the United States of America decided to initiate a polity, a whole system of government, based on the notion that the inherent dignity of human beings individually is due to their being created by God. For example, Benjamin Franklin said, “Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.”[2] They believed that the civil liberties of every citizen in this country were dependent on the notion that every person had an inherent self-worth as created by God not one conferred upon individuals by the state. Every decision of government was to undergird that notion. And free, religious people who understood that dignity had a responsibility to live their lives honoring the One who created them, serving others freely in His Name. Pretty amazing.

But here’s the thing. The truth of your inherent dignity is deeper than your own self-awareness. The truth of people’s inherent dignity is even deeper than a whole country’s dedication to such a notion. The truth of a person’s inherent dignity is founded on the truth that God is indeed part of your life from beginning to end. Not only does your temporal liberty depend on it, so does your eternal freedom. Why? In the case of your eternal liberty, the very Word through whom God created all that exists became human in the person of Jesus, who is God’s Word made flesh (John 1:1-3, 14). Jesus then lived, died, and rose again so that you could live forever with Him in perfect freedom. That is an amazing thing to receive and to share. It also provides an amazing way to live life now and forever, freely, in God’s Name and for others. Wouldn’t you agree?

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, we thank You for the gift of liberty that we have because of Your work in this world. You have given us both the liberty that sustains us day to day, and the liberty that is ours in You for eternity. Give us wisdom and courage to put our freedoms to work in service to others so that we may honor Your Name in all things. AMEN.




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