Communion Pt. 2 – A Self-Portrait of Love

Pro. Jeremiah Shepherd

Most works of art are created to illustrate the idea or concept of the painter and for that idea to be communicable in some way. Whether abstract or representational, art accomplishes the artist’s intent or testifies of his/her original idea. ****In a similar way, the Lord is a Master Painter, and there is infinite purpose to anything He creates. The universe is the painting of God, both the abstract and exact, and it serves to communicate His glory.

Psalm 19:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Colossians 1:16 (KJV) 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Romans 11:36 (KJV) 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

The heavens and the earth, seen and unseen, are the kingdom of God, created to convey His grandeur. ****Any kingdom is a reflection of its king, and nothing is more pleasing to a king than seeing his domain expand as a representation of his honor and power. The entire universe portrays the expanses of the Lord’s omnipresence. Our solar system emulates the obeisance and dependency of all things on Jesus, His Son (the sun), and every living organism displays God’s meticulous attention to detail. Various creations reflect the glory of God in various ways, but there is a certain attribute of God that is challenging for non-human creations to replicate or communicate—and that is love.

1 John 4:8 “8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

This scripture pointedly states that God is love, making it His most defining characteristic. Therefore understanding love is essential to understanding Him. This verse doesn’t say “He is loving”, and it doesn’t just say that “He does loving things”. It says, “God is love”, and that is monumental. To know what love is is to know who God is. This is why love is describable yet somehow indescribable, and it is why it is possible to apprehend love without being able to fully comprehend it. Perhaps this is also the reason why there never seems to be an adequate answer for why we love someone.

So, how would God create the perfect image of love? How would He paint a picture of Himself and enable that painting to communicate? Because He is God, He would do something that nothing and no one else could. He would paint a painting that could paint; God created mankind and brought him to life.

Genesis 1:26 & 31 26And God said, Let us make man in our image, 31And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

No other creation received this kind of life. No other creature became “a living soul.” Nothing else was created, specifically, in the “image of God” as mankind was, and this has little to do with our visible, physical bodies that are composed of dirt. Being made in the image of God was—and is—about portraying His character and nature. So, if love is the image of God, then mankind was uniquely created to illustrate it…to illustrate love.

Ultimately, whatever looks like God must look like love. While everything in the Lord’s creation carries the aroma of love, man is especially designed to illuminate it. Now, when we remember that God enjoys the expansion of His existence, it becomes largely evident why mankind was created and commanded to be fruitful. The Lord loves to see His love grow which makes the multiplication of love, perhaps, the most powerful purpose for the creation of man.

Love is so good, it’s good to God. God is so good, He is good to His own self; even He wants to partake of His own greatness. This may sound like a strange idea, but the Lord’s expressed pleasure with His own creation is evidence that this is true. There is none greater than Him, so it’s amazing how He can amaze Himself—that He actually has to. The challenge is that He must create something that reflects His likeness in order to witness it. As human beings, we hold a special place in the heart of God, because we were purposed to communicate God’s love to the rest of creation, to one another and, most importantly, back to God.

Psalm 8:1-6 (KJV) O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. 2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. 3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. 6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

1 Peter 2:9 (ESV) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 John 4:19 (KJV) 19 We love him, because he first loved us.

1 John 4:19 is especially important. It reveals that love doesn’t originate in us but Him. Before we can give it, we must receive it, and in order to truly receive it, we must experience it. ****It’s one thing to observe who He is, but the Lord knew that it would be more beneficial for us to share in His experience; this is the only way we would truly learn to love. So, God decided to grant us access to a portion of His domain that we might be equipped to exemplify His loving nature.

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