Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28)
Filling The Earth With His Image
Nicaragua is a Central-American country beset with poverty, lack of education and lack of basic needs yet a place of spiritual vitality. Few families enjoy the material blessings of those who live in America. So much of what we expect as a normal part of life is foreign to the majority of Nicaraguans. Many of the children who grow up in impoverished communities rarely have school beyond the age of 14 or 15. Jobs are scarce that would bring economic help to families. The infrastructures of communities lack the most basic needs like electricity, air-conditioning, plumbing and sanitation. In the midst of what Americans perceive as a lack of material blessings is a spirit that is foreign to the land of plenty: there is no lack for a deep and abiding interest in God. It is easy to measure life by what a person has on the outside instead of what is possessed on the inside. Prosperity is gauged by how large a house we live in or how many cars we have. Education is an expected norm that takes us to jobs that we will be able to retire from after many years. In the grand scheme of the difference between those in Nicaragua and the United States there is none. When all is said and done, we are all made in the same image of the same Creator.
In the beginning, God created all men in His image. Through the centuries, one thing has remained constant: everyone is formed in the same spirit regardless of language, culture and gender. The will of the Creator was to fill the earth with people who bore the same image and shared the same relationship with Him. He gave all men the dominion over the creatures of the earth with the express will of God to fill the earth with His image. Nicaragua may be 1200 miles away but in the view of the Lord, it is the same microcosm of humanity. He does not see Americans different from the people of Nicaragua because of prosperity or the lack thereof. All nations will stand before the throne of God in the final day and the same book will judge all peoples. It was by the will of God the nations were formed into different languages and cultures but the image of God remains the same upon all peoples.
Jesus died for everyone. His death brought all men to Him whether Jew or Gentile. The gospel message that saves a man in Kansas will save a man in Masaya, Nicaragua. Sin plagues every American like it does every Nicaraguan. Preaching the gospel in Nicaragua has the same power as it does on Main Street USA. We are all made in the same image of God. The earth is filled with everyone that is made in the same image of God. God created man in His image and His image is spread throughout the whole earth. The needs are the same. The rewards are the same. The greatest joy is to know that when the final day of judgment comes and I walk through those wonderful gates of eternal life, my brethren from Nicaragua will be there also. We will sing together in the heavenly language the joys and glories of a God who created us all in the same image. Lord – come quickly.
Nothing is more difficult than to realize that every man has a distinct soul, that every one of all the millions who live or have lived, is as whole and independent a being in himself, as if there were no one else in the whole world but he. (John Henry Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons, 1843)