Are We Looking?

Let me exhort you toward something very simple. This is intuitive. Things that we are clear about are things that we are confident in, and things that we are confident in lead to action.

So clarity begets confidence and confidence begets action. We understand this.

I actually had some notes about this to share in my notebook until I lost it this past week. Here’s the story: I have this black notebook that I’m always jotting things down in, and I had left in my study one day while I was at work. I got home and couldn’t find it. Which was no big deal until I looked for it a few things I thought it might be and still couldn’t find it. So at that point, I am moderately nervous, I have some stuff in there I need. So I go and try to recruit some help from the kids since I suspected they had been in my study and moved it. And in order to recruit the help, of course, I have to kind of raise the stakes. So I said, “Okay, everyone. It is really important that we find my notebook because it has some things in it that I was planning to say on Sunday.” And we looked a little more and still didn’t find it, and then by seven-year-old says, “Dad, look, it’s okay. I know what you should say on Sunday. Tell them we are made in the image of God.”

I eventually found my notebook, and when I finally sat down with it at my desk I realized that she was exactly right. Now, I don’t know why she said that, but she is right. That is what I should say to you this morning. Humans are made in the image of God.

And that is clear to us in Scripture. Genesis 1:26, God says let us make man in our image and in our likeness. Genesis 9:6 tells us, “God made man in his own image.” James 3:9 says that people are made in the likeness of God.

This is clear for us in Scripture. And therefore, we are confident that this is what determines the dignity of human beings. We are made in the image of God, and if humans are made in the image of God it does not matter what color of skin you have, or how little you are. Your worth as a human being is not found in your ethnic background, and it’s not found in your age or the contributions you might be able to make to society. Our dignity as human beings is because we are created in the image of God, which is true whether we are red, yellow, black, or white, and whether we are 18-years-old and entering college or 88-years-old shut inside a nursing home or 8-weeks-old sharing space with our mom. Our dignity is found in the image of God. And because that is clear, and because we have this confidence, we stand against racism and abortion.

Tomorrow marks the day when we celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., and of all the progress he led, after the past six months, we all know that we have such a long ways to go as a culture and a country. And then on Thursday is the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade, the supreme court decision that legalized abortion on demand in America. Since that decision there have been millions of babies killed in our country, and millions more confused into thinking that that is a good thing.

Racism is wicked. Abortion is wicked. Both defy the fact of human dignity. And because we have clarity there, and confidence, we more into action. We stand against both. We act against both. Or do we? See, the problem is that we don’t always connect this clarity, confidence, and action. And, in fact, sometimes we prefer for things to stay hazy for us because we don’t want the responsibility to do something. It’s like sometimes we are on the Jericho road, and we see, maybe, off in our periphery, a person laying there beaten and robbed, but we don’t turn and look at the person because if we do we’ll feel a responsibility to go help them. My question today, as we enter a time of confession and repentance, is: is there something right now that we aren’t looking at because we don’t want the clarity that leads to confidence that demands action. Are we not looking? Let’s spend some quiet moments in prayer to confess our sins to God, our only hope.


Pastoral Assurance

God’s word tells us that if we confess our sins that he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

And now according to God’s promise, it is my joy to tell you that because Jesus Christ died in your place on the cross and took the guilt of all your sins, and then because he was raised from the dead for you and ascended into heaven and you have been united to him by faith, you have now confessed your sins and you are forgiven, set free from sin’s guilt and power. Your debt is paid. You are righteous and your are his. Amen.

[Thanks be to God]

Let’s sing.